My husband grew up drinking himself silly with sharbat’e albaloo, which consists of a tablespoon or two of this cherry syrup stirred into a cup of cold water. I sometimes close my eyes and can imagine him, as a child, with his rosy plump cheeks and a sharbat mustache painted on his face; running wild through his grandfather’s bach (garden) in Shiraz…. My kids do the same, but in our front yard.
The cherry syrup that goes into albaloo as well as other spritzers is not only delicious but also beautiful. When serving grown-ups, I tend to mix it at a slightly stiffer ratio of 3 parts water to 1 part syrup along with some ice cubes to keep it chilled.–Reyna Sinmegar
LC Sharbat'e Alba What? Note
Never mind the name. Just drink up. The cherry syrup goes well not just with cold water but seltzer or, as you can imagine, sparkling wine of any sort as well as sturdier mixers such as vodka. Vary the proportion of syrup to water or wine or spirits according to personal preference, or allow guests to help themselves. A wedge of lime not only makes a vibrant garnish, but a tart little counterpoint to the syrup’s sweetness, so instruct guests to squeeze it into the cherry spritzer prior to sipping.
Cherry Spritzer Recipe
Hands-On Time: 5 minutes | Total Time: 25 minutes | Makes 2 cups
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cups fresh sweet cherries (not sour cherries), unpitted
- 1/4 cup lime juice (from about 4 limes), more if you prefer a tarter syrup
- Lime slices or cherries, for garnish
- Cold water, seltzer, or sparkling wine
- Ice (optional)
- 1. To make the cherry syrup, combine the water and sugar together in a 4-quart saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally.
- 2. Place the cherries in a sachet and close the top. If you do not have these ready-made sachets (much like coffee bags), you can use cheesecloth. Or omit the bundling step and simply strain the cherries later.
- 3. When the sugar has dissolved, add the cherries and lime juice, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer, uncovered, until you have a pale, cherry-infused syrup, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- 4. Remove the cherry sachet or strain the mixture, squeezing the juices from the sachet into the saucepan or pressing on the solids in the strainer with the back of a spoon. Store the syrup in a glass jar at room temperature or in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- 5. To make a cherry spritzer, dilute the syrup with water, seltzer, or sparkling wine, using a rough ratio of 3 parts water or wine to 1 part syrup. Serve over ice, if desired.
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Cherry Spritzer Recipe © 2011 Reyna Sinmegar. Photo © 2011 Marina Karassellos. All rights reserved.