Bourbon Cherries taste delicious with almost any cocktail or dessert! This four-ingredient recipe is easy to follow, and a jar of these makes the ultimate gift.
This post is all about how to make Bourbon Cherries.
These homemade bourbon-soaked cherries are sweet, boozy, and fresh-tasting! Whether you enjoy an old-fashioned cocktail or a creamy bowl of vanilla ice cream, these delicious cherries will complement and elevate most desserts or mixed drinks.
And to clarify, it would be rare to get drunk off bourbon cherries. Even though this four-ingredient recipe calls for hard alcohol, it’s unlikely the 12-ounce jar of cherries and its juices would affect you.
If you’ve ever purchased Woodford Reserve Bourbon Cherries from BevMo, you’ll appreciate this recipe even more because they’re cheaper to make from scratch (and fresher!), and you can gift jars of these to friends and family.
This best recipe includes tips and step-by-step instructions so you too can make delicious bourbon cherries that no one will forget! The gifting details are included below if you want to buy classy jars and labels.
Best Bourbon Cherries Recipe
What Is The Best Alchohol For Soaking Cherries?
Bourbon is the most popular, but try rum, champagne, or brandy if you prefer. Old-fashioned cocktails are made with bourbon and cherries, which complement each other nicely. If you choose to experiment with another alcohol, you may need to cut back on the sugar.
You’ll Need Four Ingredients:
- Bourbon, 1 1/4 cups
- White Granulated Sugar, 1 cup
Equipment Needed For Bourbon-Soaked Cherries:
- Saucepan with pour spout – the pour spout comes in handy when transferring the liquid.
- Wooden Spoon – this spoon is great for stirring the hot bourbon mixture.
- Colander Bowl – if you’re using frozen cherries, set them in this bowl to defrost so the excess juices can drain.
- Cherry Pitter – This tool helps to remove the pits. You will only need this if you’re buying fresh cherries.
- Beautiful Canning Mason Jars – This recipe will fill (2) 12-ounce mason jars. They also come with black stickers for labeling.
- Black Lids – (optional) These lids look classy. The canning jars come with metal lids, which work fine, but I wanted black tops because they looked better for gifting purposes.
- Etsy Labels – (optional) If you’re planning to gift these canned cherries, you could purchase custom labels, which fit perfectly on top of the lids.
- Black & White Ribbon – (optional) this ribbon looks great tied around the lids for gifting.
- Gold Writing Marker – (optional) this is the pen I used to write names on the black labels.
How To Make This Best Bourbon Cherries Recipe, Step-By-Step
Step 1: If you’re using fresh cherries, you’ll need to wash them thoroughly and remove their stems and pits. If using frozen cherries, let them thaw completely.
Quick Note: If you’re using frozen cherries, you’ll notice that there will be a lot of cherry juice as they defrost. Pour most of the excess juice out because you’ll want to make sure you have enough room for the liquid bourbon mixture to go in each jar. If you have a colander bowl, let the cherries defrost there and set the bowl in the sink so the juices spill into the drain.
Step 2: Next, grab your saucepan and add the bourbon, sugar, and vanilla. Over low heat, stir the sugar until it dissolves. This should take approximately 5 minutes.
Step 3: Remove the saucepan from the stove and allow the bourbon liquid to cool for about 25 minutes.
Step 4: While waiting for the mixture to cool, add one cup of cherries to each 12-ounce mason jar. Pack them in carefully without crushing the cherries. As mentioned earlier, this recipe will fill two 12-ounce jars.
Step 5: Divide and pour the cooled bourbon mixture over the cherries in each mason jar, filling to the brim.
Step 6: Place the lids tightly onto the cherry jars and refrigerate them for at least 24 hours before serving. They will taste delicious after 24 hours, but they’ll be even better after a week in the fridge!
Bourbon Cherry Motto: “The longer they soak, the better they’ll taste.”
Cocktail Recipes For Bourbon-Soaked Cherries:
Check out this article here by Food & Wine for more cocktail recipes. You could also add a few cherries to a glass of champagne or vodka on the rocks!
FAQs For These Cocktail Cherries
What To Do With Bourbon Cherries?
You can use these cherries for cocktails, pour them over ice cream, serve them with crepes, or slice them up and add them to a frosting. They’re also fantastic as a cake filling.
How Long Can I Store These Bourbon Cherries In The Refrigerator?
As long as the jar is tightly secured with a lid, you can store them in the fridge for one year. However, I doubt the cherries will last that long because they’re so tasty!
