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Rinse the cherries and start removing the pits. The easiest way is using a cherry pitter, but a small knife is also possible. Make sure all the cherries are pitted and rinse the cherries again.
Squeeze the juice from a lime using a citrus juicer.
Add 1 liter of water to a large pan along with 250 gram sugar. Heat on medium-high heat until the sugar has dissolved completely, stir occasionally.
Add 750 ml red port, 4 star anise, 2 cinnamon sticks, lime juice and a tablespoon vanilla extract. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil. As soon as the mixture starts to boil, you'll turn down the heat.
Add the pitted cherries and let it simmer on low heat for about 15 to 20 minutes. Note: make sure to use sterile jars to prevent bacteria and mould in the jars.
Use a spoon and funnel to transfer the cherries with the delicious port-water to the jars. Make sure to add them to the jars while they're as warm as possible. Repeat until all the cherries and port-water is used.
Place the lids on the jars and place them upside down. As soon as the jars are cooled off a bit, you can store them in a dark closet or basement for up to 2 years.