¼ to ⅓cuplemon juiceor to taste. preferably freshly squeezed
For the juice
Additional water and lemon wedges as required
Prepare the sugar syrup.
In a saucepan, combine ½ cup of water and ½ of sugar and bring it to a gentle simmer over medium heat and stir as required.
When the sugar dissolves, let it cool completely.
Prepare the cherry concentrate/syrup.
Add the sugar syrup, pitted cherries, lychee, and lemon juice.
Blend it until smooth. And that's it. The cherry concentrate or the syrup is ready. Store this in an air-tight container. I did not strain the mixture.
Prepare the cherry juice/lemonade.
Mix ⅓ cup of the prepared cherry syrup or the concentrate with ⅔ cup of water and mix well. (1 part of cherry syrup and 2 parts of water) Add ice cubes and lemon wedges and serve right away.
Adjust the amount of sugar and lemon juice as per your preference. As we prefer sweet juice, I went with a little over ¼ cup of lemon juice. Depending upon the lemon and cherry variety, adjust the measure.
Lychee is entirely optional. It adds floral -refreshing flavor, and we love it. Give it a try with lychee if you can source it but skip it if you can't.
I did not strain the cherry syrup after blending. We love the bit and pieces of skin. For a smooth juice, you can strain the cherry syrup.
Also, adjust the ratio of water to cherry syrup as per your taste. The above measure worked perfectly well for us, and I did not add any additional sugar or lemon juice before serving.
Instead of sugar, you can use sweeteners of your choice like monk fruit sugar or stevia. If using maple syrup or honey, add them while blending, and no need to make sugar syrup. Make sure to add ½ cup of plain water while blending.