- 2 pounds frozen cherries
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup water
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 vanilla bean
- 4 ounces vodka, (optional)
- 8 cups shaved ice
- Mint leaves , for garnish
In a large saucepan, combine the cherries, sugar, water, lemon juice and a pinch of salt.
Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds out of the pod with the back of a knife. Add the seeds and the pod to the saucepan and stir to combine.
Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and boil for 10 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and cool for 10 minutes. Remove and discard the vanilla bean pod.
Pour the cherry mixture into a blender, and blend on high until the mixture is smooth, about 30 seconds. Refrigerate syrup until chilled, about 2 hours. The syrup can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
If adding vodka, pour it into the chilled cherry syrup and stir to combine.
Place a cup of shaved ice in a serving dish, drizzle with ½ cup cherry syrup and garnish with a mint leaf. Repeat with desired servings.