pickled cherry recipe Russian style easy jewish summer cocktail
Photo credit Sonya Sanford

Your Cocktail Needs These Russian-Style Pickled Cherries

Tart, not too sweet, and complex.

Zakuski, which translates to “something to bite after,” is a Russian-style spread. From smoked fish and cured meats to blini and caviar and at least one kind of pickle, zakuski are essentially snacks that are meant to be eaten while drinking shots of vodka or other alcohol.

Sour cherries only show up for a short time every year, and I try to get a big bag whenever I see them available. They are great for pie or for compote, as a filling for vareniki (Ukranian half-moon shaped dumplings) and in baked goods, like this one-bowl sour cherry cake.

But I love them pickled with a little cardamom. The practicality of preserving summer food for the winter is clear, but these pickled fruits are equally refreshing on a hot summer day, preferably eaten with a meal outdoors. They end up tasting like an elevated maraschino cherry — tart, not too sweet, and complex. They’re fantastic in a cocktail, and just as good as a side to BBQ. The sweeter brine for the sour cherries would also be great with plums or peaches.

Russian style pickles easy summertime treat
Photo credit Sonya Sanford

Enjoy alongside a zakuski spread, with salad Olivier (Russian potato salad), cured meats, pickled watermelon and marinated bell peppers.

Notes:

  • The pickled cherries are ready to serve after 24 hours in the fridge, but they will develop deeper flavor the longer they sit.
  • These pickles last for months stored in the fridge — though they rarely last that long at my house.
Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
pickled cherry recipe Russian style easy jewish summer cocktail
Photo credit Sonya Sanford

Russian-Style Pickled Sour Cherries

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

No reviews

An elevated maraschino-style cherry that’s easy to make at home and lasts for months.

  • Total Time: 24 hours

Ingredients

Units
  • 4 cups pitted sour cherries
  • ¾ cup white vinegar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 67 cardamom pods, lightly crushed

Instructions

  1. Place pitted cherries in clean jars.
  2. Combine the vinegar, sugar, water, salt and cardamom in a small pot. Bring to a simmer and heat until the sugar is just fully dissolved. Pour the brine over the cherries. Allow the mixture to fully cool, then securely cover the jars and refrigerate.
  3. They are ready to serve after 24 hours in the fridge, but they will develop deeper flavor the longer they sit.

Notes

  • The pickled cherries are ready to serve after 24 hours in the fridge, but they will develop deeper flavor the longer they sit.
  • These pickles last for months stored in the fridge — though they rarely last that long at my house.
  • Author: Sonya Sanford
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: One-Pot
  • Cuisine: Ashkenazi

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

Keep on Noshing

How to Make Your Own Sauerkraut

This DIY project is super Jewish, easy, and good for your gut.

Vegan Turmeric Maple Challah Recipe

A fluffy, egg-free recipe you will make on repeat.

Brown Jewish Food Is Actually Really Beautiful

We need brown, comforting food right now.