Boozy Bourbon Cherries

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Boozy Bourbon Cherries are a great gift for cocktail lovers, and they’re also nice for having on hand to add to cocktails too. Check out the short video below showing you how to make this recipe, then scroll to the bottom of this post and print out the recipe so you can make these at home.

Boozy Bourbon Cherries

Bourbon Cherries

I have had this Bourbon Cherries recipe bookmarked in The Family Calendar Cookbook for several months now.  I knew it was something I’d want to make in the summer… when cherries are affordable and plentiful and delicious!  My husband enjoys making the occasional Manhattan or Old Fashioned, and he was very excited to learn of my plans to make some homemade boozy bourbon cherries!

Making Boozy Bourbon Cherries

The recipe is so simple, and it has just three ingredients (bourbon, sugar and cherries).  I opted to use an average priced bourbon since these are mostly going to be used as cocktail garnishes.  It’s a fun recipe to make.  And I’m excited to gift one of my two jars to our next door neighbor.  What a fun surprise for a summery gift, right?

What kind of bourbon is recommended to make Bourbon Cherries?

You can use any brand of bourbon you’d like for this recipe.  Since it calls for 3 1/2 cups, I wouldn’t recommend using anything all that expensive unless it’s super important to you that the flavor of a particular bourbon comes through.  If you’re a fan of bourbon, check out my Maple Bourbon Burger with Bacon Mustard Sauce or my Bacon Bourbon Chocolate Chunk Cookies.

jar of Boozy Bourbon Cherries

There’s no canning experience needed with this recipe.  You simple pour the sugary bourbon syrup into the jar with fresh cherries and keep them refrigerated as you use them.  And you can keep them refrigerated and use them a little at a time for up to one year!

Can you use frozen cherries to make Bourbon Cherries?

I have not personally tried using frozen cherries, but some of my readers have made this Bourbon Cherries recipe using frozen cherries.  If you are not using frozen “sweet” cherries (and they’re more of the sour variety), then you may wish to add a little more sugar to the recipe.

Can Bourbon Cherries be canned?

If you choose to using a traditional canning method to make these cherries, I think that might be totally fine.  If you’re experienced with canning fruits, just go with your gut on this.  I’m not trained in how to properly can things, so I can’t offer much advice here.

Boozy Bourbon Cherries

They make an awfully pretty garnish for cocktails!  You can snack on a couple here and there too and I won’t tell anyone 🙂

What cocktails would be good for garnishing with Bourbon Cherries?

Use Bourbon Cherries in a Manhattan or a Cherry Bourbon Smash.  You may have some additional ideas for cocktails that might be good with a Bourbon Cherry garnish.  Or just nibble them on them on their own!

jar of Boozy Bourbon Cherries

Boozy bourbon cherries ::  Make some and impress your friends with this super simple recipe!

Boozy Bourbon Cherries

Here are a few more boozy fruit recipes you might enjoy:

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5 from 11 votes

Boozy Bourbon Cherries

These Bourbon Cherries are perfect for gifting or adding to cocktails.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 27 servings (3 cherries
Calories 103kcal
Course Condiments
Cuisine American
Keyword bourbon cherries


  • cups bourbon
  • 2/3 cups granulated white sugar
  • 4 cups fresh sweet cherries (washed, pitted & stems removed)


  • In a medium saucepan, bring the bourbon and sugar to a simmer over low heat. Simmer and stir until the sugar dissolves, then turn off the heat and let sit for at least 15 minutes.
  • Pack your cherries into two 25-ounce jars (or three smaller ones). Snuggle them into the jars nice and tight without smashing the cherries. Pour the syrup over the cherries in each jar until it covers the fruit completely. If you have any leftover syrup, you can use it to make a cocktail!
  • Place the lids on tight and store the cherries in the refrigerator. They should be used within one year.



  • Weight Watchers Freestyle SmartPoints per serving of 3 cherries: 4
  • *As the cherries macerate in the bourbon syrup, they will shrink in size.  This is normal and they will still taste delicious!


Serving: 1serving (3 cherries) | Calories: 103kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 0g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 0mg | Potassium: 45mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 15IU | Vitamin C: 1.4mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 0.1mg
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Lori Lange of Recipe Girl

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  • Yvonne wrote:

    Question. Can I make this recipe with Trader Joe Frozen cherries? Cherries are out of season and I wanted to make this for Christmas gifts. Your thoughts please.

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I haven’t tried this myself, but I believe others might have. It’s worth a shot!

  • Lisa wrote:

    Sounds like these would be an awesome cheesecake topping.

  • Connie wrote:

    Would these work as a cherry pie filling?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Interesting question- I have no idea!

  • Susan wrote:

    Could you use frozen cherries instead of fresh?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      You can try!

  • Arlene Stillmn wrote:

    Wondering how long I can start using the cherries.
    Years ago I had some cherry soup and it was delicious. You have a recipe for cherry soup?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      No cherry soup recipe, but you can start eating the bourbon cherries right away!

  • Mary Ann Guggemos wrote:

    I don’t understand why all the fuss over cooking, the various ingredients, etc. My family has been making these since I was a little girl and all we ever did was wash the cherries, leaving the stems on. Gently dry on a towel then place them in glass jars. Fill jars with cherry brandy and place lid on tight. Store on a shelf for a couple of months to allow the cherries to absorb the brandy then enjoy as a garnish for drinks, using the stem to hold them. They were also placed, as is, in shot glasses with a bit of the brandy as a holiday toast.

  • David K wrote:

    Just made these… Slight modification by adding twice the sugar and 3TBS of whole cloves. These are gonna be so good!

  • Nick wrote:

    Do they firm up in the cold liquid? How vigilant should one be to keep them submerged? How do you know if they’ve gone bad?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Firm? I don’t think the texture changes. You can use them a little at a time for up to a year.

  • Sarah wrote:

    I don’t want to wait a year to open the jar of cherries. Can I just open them after a month ? Or less?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      You can eat the cherries right away… use them within a year’s time 🙂

  • Denise wrote:

    I wondered if you could cover them with a dark chocolate? If so, how could they be stored?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Oh gosh, I have never thought of doing that. I have no idea!

  • Lee Schultz wrote:

    Can you use bing cherries for this recipe?

    • Lori Lange wrote:


  • J wrote:

    Can I leave the stems and seeds on the cheeries?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I guess so?

  • Eva Parker wrote:

    Could you use honey instead of sugar?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I have not tried using honey.