Re-ignite the summer feeling once the weather cools by keeping a jar of Cinnamon Bourbon Cherries on standby. These cherries will liven up dessert, garnish your weekend cocktail or make the perfect edible gift.
Prepare yourself. I’m about to start declaring my undying love for cherries again.
When a love is so deep and pure as the love I have for fresh, ripe, dark & beautiful cherries, I find it hard to accept that they are in season for just 6 weeks of the year. Yes – just 6 weeks.
It’s just not fair.
Fortunately for me, my local farmshop does stock frozen cherries year-round. And I do regularly use them in smoothies and compotes. But when cherry season hits, I do like to make something with the fresh produce so that I can dive into it when the weather turns chilly in the autumn. My obvious salvation is cherry jam, but this year I’ve also put aside a jar of Cinnamon Bourbon Cherries.
How to Make Spiced Bourbon Cherries
These cinnamon bourbon cherries are as straightforward and alcoholic as they sound: fresh, pitted cherries are cooked briefly in sweetened bourbon and gently infused with cinnamon spice.
Honestly, follow these easy steps and you’ll have a jar in no time:
- Put the sugar and cinnamon into a small saucepan and pour the Bourbon over it. Gently heat to dissolve the sugar then bring up to hot but not boiling
- Add the pitted cherries and cook for 5 minutes
- Take off the heat and transfer the cherries to a sterilised jar, wedging the cinnamon into the middle as you fill it
- Ensure that the cherries are well packed and fill the jar to the top with the bourbon syrup, making sure that all of the cherries are completely submerged
- Seal and leave to cool down then store in the fridge
When treats like these spiced bourbon cherries are this simple to make, I say life is sweet.
If you are planning on using the cherries purely to garnish cocktails, feel free to omit the cinnamon to make the flavour more universal.
How to Remove Cherry Stones without a Pitter
If you don’t happen to own a cherry pitter, fear not. The Flavor Bender has an innovative way to remove those pesky cherry stones using a piping nozzle (and a divine recipe for Kahlua Cherry Ice Cream – sigh, sigh, sigh). Hop over to see what Dini does.
Once bottled these Cinnamon Bourbon Cherries will keep for several months, making them the perfect late autumn treat or edible gift.
Bonus: the flavour of these cherries will keep on developing the longer they are left.
Spiced bourbon cherries don’t need much in the way of company
(just me and a spoon). A slice of plain cake to soak up that intoxicating liquid and a little splodge of cream will set your dessert repertoire on fire.
It feels good to know that I have my secret love tenderly tucked away in a little jar ready for the autumn. And with a pot of Amaretto Pears also sitting primly in my fridge, I feel I’m doing fruit justice right now. Of course, my mind is now in overdrive concocting more fruit-alcohol marriages to make before the summer is out. If you have a good combination, let me know – I have plenty more jars to fill.
Have you made these cinnamon bourbon cherries? Let me see by tagging #littlesugarsnaps on Instagram when you upload your picture.
More cherry recipes:
- Cherry & Goats Cheese Salad with Honey & Thyme Dressing
- Small Batch Amaretto Cherry Jam
- Mango & Cherry Popsicles
- Gluten Free Cherry Almond Traybake with Roasted Cherries
- Balsamic Roasted Cherries
Cinnamon Bourbon Cherries
- 300 g/ 1 ⅓ cup Fresh cherres
- 240 ml/ 1 cup Bourbon
- 60 g/ ¼ cup White sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick (about 10cm/ 4 inches in length) – optional
- Pit the cherries
- Put the sugar and cinnamon into a small saucepan and pour the Bourbon over it. Gently heat to dissolve the sugar then bring up to almost boiling
- Add the cherries and cook for 5 minutes. take off the heat
- Transfer the cherries to a sterilised jar, wedging the cinnamon into the middle as you fill it. Ensure that the cherries are well packed and fill to the top with the bourbon syrup. Ensure that all of the cherries are completely submerged. Seal and leave to cool down
- Store in the fridge – they will keep for several months
- If you have plenty of liquid left once the jar has been filled, return the liquid to the heat and boil until reduced by half. Allow to cool then use the syrup to top vanilla ice cream
I totally get that fresh cherries would be best. However I was Thinking of making these for some Christmas gifts so I’d need to make them in December (when fresh cherries are not in season). Have you ever tried making these with frozen bing cherries that are thawed?
