This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
Tart Cherry Concentrate – homemade juice concentrate that could be diluted with either filtered or sparkling water for an amazing, sweet and flavorful drink. This can be added to cocktails, too.
Have you ever tried Montgomery tart cherry juice concentrate? It is so good! While today’s sour cherry concentrate is not made with Montgomery tart cherries, it still tastes awesome! No preservatives, not too sweet.
Luckily I have a couple of tart cherry trees in the backyard so I was able to enjoy them fresh and also preserve some for the coming months.
Quick, easy to make with minimal ingredients and effort, this juice tastes refreshing and is rich in vitamins and minerals like potassium and iron.
Tart cherries contain antioxidants, that can reduce inflammation and swelling. They also boost your metabolism and help you sleep well.
This juice contains sugar – it is not just sour cherries squeezed to extract the juice. It is more of an old school, European style “concentrate”, that you dilute with water and enjoy on a hot summer day.
Are tart cherries and sour cherries the same?
Yes, “tart” and “sour” cherries are basically the same thing.
Tart cherries are smaller than the average Bing cherry, they are thin skinned and taste tart. I like them, but can’t really eat more than 5 at a time.
If you like these cherries or have some on hand and don’t want to miss out, you can use them in pies, cakes, ice cream, or cocktails, to add a sour, acidic hint to your recipe.
These aren’t usually found at the supermarket fresh, but you can get them at a Farmer’s market or from someone who has a sour cherry tree. Frozen ones could be found at some stores year round.
They stay in season usually for a few weeks and are highly perishable
Preserving sour cherries
Just like sweet cherries, there are certain ways to preserve these for a while and enjoy later.
You can freeze them (just make sure you remove the pits) for smoothies and dessert recipes. Make syrups, compotes and jams (jam recipe coming soon).
I love making sour cherry liqueur, it is in the process of being made, it takes about 5 weeks to get ready, so I’m going to share the recipe for it with you soon. It adds a fresh, tart and nutty flavor to cocktails, cakes and cake fillings.
What is juice concentrate?
A juice concentrate is where the water content from the fruit has been removed. It is usually kept frozen to extend its shelf life.
This tart cherry concentrate juice has sugar added once the fruit juice is removed, which acts like a preservative. It is quite sweet, so you do need to dilute it with water or soda, before consumption.
Are fruit concentrates healthy? With the amount of sugar in this recipe, you can easily say they are not! But again, you can use low carb sweetener instead of white sugar.
Also anything consumed in moderation is not as bad as when you can not control yourself and over consume stuff.
There are 3 different types of fruit concentrate:
- 100% fruit concentrate – Concentrates made from 100% fruit are the healthiest option available. They contail the most nutrients and have no added sugar. However, they may still contain additives for color and preservation
- Concentrated fruit cocktail, punch or beverage these contain sweeteners and flavorings to compensate the lack of whole fruit
- Powdered juice concentrate – made from dehydrated (real) fruit by spraying and freeze drying, These generally take up less space.
How to make Tart Cherry Concentrate?
The tart cherries together with the pits(these add nutty, almond like flavor) are first boiled in water to soften and release juice and flavor. Then the liquid is drained (and kept) and sugar (or low carb sweetener) are added.
The hot juice is poured into warm and clean bottles and they are closed with lids.
The bottles filled with cherry juice are boiled in a canning pot with a rack on the bottom for 10 minutes. Keep in a cool and dry place for up to 1 year. Once a bottle is opened, store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
What to use this tart cherry concentrate for?
Juice concentrates are usually used to make drinks by diluting it with water. It could also be used in drinks like cocktails, smoothies or to sweeten teas.
More cherry recipes
- Homemade cherry jam
- Cherry smoothie – can be made with tart cherries
- Cherry lime mojito – this sour cherry juice can be used in cocktails like this mojito
Tart Cherry Concentrate
- 4 lb tart cherries
- 8 cups water
- 2 lb sugar
- Wash and clean the tart cherries, remove the stems, leave the pits.
- Combine the water and cherries in a deep pot and bring to a boil.
- Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Drain through a fine mesh strainer pressing the fruit to release more juice.
- Pour the drained juice back to the pot and add the sugar. Heart up, then simmer for 10 more minutes, until the sugar (or sweetener) has dissolved.
- Pour into hot bottles and close. Boil in a canning pot with a rack on the bottom for 10 minutes.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.