Skip to Content

Glyko Vyssino (Sour Cherries) and Vyssinada drink

Glyko Vyssino (Sour Cherries) and Vyssinada drink

Sharing is caring!

Glyko vyssino (Sour cherries) can be made into one of the most priced fruit preserves.  You can eat it as it is or served on top of ice cream, puddings, cheesecakes and many more desserts.

Sour cherries in jars image

Sour cherries (Prunus cerasus), is a species of Prunus in the subgenus Cerasus (cherries), native to much of Europe and southwest Asia. It is closely related to the wild cherry (P. avium), but has a fruit that is more acidic and so is useful primarily for cooking.   Wild cherries have been documented by  the Greeks as early as 300 BC.

sour cherries - vyssino image


The taste is similar to cherries but as the name indicates, they are quite sour and cannot be eaten like a fruit.

The spoon sweet is made almost the same way as making Cherry spoon sweet.

The most difficult part is pitting the sour cherries and make sure to weat gloves as the juice may tint your fingers and will take a few days to fade away.

You can use a cherry pit remover to remove the pits but if you don’t have one, you can use a hairpin or even a paper clip.

hair pin image


My mother used to do it with a hair pin, which she inserted the top side, insde the cherry from the hole where the stem was, twisted it a few times until the cherry pit was loose from the flesh and pulled it out carefully, with the back of the pin.

When pitting the sour cherries, do this over a bowl in which you have added half a cup of water.  This way the juice of the sour cherries will drip in the bowl

Add the pits in this bowl as well, as there will be some juice extracted from them as well, and later on drain the water and use it to dissolve the sugar.

Sour cherry pits in a bowl with water image

Be careful when removing the pits because if they stain the clothes, they do not clean easily.

To serve, place 2-3 teaspoonfuls of the cherries and syrup on a small plate. Sour Cherry Spoon Sweet is always served with a glass of cold water.

Serve alone, with Greek coffee, or as a topping on yogurt, vanilla ice cream, on pana cotta, mahalebi, cheesecake, tarts, crepes, or use them to make icecreams or other desserts.

cheesecake with sour cherries in a glass image

In Greece we use the sour cherries to make jam, as well as a drink called vyssinada and vyssino liqueur, same way as making cherry liqueur or liqueur using only the pits.

Cherry Pit Liqueur photo


Vyssinada is a drink made of sour cherries syrup.

To make vyssinada, wash and remove the stems and pits of the fruit and boil it with a small amount of water until soft.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

When they can be handled, put them in a strainer and squeeze to extract their juice.  For every cup of juice you will add 1 cup of sugar and let them rest for 2 hours removing any froth that may form on top.  Then bring to a boil again removing the froth.  Lower heat and simmer until the syrup is ready.  Before the end add 1 tsp lemon juice for every cup of juice you have added and mix.  Store in sterilized bottles.

To serve, add about 2 cm vyssinada (depending on how sweet you want it add less or more)  in a glass and fill with iced water and a few ice cubes.

Vyssino (Sour Cherry) Liqueur 

If you want to make some sour cherry liqueur, just follow the instructions for my Cherry Liqueur.

collage sour cherries

Sour cherries spoon sweet image

Glyko Vyssino (Sour Cherries) Preserve

Yield: 1 kilo
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Glyko vyssino (Sour cherries) can be made into one of the most priced fruit preserves. You can eat it as it is or served on top of ice cream, puddings, cheesecakes and many more desserts.


  • 1 hour 45 minutes 1 kilo
  • 1 kilo fresh sour cherries
  • 1 kilo granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 - 4 fragrant geranium leaves or 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice


  1. Wash the cherries well. 
  2. Remove the stems and pits.
  3. Put the pits in a bowl with the half cup of water and collect juices, which may drop.
  4. Place sour cherries in a pot, covering each layer with sugar.
  5. Add the water and wash off the pits with any juice on them, drain and add over the sugar.
  6. Leave them in the saucepan until the following day and if the sugar has not dissolved, mix it a few times until it does.
  7. Bring the cherries and sugar to a boil over high heat. Lower heat and skim off foam as it rises to the top with a slotted ladle. When it cleans from the froth, add the fragrant geranium leaves and simmer until the syrup thickens.
  8. After half an hour, test to see if the syrup is ready.   
  9. Finally, add the lemon juice and allow boiling for another few seconds.
  10. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  11. When thoroughly cooled, place in airtight sterilized glass jars to store.



You can also use quick lime. See instrutions in my recipe for Glyko Kerassi (Cherry Spoon Sweet). 

Did you make this recipe?

Tried this recipe? Tag me @ivyliac and use the hashtag #kopiaste!

Like this post?

You can hover over this image to pin it to your Pinterest board. Also, please feel free to share it with your friends and fellow bloggers, using the share tools below.


Collage how to make vyssino image

Other relevant posts:

Mahalebi with sour cherries 

Glyko Kerassi (Cherry Spoon Sweet)
Glyko Karpouzi (Water Melon)
Glyko Nerantzi (Bitter oranges)
Glyko Bergamonto (Bergamot)
Glyko Karydaki (green immature walnuts)

Glyko Kydoni me amygdala (Quince with almonds)
Glyko Kydoni me kastana (Quince with chestnuts)
Glyko Milo (Apples)


About Spoon sweets
How can we tell if the syrup is ready?
How to fix spoon sweets

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

Sharing is caring!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Thursday 5th of July 2018

Ahhh beautiful. This is the queen of Glyko Koutaliou. I like it on ice cream and Vyssinada makes the best summer drinks.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Privacy Policy · Copyright