Hi Valerie. I’m afraid I’ve only ever tried this recipe with fresh cherries, so I can’t say how using frozen would work out. If you try it with frozen, let me know how it goes.
Hi Jane–After these are made, I want to give them out as gifts. That’s make refrigeration difficult–can you store them at room temperate until they are opened or must they constantly be chilled? Thanks so much for sharing this!
Hi Meredith. Thanks for getting in touch and I hope your recipients enjoy these cherries. I’d say it would be fine for them to be out of the fridge for a short time but anything longer than a day I would be wary – they don’t contain any preservative and are not canned, so I’m not convinced keeping them out of the fridge for a long period would be a good idea. I know that some things deteriorate more quickly than others when out of the fridge and since the ingredients here are expensive, I would be cautious.
Is there any reason I could not can these cherries to save as a Christmas gift?
Hi Suzie, I’ve not tried canning them and I’m no expert in that field. My suggestion would be to test out whether it works on a small batch first, perhaps opening after a few weeks to check the taste is still good. If you go ahead I’d love to know how you get along.
Well.. Sounds delicious ? but alcohol evaporates when boiled. So I can’t imagine it being very boozy. Does that do anything for how long it can be preserved? Maybe it shortens the time?
Anyhow!! I need to try this 🙂 thinking of baking the cherries before maybe.
Hey there Daniella. You’re right, boiling does kill off the alcohol. My recipe requires the liquid to be heated until hot but not boiling. Using this technique certainly does allow a nice kick of bourbon to come through. These cherries are not canned so cannot be kept forever, but they do keep well for a month or two if refrigerated. You’ll have to let me know how baking the cherries works out – I’ve not tried that technique.
Jane, these sound wonderful. This is my first visit to your place and I am hooked! I have been an incredibly boring and safe (and alcohol free!) cook for most of my considerable years but have, this afternoon, embarked upon a determined mission to find a recipe for the dozen or so mini-pears I bought from Marks & Spencer and whether I could successfully marry them to the bottle of Kirsch my grand-daughter persuaded me to buy this afternoon. I now think I am going back out shopping tomorrow to add a bottle of Amaretto, star anise, vanilla pods and cherries to the toy cupboard and I’m inclined to see if the Kirsch and/or Amaretto might be pursuaded to cement a loving relationship between the pears and cherries. Who knows? After 55 years tee-total, I doubt I’ll be able to tell you a thing after the first taste!
Hi Debbie. Thankyou so much for your comment and welcome to my part of the online cookery world. I’m so happy I’ve inspired you to try out my boozy fruits. I so hope you enjoy the flavour after so long without alcohol – I’d say your choice of Amaretto is a good place to start since it’s sweet, almondy and cosy. I might have to wander on down to M&S to find some mini pears for myself – I never like to miss out 🙂
Meghan | Fox and Briar
I so hope I can find cherries at the market tomorrow! I really want to make these!
This is a seriously gorgeous drink….I love summer cherries because they are so sweet and juicy. I bet that flavor really pairs well with the bourbon.
You’re spot on Sandi. And if you don’t fancy drinking the cherry-bourbon liquid as it is you can reduce it down into a syrup for ice-cream. Just saying….
Lynn | The Road to Honey
Oh Jane. . .I am a pure cinnamon addict. . .and a pure cherry addict. . .so you know I am going bonkers over these ruby colored beauties. Now you have me thinking thatI should try to scrounge up the last of the season’s cherries & squirrel them away so that I can bake a nice boozy cake crowned with these lovelies when the winter blues strike.
We are sounding more and more ridiculously like-minded every day. That cake – are you thinking chocolate? Because, chocolate, cherries, cinnamon and bourbon….
These sound absolutely wonderful! The combination of flavors sounds like perfection!
thanks Miranda. Treat yourself to a batch.
Demeter | Beaming Baker
Just when I thought your amaretto pears could not be topped, you come out with cinnamon bourbon cherries. Oh Jane… I could happily daydream about your scrumptious recipes all day. 😉 6 weeks: Dang!! Makes you appreciate them even more, right? Can’t wait for more fruit-alcohol marriages! Life is definitely sweet with these. 🙂
Thanks Demeter – you’ve made my day. 🙂 🙂 🙂