Years of travelling has taught us that fresh, local ingredients make everything taste better. This includes cocktails. And, all good cocktails (and ice cream) should have good cherries. This bourbon cocktail cherries recipe was inspired by some of the great cocktail bars that we have visited over the years. This is a upgrade for store bought Maraschino cherries. How impressed will your friends and family be next time you invite them over and serve them a sundae or a cocktail with a delicious cherry on top?
Keep in mind that you can use any of your favorite alcohol as a substitute for Bourbon. We sometimes make these with rum, or even a flavored vodka. The method described below will leave alcohol in the jars, keeping them preserved longer.
Bourbon Cocktail Cherries
- 1 pound fresh local cherries pitted and stems removed
- 1 cup Water
- 1 cup honey or other sweetener of your choice
- 1 tbs vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean pod
- 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- 1 strip of orange peel or a few dashes of Orange Bitters
- Bourbon Can use Rum, Brandy or Whiskey
- Place the pitted cherries in two clean pint-sized mason jars, or into several smaller mason jars. You want the jars to be filled loosely, almost to the top.
- Combine the water, honey, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon stick and orange peel in a medium saucepan.
- Gently stir and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- Reduce to low heat and continue to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add 3 to 4 oz of Bourbon to each jar. If you are using smaller jars, use the same ratio per volume.
- Remove the liquid from the heat. Pour the mixture gently over the cherries until covered.
- Seal the jars, gently shake to mix the bourbon and let cool to room temperature. Once cooled, place in the fridge for at least 3 days before using.
- These cherries will last 2 to 3 months.