A Polish nalewka is an aged cordial. The most common types are made with fruit and either vodka or rectified spirits. This recipe for cherry nalewka or wiśniak is traditionally made with Morello cherries, a sour type of cherry. If Morello cherries aren't available in your area, you can certainly use sour pie cherries. Nalewki make excellent edible gifts, so plan accordingly when making them for Christmas.
Here is a larger photo of Polish cherry nalewka or wisniak.
- 1/2 pound sour cherries (washed, stemmed, and pitted)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups rectified spirits (or good-quality vodka like chopin vodka)
- Place cherries in a 1 quart (1 liter) jar. Pour sugar over cherries (do not stir or shake). Slowly pour the spirits or vodka over the cherries until the jar is full (leave a slight gap at the top). Make sure cherries are covered, but do not stir or shake. Tightly close the jar and place in a pantry or closet for 3 months at room temperature.
- After 3 months, strain the nalewka and rebottle. It may be drunk immediately or aged further. Don't throw away the fruit. It is delicious on ice cream, pound cake or other desserts.