Amongst many other wine-based aperitifs made at la Métairie des Songes, Guignolet, served chilled as an aperitif, is a delicious introduction to a summer meal.
There are versions of this aperitif that are made from the fruit with higher fortification to become an after-dinner liqueuer. However this lighter version is a warmly flavoured cross between a wine and a port, best served chilled.
Simply pick 100 (unsprayed) Cherry leaves, rinse and drain them and place in a bowl. Mix them together with 200ml of 40º Vodka or Tequilla and 1 litre of good red wine (of course we use Cahors!). Macerate for 3 days, stirring once each day. Strain the liquor into a clean bowl. Bring to boil 100ml of water with 350g of white sugar, stirring until dissolved to make a syrup. Let cool for 30-45 minutes then mix the syrup with the wine mixture. Strain through 2 layers of dampened muslin into clean bottles and… be patient! The Guignolet is so much better if left for 3-6 months in a cool dark place. So make it now to serve lightly chilled on a warm September evening or enjoy at room temperature for Christmas!