I’ve never met an infused bourbon I didn’t like…
I love cherries. You will see cherry brandy, brandied cherries, and perhaps many other varieties of canned/boozy cherries in my cocktail recipes. When we get to cherry season, I no doubt will have many postings for making your own cocktail cherries. We are many months from cherry season in the Pacific Northwest. In the meantime, dried cherries are just the prescription.
Dried fruits tend to infuse fairly quickly, and leave a thicker feel to the liqueur. This infused so quickly that I ended up adding more bourbon, and after a few more days, the same luscious cherry flavor had taken over.
6 oz dried cherries (we used dried tart cherries that had been sweetened – Mariani brand)
3 c. bourbon
This will taste really good after a few days, even better after a week, and amazing at 2 weeks – if you can wait that long. I haven’t even bothered filtering or straining the cherries out of this. We just started pouring the bourbon off the top.
Cherry bourbon makes amazing cocktails. Recipes will be forthcoming… so go out and get some dried cherries, and make this!
February 12, 2012 at 6:29 pm
Sounds delicious. I think this is one recipe I can try right away. I love my bourbon.
February 12, 2012 at 6:31 pm
It is really good! You’ll love it!
February 12, 2012 at 9:20 pm
hey there, I’m curious to know what kind of cherries did you use?
February 22, 2012 at 8:55 am
Sorry for the misinformation. These were not sweet cherries, they were dried tart red cherries with sugar added. They were the 6 oz pkg of Mariani brand dried cherries.
February 22, 2012 at 11:42 am
oh cool, thanks for letting me know 🙂
February 13, 2012 at 5:18 am
I used a 6 oz pkg of Mariani brand sweet cherries. I don’t know the exact type. But the Mariani brand is what my local store carried in the baking section.
February 13, 2012 at 7:00 pm
I just had a cocktail this weekend with bourbon & cinnamon liqueur. When I recreate that, I might just have to add cherries 🙂 Looks great!
February 13, 2012 at 8:50 pm
April 2, 2012 at 6:21 pm
It looks delicious, but what do you do with the cherries afterwards? do you just pitch them, cook with them, snack on them?
April 2, 2012 at 6:28 pm
Good question… most of the time I just end up tossing whatever is in the infusion. There are a few exceptions… if you have a large piece of vanilla bean, and the vanilla can be scraped from it, you can keep it and use it in something else. I have saved a few fruits from the bourbon infusions, including some dried figs that we chopped and used in a dessert.
But as for these cherries, I still have them in some of the bourbon… I never strained it! The bourbon is getting low and I’ve been trying to decide what to do with them. They are super boozy, but I may try cooking them in some sugar to “candy” them…
April 7, 2012 at 4:48 pm
Candied bourbon cherries sounds pretty good to me, but I don’t know if they’d even last that long.
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October 21, 2012 at 7:39 pm
Im wondering can you use any other liqurs?? like a white rum, or anything else besides burbon? maybe whisky or Scotch?
October 21, 2012 at 8:24 pm
Yes, fresh cherries infuse great in all types of liquor. I adore cherry bourbon, and cherry rum is wonderful. I think whisky or scotch would also be nice. Depending on your taste and the type of liquor, you may want to add a touch of sugar or honey as well.
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December 30, 2012 at 10:32 pm
Ooh, what a fun site! I’m glad to have found you. We make “Manhattan Cherries” which are basically exactly this, plus some sweet vermouth. Sometimes we also add orange peel, a few dashes of orange bitters and maybe a glug of tripple sec or cointreau if we’re feeling sassy. We make this FOR the cherries, which we drop by the skewer into…naturally…Manhattans instead of garnishing with those nasty maraschino cherries. The infused booze syrup is just a happy bonus. Yummy!
January 3, 2013 at 6:27 pm
Your cherries sound delicious! I first started canning so that I could make brandied cherries to go in rye manhattans, and I got hooked! Cheers~
February 6, 2013 at 7:37 am
Do you think this would work with unsweetened, dried, tart cherries?
February 6, 2013 at 9:12 pm
Hi Catherine, this will still taste great with unsweetened, dried, tart cherries. The flavor will just bedifferent, but i think it will be great. After you have infused, if you think the flavor is lacking, you could add a bit of sugar.
