This recipe allows for extra pickling brine to use in cocktails and still ensure proper coverage for the remaining cherries, so you could easily increase the amount of cherries to 1½-2 pounds if you're planning to have a party or just want more on hand.
1 pound ripe but firm Bing cherries
1½ cups red wine vinegar
½ cup water
1½ cups sugar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 large strips of orange peel, removed with a vegetable peeler
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 bay leaf
After washing your cherries, prick each one a few times with a fork and place in a large bowl.
Mix the rest of the ingredients in a large non-reactive pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
Place cherries in a quart-sized jar, spoon in the orange peel, cinnamon sticks and spices, and then cover completely with the pickling liquid.
Store in the fridge for 1 month, but wait at least 24 hours before eating so there's time for the flavors to infuse.
Sweet & Sour Manhattans
This cocktail is best made one at a time.
2 ounces good quality bourbon
½ ounce sweet vermouth
2 dashes of Angostura bitters
½ ounce of pickled cherry brine
1 pickled cherry
Pour the liquid ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a pickled cherry. Lean back and enjoy.
These cocktail cherries also make an excellent cocktail garnish.