On the first day of July, I drove to Bigfork Orchards, near Mattawa, WA, on the Columbia River to buy bins of bing cherries. The orchard is in a beautiful setting with rows of tall trees creating walls around and within the orchard.

Bing cherries suffered this year. Due to extreme weather conditions, cherries cracked and split. Unsuitable for retail, but perfect for distilling, I bought 960 pounds. Of course, this was before I realized that each cherry has to be pitted. I don’t know how many cherries are in a pound, but it looks like a lot.


We'll be washing and pitting a LOT of cherries!

We’ll be washing and pitting a LOT of cherries!

The cherries will be fermented with honey and distilled to become a cherry Bee’s Knees®. After aging in a new white oak barrel, it will be transferred to a red wine oak barrel from Stottle Winery, and the Bee’s Knees® Merry Cherry will be ready by Christmas.