Can I Soak Cherries In Brandy?
Yes! They might taste sweeter after they’ve soaked in brandy versus bourbon, but you can adjust the sugar if needed.
What Kind Of Bourbon Can I Use For Bourbon Cherries?
Any bourbon will do! I used the Bulleit brand.
Where Can I Buy Bourbon Cherries Near Me?
While nothing beats the freshness of this recipe or its budget-friendly nature, if you need to pick up a jar at the last minute, the best brands are Woodford Reserve, Luxardo, Jack Rudy, and Bada Bing Cherries by Tillen Farms. You can shop BevMo!, Total Wines, Amazon, or Walmart for these cherries.
Can You Get Drunk Off Bourbon Cherries?
You would have to eat every cherry in the 12-ounce jar and chug all of its juices, and even then, I’m not sure you would feel any effects. Don’t get me wrong, these cherries come with a bourbon punch, but it’s unlikely you would get drunk off of them.
What Cherries Do You Use For A Perfect Old-Fashioned?
The cherries themselves don’t make a “perfect” old-fashioned cocktail, but I will say using bourbon cherries is a “perfect” compliment because they’re sweet and soaked in bourbon. Some would argue that a maraschino cherry soaked in cherry syrup is best. I think it all comes down to your taste preference.
Are Luxardo Cherries Soaked In Bourbon?
No, Luxardo cherries are soaked in cherry syrup, but they are popular for old-fashioned cocktails. I think they taste great, but they are incredibly syrupy.
Is It Best To Use Frozen Or Fresh Bing Cherries When Making This Recipe?
It’s entirely up to you! I prefer buying the frozen sweet dark cherries because they’re always consistent. Don’t get me wrong, fresh cherries taste delicious, but depending on their ripeness, sometimes they’re not as sweet, so you may need to adjust the sugar ingredient.
What Makes These Drunken Cherries Taste Great With Old Fashioned Cocktails?
Because these drunken cherries are soaked in bourbon and sugar, they add a fantastic punch to an old-fashioned cocktail. That’s a guarantee!
Can I Dip Bourbon Cherries In Chocolate?
Yes! You can buy Ghirardelli baking chocolate and carefully cover the cherries in chocolate. Because the cherries are delicate, I would scoop them out of the jar onto paper towels and carefully pat them dry. Next, place them in a bowl and cover them with warm chocolate. Use a spoon to scoop each chocolate-covered cherry out of the bowl to put them on parchment paper to dry.
Best Bourbon Cherries Recipe
- Saucepan with pour spout
- Wooden Spoon
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Colander Bowl (optional) - if you're using frozen cherries, this bowl helps to drain the excess juices when they're defrosting.
- 1 Cherry pitter (optional) - this tool helps to remove the pits from fresh cherries.
- 2 12-ounce Mason Jars
Ingredients For Bourbon Cherries
- 2 cups Fresh or Frozen Dark Sweet Cherries
- 1 1/4 cups Bourbon
- 1 cup White Granulated Sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract or 1 Vanilla Bean
How To Make Bourbon Cherries, Step-By-Step
- If you’re using fresh cherries, you’ll need to wash them thoroughly and remove their stems and pits. If using frozen cherries, let them thaw completely.
- Quick Note: If you’re using frozen cherries, you’ll notice that there will be a lot of cherry juice as they defrost. Pour most of the excess juice out because you’ll want to make sure you have enough room for the liquid bourbon mixture to go in each jar. If you have a colander bowl, let the cherries defrost there and set the bowl in the sink so the juices spill into the drain.
- Next, grab your saucepan and add the bourbon, sugar, and vanilla. Over low heat, stir the sugar until it dissolves. This should take approximately 5 minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from the stove and allow the bourbon liquid to cool for about 25 minutes.
- While waiting for the mixture to cool, add one cup of cherries to each 12-ounce mason jar. Pack them in carefully without crushing the cherries. As mentioned earlier, this recipe will fill two 12-ounce jars.
- Divide and pour the cooled bourbon mixture over the cherries in each mason jar, filling to the brim.
- Place the lids tightly onto the cherry jars and refrigerate them for at least 24 hours before serving. They will taste delicious after 24 hours, but they’ll be even better after a week in the fridge!
Final Thoughts On This Best Bourbon Cherries Recipe
Bourbon Cherries are the BEST! Even if you just want to pop a few in your mouth for a quick snack, they are so delicious and refreshing. Please share this recipe with your friends and family on social media if you find it incredibly delicious!
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