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October 5, 2013 at 7:59 pm
I’m making a list of infusions to make for friends and family for Christmas, and this will definitely be on the list! I’m going to include a recipe idea for each variety, so I really appreciste the ideas you include with each recipe 🙂
It’s really hard to narrow down the gift list though – I’m tempted to make a different infusion for each person, which means lots of ingredients to buy but more for me to keep at home too!
October 10, 2013 at 7:41 pm
Thanks! You will have a lot of fun infusing so many different flavors! The cherry bourbon is one of my absolute favorites!
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November 19, 2013 at 12:12 pm
Saw this and had to try it! I put it together yesterday and checked it this morning. While it smells amazing, it is pretty thick. Is that normal or did I add too many dried cherries? Should I wait or go ahead and add more bourbon? Thanks!
December 6, 2013 at 6:22 pm
Hi Amanda, Thanks for your message. Sorry I’m so long in responding! It is hard to say regarding your bourbon infusion because all dried cherries are different. I would say if it is that thick, then it would be fine adding more bourbon. At some point you can just wait and strain and then add more if you think the flavor is too strong. It does turn out to be thicker than regular bourbon, though. (But this flavor is one of my all-time favorites!) I hope you enjoy it. Cheers~
December 6, 2013 at 8:14 pm
Thanks! I added some more bourbon and that did the trick. This turned out so well!
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December 10, 2013 at 7:49 pm
Every christmas my husbands family exchanges gifts that have to be homemade food or beverages. Last year I made Kalua and it was a big hit. This year I made 12 quarts of your cherry bourbon. This starts tasting good right away but by the time I give them as gifts it will be three weeks. I can’t wait, they are gonna love it. I know I already do. Great recipe and really easy to make. Thank you.
December 15, 2013 at 5:04 pm
Wow! 12 quarts of the cherry bourbon! That is a lot… but I have to say, I think you chose the right one! I love that recipe. It is so delicious and so easy. I hope all of those receiving the gift love it as much as I do. Happy Holidays!
January 25, 2014 at 1:44 pm
I made several bottles of this for family members this Christmas – but I added more cherries (about 9-10oz instead of 6oz), a few TBSP of sugar, and I lengthened the infusing time to over a month. I could still really taste the bourbon, but it had a nice, sweet, cherry aftertaste to it. Members of my family who tried it while there drank it on its own on ice and LOVED it. 🙂
January 29, 2014 at 8:12 pm
Thanks Parker, I’m so glad your infusions turned out! Cheers~
January 25, 2014 at 1:50 pm
Oh, also – I was asked how long this would be good by a family member keeping her bottle in the fridge – I told her what you said about your banana bourbon: since it has a high alcohol content, it should keep for a good long time – up to a year or 2. Please let me know if you feel I made an error!
January 29, 2014 at 8:15 pm
The cherry bourbon does keep for quite a while. It is not even necessary to keep in the fridge, but certainly fine to do so. Thanks!
April 3, 2014 at 7:41 pm
Hi Alicia! Thanks so much for these recipes. I’m a bourbon newbie but the idea of coming home and having a bourbon just sounds sexy so I decided to explore. I’m excited to try the cherry and the coffee infusions. I’m sure this is a personal preference, but as a newbie I’m wondering what your favorite bourbons to use are. Thanks!
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August 1, 2015 at 1:45 pm
Hi Alicia! I just happen to come across your blog while surfing the web on how to make home made vanilla extract, and I saw your entry on making alcohol infused cherries….Something that I definitely want to try, lol! Some here earlier asked you what could they do with the cherries that are left after the bourbon was gone or getting low…. As a suggestion, one could use them to make an authentic Black Forrest cake. When I was in culinary school years ago, we made this particular cake using a jar of brandied cherries (very intoxicating, btw) to go between the torted chocolate cake and then frost in whipped cream…It was so DELICIOUS! What I learned then was that was the true/authentic way to make a German Black Forrest cake rather than using the adulterated version of cherry pie filling…Just a little suggestion to throw out there. Alicia, I love this blog and I am so happy that I came across it; It gives a lot of incredible ideas. God bless you and yours!