These Bourbon Cherries are the most delicious way to garnish your cocktails. They're boozy and sweet, and very easy to make. Homemade cocktail cherries are an excellent addition to your home bar. They give an extra special touch to any drink that you're sure to enjoy and will impress your guests.
🌟 Why You'll Love This Recipe
They are easy to make. The hardest part of making this recipe is pitting some cherries. And you can totally do that.
They are sweet and delicious. You'll find it difficult to stop eating these cherries!
Your drinks deserve pretty and tasty garnishes. A really great garnish puts even the most basic cocktail over the top. They're perfect in a Maple Old Fashioned.
💭 What are Bourbon Cherries?
Bourbon Cherries are a particularly delicious version of cocktail cherries. They're cooked and stored in a sweet, syrupy mixture of bourbon, sugar, and other spices. While cherries are really tasty on their own, these bourbon cherries take on the flavors of all of the ingredients that they're simmered and stored in.
They make a really excellent cocktail garnish, and can also be eaten over ice cream or on top of other desserts! I should also mention that they're pretty tasty when eaten on their own, too.
You're only a few good ingredients away from having a big jar full of sweet, homemade cocktail cherries in your fridge. See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
- Sugar. I used turbinado sugar, which is a chunky kind of sugar that has molasses in it. The molasses gives it a caramel-y flavor and brown color.
- Vanilla extract. Just a bit of good quality vanilla.
- Orange liqueur. You can use whatever orange liqueur that you like; I just happen to have inexpensive triple sec in my liquor cabinet.
- Bourbon. Use whatever you prefer. No need to use something too high quality, but you want to use something that you like to drink, because the cherries will taste like that bourbon.
- Cherries. I prefer to use fresh cherries, but you could also use frozen ones.
- Cinnamon stick. I forgot to include this in the photo!
🔀 Variations or Substitutions
- Use a different kind of sugar. I like turbinado sugar for this recipe because of the caramel-y flavor that it has, but you can use whatever kind of sugar that you'd like: white, brown, etc.
- Use frozen cherries instead of fresh. I haven't specifically tested this recipe using frozen cherries, but people who have made my Luxardo Cherries have used frozen ones and they've turned out well.
- Use your favorite bourbon. You see Maker's Mark in my photos, but use whatever bourbon floats your boat!
👩🏻🍳 Step By Step Instructions
❓ Recipe FAQs
I used sweet red cherries, but you can also feel free to play around with things a little. A more tart cherry would also be nice here, as the syrup is pretty sweet. Though I haven't specifically tested this recipe with frozen cherries, you can also use frozen cherries if you prefer.
If stored in an airtight container in the fridge (I like to use a mason jar), they should last about 6 months. That is, if you don't eat all of them by then.
🔗 More drink garnishes
Want more recipes for drink garnishes? Click any of the photos below to go straight to the recipes.
I'd love to know what you thought of this recipe! Don't forget to leave a comment and ⭐️ star rating below!
- 0.5 cup turbinado sugar see notes
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 ounce triple sec or other orange liqueur
- 1.5 cups bourbon
- 1 pound cherries stemmed and pitted
- Add the sugar, salt, cinnamon stick, vanilla, triple sec, and bourbon to a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
- Over medium heat, bring the contents of the saucepan to a simmer. Whisk occasionally to dissolve the sugar into the liquid.
- Once the liquid is simmering, add the cherries to the saucepan. Simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Remove the cinnamon stick, turn off the heat, and allow the cherries and liquid to cool.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
- You could use another sugar instead of turbinado, such as brown or demerara. Even white granulated sugar can be used in a pinch.
- Use whatever brand of bourbon that you prefer.
- When stored in the fridge in an airtight container, these cherries should keep for about 6 months.
Disclaimer: Nutritional information is a generated estimate and is not guaranteed to be accurate.