A bold drink as well as a pretty colour, cherry juice is available all year round in cartons and bottles. Made with sour cherries (morello cherries work as a substitute), it is lovely on its own or with a splash of vodka.
1lb/450gsour cherries, washed and stoned
Place the cherries in a deep pan and pile the sugar on top of them. Leave to weep for 2-3 hours.
Stir the cherries and sugar with the water over a medium heat, until the sugar dissolves. Bring the liquid to the boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Strain into another pan, press all the liquid out of the cherries and discard them. Simmer the liquid gently until the syrup is thick and coats the back of the spoon. Leave it to cool in the pan.
Pour the syrup into a jar or bottle, seal tightly, and store in a cool place. Keep in the refrigerator, once opened. Dilute 1-2 tablespoons per person with water, and serve chilled, with ice.