Makes 34 ounces
Note: This recipe can be made with black currants, wild blueberries and even cranberries. Cut the berries in half or pierce them so they can infuse the vodka.
1 1/8 pounds fresh sour cherries, pitted and halved
25 ounces clear vodka
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar
1. Fill a sterilized jar with cherries, but do not pack them in. Pour the vodka on top; seal tightly. Leave the jar in a dark place for 2 weeks or up to 6 months.
2. Strain the vodka through a very fine-mesh strainer or a coffee filter, letting the fruit sit and seep liquid for a good hour.
3. Taste the vodka. Add sugar to taste.
-- Anne Applebaum and Danielle Crittenden, "From a Polish Country House Kitchen" (Chronicle Books, $40, 288 pages)
Cranberry Vodka Variation
For last-minute gift-giving, use a funnel to pour a spoonful of sugar into the bottom of a sterilized, decorative glass bottle. Add 1/4 cup vodka; gently shake to dissolve. Add cranberries and strips of lime zest to fill the bottle a third to halfway. Top with vodka and seal securely. Gently shake the bottle. The vodka will begin to take on a rosy hue and tangy flavor within a day or two. Add a tag that tells the recipient to infuse the vodka for another week, then enjoy it, straight or strained into a cosmo, in the