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



Chocolate Covered Candied Bourbon Cherries

Are you sick of me posting about cherries yet? I figured it has been long enough since the last cherry cocktail that I could revisit one of my favorite fruits.

When we make a liqueur or infusion, we occasionally get questions about what to do with the “boozed” substance that is left behind after making an infusion. Jim from 2012 Will Be Delicious! said that he made the Oatmeal and Brown Sugar Booze and later ate the oats as a “hangover cure” breakfast. Sounds interesting!

I hate to admit to waste, but I nearly always toss out the ingredient after it has infused the alcohol. Usually the ingredient has become overwhelmingly boozy, with almost no flavor left behind. I often save vanilla beans from infusions, and we have scraped what was left in the pod to use in something else. I have a bag of cinnamon/vanilla/bourbon soaked apples in my freezer with the intent of using them in a boozy pie… but I don’t know if that will ever happen. We did use some bourbon soaked figs in a baked English Toffee Pudding (in place of chopped dates).

With the Cherry Bourbon, someone asked what I was going to do with the dried cherries after I filtered all of the bourbon out. Well, we candied them and covered them in chocolate!

Step 1: Candied Cherries

1 1/2 c. Bourbon soaked Cherries (from the Cherry Bourbon)

1/2 c. sugar

1/4 c. Cherry Juice (the one we used was called “Just Black Cherry”)

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring often. Simmer on low until almost all of the liquid is gone (ours took about 20 min.).

Spread them out on parchment paper or a silicone pan liner. I spread them out individually so they wouldn’t clump together. Alternatively, you could press them into a layer in a baking dish and cut into squares or use in a cookie bar, etc. These are super sticky and chewy, but very tasty.

Allow to cool. We kept them on wax paper, and placed them in the refrigerator until we were ready to use. (And by ready to use, I mean ready to coat with chocolate!)

Step 2: Cover with Chocolate

I followed the recipe from Oh She Glows for 3 Ingredient Chocolate Covered Raisins, substituting the Candied Cherries.

1 1/2 c. Candied Cherries

1/4 c. Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips

1/2 TB Coconut Oil

Place chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave safe dish. Microwave on high for approximately 1 minute. Stir to incorporate all the chocolate, ensuring all the chips are melted. Mix in the cherries, about 1/4 cup at a time. Spread out onto parchment paper or wax paper, and place in freezer to harden. Once the chocolate has dried, remove from freezer and break up the fruit. Delicious!

Have any of you saved the “boozed” ingredients from your infusions? What have you made with them?


Black Forest Cocktail

What happens when boozy cherries, cherry bourbon, chocolate bourbon and coconut liqueur get together? Deliciousness! That’s what happens.

It may not look pretty, but it is freaking awesome!

We present to you the Black Forest Cocktail (serves 2)

3 oz Chocolate Bourbon

2 oz Cherry Bourbon

2 oz Coconut liqueur

2 oz boozy cherry syrup (from creme de cocoa cherries, brandied cherries, etc.)

4 Creme de cocoa or brandied cherries

Muddle 2 cherries in the bottom of each glass. Combine all liquid ingredients in a shaker or glass, add ice and stir until well chilled. Strain into glasses over the muddled cherries.

The boozy cherry syrup is a simple syrup that is infused with a spirit of your choice and fresh cherries. We will (at some point… probably cherry season) post our boozy cherry recipes. But we have cocktails to make and booze to infuse… please be patient.

This cocktail used a lot of the flavors that we have shown you over the last few months. If you don’t have all of them, I’m sure you can figure out some substitutions. Coconut liqueur is a pretty easy one to figure out, as is the cherry bourbon. If you don’t have the Chocolate Bourbon… please make it ASAP!

Enjoy the weekend… we are!


Chocolate Infused Cherry Cocktail

My love of cherries has been no secret. The pale beauties in this drink come from the preserved cherries we made last summer. They feature the Queen Anne or Royal Anne cherries. The flavor of the Royal Anne cherry is very delicate. They might just be my favorite cherry.

We preserved the Royal Anne cherries in a variety of sugary/boozy mixtures. One of which was a simple syrup with Creme de Cacao. It gave just a hint of chocolate flavor to the sweet cherries.

I like chocolate martinis, but typically the clear variety. I much prefer it to the thick, creamy, syrupy versions. My chocolate martini consists of equal parts vanilla vodka and white creme de cacao. So for this drink, we added a hint of cherry.

Chocolate Infused Cherry Cocktail

1 oz Vanilla Vodka

1 oz White Creme de Cacao

1 oz Cherry Bourbon or Cherry Brandy

Creme de Cacao infused preserved cherries (or brandied cherries)

Shake all ingredients with ice, and pour into chilled or frosted martini glasses. Garnish with Creme de Cacao infused cherries.

Of course this would be delicious with brandied cherries instead of the Creme de Cacao cherries. And any cherry brandy or cherry liqueur would work well in place of the cherry bourbon. This gives a nice light mix of cherry and chocolate without either flavor overpowering.



Cherry Bomb!

If you haven’t yet made the Cherry Bourbon, you will want to for this cocktail!

Cherry Bomb Cocktail (makes 2)

3 oz Cherry Bourbon

1 oz Cherry Juice (you can find in the health food/organic section of the grocery store – called Just Black Cherry)

1 oz fresh squeezed Lemon Juice

1 oz Creme de Cacao

Brandied Cherry – for garnish

Combine all but the brandied cherry in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into chilled cocktail glasses. Garnish with brandied cherry.

I really don’t mean to call every cocktail my “new favorite”. But seriously, this is SO good! If you have even remotely considered making the cherry bourbon recipe, I would highly recommend it.


Related Posts:

Cherry Bourbon (with dried cherries)

Fresh Cherry Bourbon


Cherry Bourbon

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.

Cherry Bourbon

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!

Related Posts:

Fresh Cherry Bourbon

Cherry Bomb Cocktail