Cerises au Vinaigre ~ Cherries in Vinegar

Cerises au Vinaigre
Cherries in Spiced Vinegar

In some areas of France these preserved sweet and sour cherries are served with charcuterie and pâté instead of, or along with, cornichons ~ the delightfully sour, tiny pickles.
In Australia you may find these spiced cherries as a condiment with cheese.

When cherries are in season, usually June in my part of the world, I eat my fill, use them fresh in recipes, then put some up in various ways for later, when fresh cherries are but a memory.

Earlier this summer I made Cerises à (Cherry liqueur) using white rum, it's aging now and will be ready around Christmas, I allow it to age for 12 months. I also made Vin de Cerises (with red wine, some eau-de-vie, and a vanilla bean), and the most simple of all, Ciliege Sotto Spirito (Italian-Style Preserved Cherries). I'll list that recipe at the end of this post.

I put up several jars of jam with the remaining cherries.
But back to the Cherises au Vinaigre; here is the recipe I use~
Cerises au Vinaigre

Since this recipe contains sugar, it can work as both a savory condiment with meats (hot and cold meats, and sandwiches), and some like it as a dessert sauce on ice cream, sorbet, pudding and pound cake. I prefer it with savory things, or cheeses.

1 pound cherries
2-1/2 cups white vinegar (I like to use a mild vinegar, not too astringent. If you can't find one, add a little water to the white vinegar to cut the sharp flavor a bit.)
grated rind of 1 lemon
1-1/4 cups packed brown sugar
3 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks, broken into 1 inch pieces

Wash the cherries and allow to dry overnight.

Trim stems to 1/2-inch (I leave the entire stem). Put the vinegar, lemon rind, brown sugar, cloves and cinnamon into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and allow to simmer until all of the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Put the cherries into sterilized jelly jars* and pour the cooled vinegar mixture over them. Seal and place in a cool, dark place for at least two weeks before using.
I process most of jars of cherries (can them), using the hot water bath method for longer shelf life, keeping two or three jars unprocessed for immediate use.
*(Or run the jars through the dishwasher, and fill while still warm.)

And the recipe for the Italian-style Preserved Cherries ~

These are a delightful treat at holiday time or special occasions when served 3 to 4 cherries in small stemmed wine glasses, or small whiskey glasses, along with a little of the cherry liqueur poured over.

Ciliege Sotto Spirito (Preserved Cherries)
Makes 1 quart


1 1/2 pounds Bing cherries
1 quart jar (sterilized)
2 cups Canadian Club whiskey (or Vodka, see note below)

Use cherries that are firm without blemishes and fresh enough so their stems are still green. Wash cherries, spread them out on a towel to dry. Remove stems and pack into the jar. Cover with whiskey, gently packing cherries to remove any trapped air.
Completely cover cherries. Seal and refrigerate 4 weeks before serving.

Note: If you prefer to use Vodka, add 1/2 cup of sugar, 3 to 4 whole cloves and a piece of cinnamon stick. Do NOT stir or mixture will become cloudy.


  1. Oh I would have made these! How beautiful!!!

    Thank you so much again for all thsi fantastic inspiration..You amke me want to do everything!

  2. you always dazzle me with your style!


Thank you for your comments, friends ~ they make my day!

A Sampling of my food . . .


 Subscribe in a reader...or

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner