Cherries showed up at the farmer's market over a month ago. Back in April, I'd overheard a vendor tell someone that they expected to have their cherries in the third week of May. When I bounced this date off of Brad Gates at Wild Boar Farms, he responded that the third week of May was,"the sort of date someone pulls from an almanac." Hidden Star Orchards and Hamada Farms cherries showed up sooner than that. Brad brought his first batch on May 31 and said that in a week they'd be off the charts.
In what has to be considered a pretty odd coincidence, the following weekend someone showed up at his stand with a brix meter and more or less verified this claim. An average cherry apparently measures in at 16 brix, Brad's cherries measured in at 25 brix. He offered up that this wasn't a fair comparison. That an average cherry is grown for yield, whereas the fruit on his eighty year old trees which have never been sprayed with pesticides is not. Still, 25% sugar.
Anyway, as I ate my way through the last 6 weeks of cherries, I deposited the pits into a glass of vodka. I'd had some vague idea of attempting to recreate Tord Boontje's cherry pit necklace and figured the vodka soaking would help somehow when it came time to cleaning them up. Two weeks ago I noticed that the vodka had taken on some of the cherry taste though, and well - tonight it was hot.
Owing to some over-indulgence in caipirinhas last night all I could muster the courage for was a cherry pit vodka tonic. Refreshing though. If you're of a mind to try it, I'd recommend at least two weeks of soaking.