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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  • Kelly wrote:

    Hmmm I wonder if these would be good covered in chocolate?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      You could certainly try!

  • Barbara Schwartz wrote:

    I chopped them up and put them on vanilla ice cream. This is a great recipe. I’m trying taquilla and crown royal. Hopefully just as good.

  • Dennis wrote:

    Hello, I assume these are good for a long time since they are in the bourbon. Is there a standard use by date. Thanks

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Eaten within a year’s time is probably best.

  • Shelley Bain wrote:

    I went to the liquor store this evening to buy some burbon cherries for a drink I was trying to replicate from a restaurant. The cherries were $18 dollars for a very small jar – so I say “nope” to buying them. I had some frozen cherries that I had put in the freezer last summer, so I decided to give the recipe a try. I must say, it is extremely simple and my cherries look beautiful! I’m certain they will be every bit as good as the $18 jar!

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      That’s so great to hear!!!

  • Mary Beth wrote:

    What kind of bourbon should I use?? My bf loves bourbon, but I don’t drink a ton of it so I don’t want to have a bottle of expensive bourbon just in my house. Any suggestions would be wonderful!!

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I’m not a bourbon drinker either… so I just pick up something kind of middle priced. No suggestion on brand!

  • Paula Woods wrote:

    I love this idea for gifts I will be creating it. I will also try canning since my summer ‘s are spent putting my garden up for the winter. Again thank you

  • nancy wrote:

    I don’t understand how these would still taste like bourbon after being simmered. Is there a pronounced bourbon flavor? thanks in advance.

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      The sugar dissolves rather quickly, so the simmering is just for a couple of minutes. They have a good bourbon flavor!

  • Stephanie Manley wrote:

    I see some cocktails with these being served at my cocktail party!

  • Toni | Boulder Locavore wrote:

    This was really fun to make and so delish!

  • Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes wrote:

    I have some people in my life who would love this as a gift!

  • Brenda wrote:

    THIS is how I love my Old Fashioned!

  • Jennifer Farley wrote:

    Oh YUM! I love these cherries!

  • Liz wrote:

    These were fabulous in an old fashioned! So much better than anything I’ve ever bought!

  • marina wrote:

    Are these still alcoholic or does the simmering remove the alcohol?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      There will still be alcohol in these. They only simmer to dissolve the sugar, so not very long.

  • Catherine wrote:

    I took all the pits out of my cherries and the look like a rough chop. Can I still make this recipe using chopped cherries instead of whole ones.

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      That would be fine- they just won’t be as pretty! Same flavor!

  • Katrina wrote:

    Do you let the syrup cool or pour it over warm?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      You can pour it over warm.

  • Dominique Dekindt wrote:

    I have a cherry tree but the cherries are not sweet even when red and ripe. Do you know what kind of cherries to use for this recipe?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Sweet Bing Cherries!

  • Kathy Glover wrote:

    I was wondering if you could use another form of alcohol such as Rum to use in summer drinks? You can email at my address if you’d like. I love this recipe, sorry just not a whiskey fan. Also feel free to send me the recipe as i found this waiting for my plane in the airport and not sure if I’ll find it again. Thank you, hope to hear from you.

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I haven’t tried rum with the cherries, so I’m not sure!

  • Laura wrote:

    How long should they macerate before you can use them?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      You can begin using them right away!

  • Mary E. Eaton wrote:

    I have been making these for years and there is no need to refrigerate. Alcohol is a preservative and as long as the fruit stays submerged it will be fine stored in a cool dry area.