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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  • Linda wrote:

    Oh no, no no. This is essentially cherry bounce, an age old recipe in Wisconsin that we make with door county SOUR (hence the sugar) cherries. Don’t cook the booze out. Let it sit for 3 months to meld the flavors…voila, ready to tailgate.

  • Shannon wrote:

    Just made these but won’t taste them until Christmas! I’ll be wrapping them in homemade vanilla fondant and dipping them in chocolate for a remake of my usual Brandied Cherries. I also added cinnamon sticks to the syrup while it simmered and then tucked one in each jar of cherries before adding the syrup. I’m so excited to try these! OH, and I dropped and shattered a bottle of aged whiskey while at the store. Geesh! But it smelled wonderful!

  • Karen wrote:

    I made these today. 2lbs of fresh cherries, pitted with a cool little tool that was a sinch to use, nothing fancy just a simple one, filled 7 4oz squatty mason jars with cherries. I had 3 mid range bourbons that were on the shelf, so i mixed them together to make a “small batch”. Heated 1/2 cup of the bourbon with the sugar to melt the sugar. Then added the remaining bourbon to the syrup. Topped each jar with bourbon mixture & sealed with the caps & rings. They looked great! Stored them in the refrigerator & have plans for Manhattans & Old Fashions for July 4th (maybe sooner!!!) Yum!
    Thank you!!! Great Gifts for special friends

    • Lori Lange wrote:


  • Karen wrote:

    I’m with you Miss Betty! Heat a small amount to just disolve the sugar…yummminess!!!

  • Betty wrote:

    someone mentioned about the alcohol being cooked off, I wonder if you could just heat like 1/2 cup of bourbon with the sugar, then once dissolved add the rest of the alcohol?

  • jess larson | plays well with butter wrote:

    i just came across this recipe on pinterest & i’m sooooo obsessed with this! my hubby LOVES old fashioneds (we’re from wisconsin!) & this will be a perfect last-minute valentine’s day treat!

  • isabelle BL wrote:

    In what kind of drink would you use the bourbon cherries with?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      My husband uses them for Old Fashioned.

  • Angela Mendoza wrote:

    So if we us fresh cherries they you just leave the seed in them or use seedless?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      4 cups fresh sweet cherries, washed, pitted, and stems removed

  • Jessica wrote:

    Doesn’t this cook out the alcohol in the bourbon? 

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Probably not all of it.

  • Lyndsay wrote:

    Just made a bunch of jars of these! During cherry season there are always so many around I run out of ways to eat them but this is perfect! Thanks for a great idea! I don’t think they will last long 🙂 

  • Lisa wrote:

    Hi Lori – What is the wait time before all the boozy syrupy goodness has soaked into the cherries?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      You can actually eat them right away!

  • The Product Poet wrote:

    Hi, Lori. Just made these last night, but cut down the recipe by a third to accommodate a smaller container. They turned out great.

  • marla wrote:

    LOVE these boozy cherries!

  • Kevin Craig wrote:

    Now all we need are some cocktail recipes using the boozy cherries and maybe one for the tipsy pineapple too! 
    Can’t wait to try!

  • Jamie | My Baking Addiction wrote:

    These look soooo good, Lori! Love!

  • Lisa @ Healthy Nibbles & Bits wrote:

    These are so perfect as a garnish for cocktails! I also love that these will stay good for a whole year! It would make a great gift for my family in the UK because they don’t get as many cherries as we do here in California. Thank you so much for linking to my vodka melon balls!

  • nadine wrote:

    Would it work if I pitted the cherries?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      yep, you definitely need to pit the cherries!

  • Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness wrote:

    3 ingredients, and one is bourbon? That is DEFINITELY what I want to be munching during the mid-week slump. I just bought a bunch of cherries, so I know what I am doing today! Pinned!

  • Noreen Thompson wrote:

    I will be going to the store for some bourbon today! Can’t wait to try these.

  • Kate @ Framed Cooks wrote:

    Oh, these will never make it to a glass as a garnish – I will be eating ALL of them before they make it that far!