Here in the Pacific Northwest we have an abundance of cherries, particularly Rainier and Bing cherries. When I saw Rainier cherries for $1.49 per pound, I knew it was time to try making a liqueur.
I started with two pounds of Rainier cherries, unpitted, and added 1½ cups of sugar and a fifth of grain alcohol. I let it sit outside in the sun for four weeks.
After four weeks, I strained the liquor and discarded the Rainiers. Then I added two pounds of pitted Bing cherries, 1 cup sugar, one cinnamon stick about 3" long, and two vanilla pods. I let that mixture sit for two weeks in the sun.
Then I strained the liquor again and added two pounds pitted Bings, two cinnamon sticks, 8 whole cloves, and 750ml French brandy. After one more week, I gave it a taste.
I think it's done, but I'm letting half of the liqueur continue to steep. It certainly isn't the best liqueur I've ever tasted, but it was fun to make, and it will make an excellent flavoring for desserts. Maybe I'll just call it cherry extract.