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Bing Cherries with Wine Syrup

A rocks glass filled with bing cherries with wine syrup and vanilla ice cream
This is a New Orleans favorite. Of course, in NOLA even the fruit gets tipsy!  Cherries with wine syrup are delicious on their own, but they make for a to-die-for ice cream sundae. Prep is easy since it takes just 10 minutes of hands-on work.
Elizabeth Heiskell

Prep 10 mins
Total 20 mins
6 servings
344 kcal


  • 13 ounces pitted frozen dark sweet cherries thawed and drained, juices reserved
  • 1/4 cup Kirsch or clear brandy
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar plus more if needed
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • 1 1/2 pints store-bought or homemade vanilla bean ice cream


  • In a glass measuring cup, combine the juices from the cherries with the Kirsch and red wine.
  • In a small saucepan, stir together the sugar and cornstarch until no lumps remain. Gradually whisk in the wine mixture.
  • Add the cherries. Cook over medium heat until the sauce boils and thickens, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and add the almond extract, if using. Let cool slightly. Taste and add more sugar, if needed. Serve the warm sauce over the ice cream.


What's the difference between cherries?

The easiest way to categorize cherries is by geographic location and sweetness. Sweet cherries, which include BingUlster, and Rainier, are grown mostly in Washington, California, Oregon, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Sour cherries, such as MontmorencyMorello, and Early Richmond, are primarily from Michigan, New York, and Utah.

What are the best uses for sweet and sour cherries?

Sour cherries are great for baking. Because you can fiddle with the amount of sugar you use, you can customize the elusive once-a-year sour cherry pie, tarts, cakes, and bars to suit your pucker quotient. Also, sour cherries are said to improve sleep and endurance, reduce systolic blood pressure, and minimize muscle soreness and inflammation. Be forewarned: The season for sour cherries is short: June and July, mostly.
Sweet cherries have a longer season--May to August--so no need to rush and make every cherry dish you have.  Sweet cherries are great in syrups like this recipe, glazes, rice puddings, ice creams, liqueur, and baked into dishes such as clafouti.