Boozed + Infused

Infusing liqueurs at home with inspiring and seasonal ingredients

Fresh Cherry Bourbon


I love cherries! Last winter, since cherries were not in season, we made a Cherry Bourbon with dried cherries. The dried cherries we used were tart cherries that had been sweetened with sugar.

Typically, every summer I preserve cherries for cocktails; brandied cherries, amaretto cherries, spiced brandied cherries, creme de cacao cherries, and much more. In truth, many of these end up on ice-cream, but making a good brandied cherry was the inspiration behind my canning addiction.

Last year, we went a bit overboard, picking 24 pounds of cherries. In addition to our usual boozy cherries, we made a steeped cherry bounce, cherry brandy, cherry jam, and chutney. This year we needed a little break from canning cherries. We still have a few jars from last year to keep our cocktails garnished for a while.

This year, I took the easy route. I picked up a bag of mixed sweet cherries at the farmers market and made only a simple, fresh cherry bourbon.

Fresh Cherry Bourbon

2 heaping cups of fresh cherries
2 c. Bourbon

Score each cherry with a knife, piercing through the flesh. No need to pit them.

Combine the scored cherries and bourbon in a quart jar, and allow to infuse for 2-4 weeks, or until it reaches your desired taste. We infused ours for 2 months and it tastes great. At this point you could strain the infusion, or simply use the cherries in cocktails as you use up the bourbon. (These cherries will be much boozier than our typical brandied cherries which use a simple syrup with liquor added, but will be much better than a lot of the cherries you get at the store.)

This fresh cherry bourbon has a much fresher, cleaner, and light taste than the dried cherry bourbon that we made last winter. I think I actually prefer the dried cherries, but both are delicious and will work well for different cocktails.

How do you prefer your cherry bourbon?

Fresh Cherry Bourbon after infusing for two months


Boozy Cherries from 2011


Author: Alicia

Infusing at home with inspiring and seasonal ingredients. Join us in making delicious cordials, liqueurs, boozy fruits and cocktails.

42 thoughts on “Fresh Cherry Bourbon

  1. Pingback: Cherry Bourbon « Boozed + Infused

  2. Pingback: Cherry Bomb! « Boozed + Infused

  3. I can imagine how potent those cherries will be – delicious! Really nice pic of the stack of boozy cherries too – such rich colours.

    • Thank you! Yes, we got such a nice variety of cherries. There are some really great places to pick them around here. The Royal Anne are my favorite (and make a WONDERFUL infused brandy!)

  4. Yum! I wish we had cherries like that here.

  5. I just love cherries! This sounds wonderful and I imagine that your bourbon cherries are fantastic on ice cream, in crepes, Ooohh….Cherries Jubilee! it all sounds wonderful!

  6. Great photo! Something comforting about a wall of fruit and booze…;-)

  7. Great pictures!

    I love cherries but I am not much of a bourbon drinker… single malt scotch for this girl, or vodka. I wonder how cherry vodka would be?


    Thank you for visiting my blog.

    Veronica Marie

  8. Reblogged this on Veronica The Pajama Thief and commented:
    I know some of my friends are bourbon drinkers… this should interest you. I just might have to try my hand at making some cherry vodka!

  9. Yum! I know this is one I am going to have to try out. It may be a bit too late for cherries this year, but next summer for sure! I love the idea of using the cherries in cocktails. So much better than an electric-red maraschino cherry.

  10. Looks great! Do you store them in the fridge or in the pantry while they are fermenting?

  11. I love your photo of the boozy cherries! What a horrible problem, to have such a bounty lol
    Pretty sure this cherry bourbon would be insane in a Manhattan. …and I’m craving a Manhattan now, so thanks. 😉

  12. yum sounds delicious and very festive for the holidays ~ love the new blog design btw!

  13. The part about preserving the cherries really interested me, particularly the creme de cacao cherries. Is this just like an infusion, but letting the cherries sit in creme de cacao?

    • There are some people that use the cherries that are in the straight liquor, but I prefer them toned down with simple syrup. For the boozy cherries I make, I start by making a simple syrup. Then I add the spirit of choice (brandy, creme de cacao, amaretto, etc.) with some flavors I will also add some lemon zest or orange zest, but with creme de cacao I wouldn’t add any other ingredients. I would only add about 1/4 or 1/3 as much alcohol as simple syrup. I typically preserve them in a water bath canner. If you don’t want to go to that trouble, I would recommend simmering the cherries in the simple syrup for about 60 seconds. If you are not pitting your cherries, prick them with a fork or sterilized pin before adding to the syrup. Pour them into a large sterilized jar, and add the alcohol. After it cools, keep the jar in the refrigerator. Allow the cherries to infuse for a few weeks before you start to eat them. If you keep them in the refrigerator they should probably be ok for a couple of months thanks to the alcohol and syrup.

      Look online for recipes for brandies cherries and substitute creme de cacao.

  14. Hi I stumbled across your website whilst looking for inspiration and certainly found it! Ive started off a cherry brandy with fresh cherries. Where do you recommend storing it to infuse – cold or warm? Light or dark?

    • Hi Kirsty, thanks for your message. We are so glad you found us! Generally speaking you want to keep the infusions in a cool, dark location. That does not mean refrigerated – you can just place it in the back of a closet or cupboard. I adore cherry brandy. I think you will love it! After it has infused, feel free to add some simple syrup if you would like it to be sweeter. Cheers~

      • We’re in the middle of a heatwave in the UK so finding somewhere cool may be easier said than done! The brandy is for a festival we’re going to next month – hope 4 weeks will be long enough!!

      • Don’t stress about the temperature of the infusion. It will be fine at room temp. And 4 weeks should be fine.

  15. Great, thanks!

  16. Pingback: Cherry Bourbon | The endless British pub crawl

  17. You’re hints are always the best starting point. Here’s an account of a very successful batch:

  18. We placed fresh bings in brandy approximately 7 yrs ago. They’ve never been opened. Would they still be good?

    • Interesting… they may be. It would likely have to do with the overall alcohol content of the product. What was the original alcohol content of the brandy? (I’m guessing a typical 80 proof?) How much brandy was used and how much of the cherries were used? If the amount of alcohol was greater than the amount of cherries, then the overall alcohol content of the combination would be fairly high, and could possibly still be ok. If the alcohol content is more than the cherries, and the only ingredients were cherries and alcohol then you may be safe, but it is really hard to say. There are a lot of unknowns for me to say if this would still be good. Sorry I can’t give you a better answer.

  19. I heard it’s dangerous to make infused vodka with the pits still in the cherry?? Is this thecase?

  20. I’m looking to do an infusion for my wedding in the fall. We are serving home brewed beer courtesy of my Pops (IPA, Amber, and Stout) and a cranberry/lime vodka infusion. I want to find a burbon infusion that can work when sipped by itself over ice or when mixed with a splash of soda (a low maintenance cocktail for no-experience “bartenders”). What do you think of adding some orange rind to this? I’m open to all and any ideas and I’m SO thankful I found your website!

  21. I would love to try this recipe as I don’t eat sugar. I also don’t sterilize or do canning. Do you sterilize the jar?

    • You should be ok with a jar that has been washed with hot soapy water, and dried thoroughly. The alcohol content is high, so sterilization isn’t as crucial

  22. This looks great! Have you tried using frozen cherries?

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