Honey Bourbon Cocktail Cherries

A true upgrade from your maraschino variety


By Marcia Simmons
This article originally appeared at Drink of the Week

This cocktail cherry recipe will take you about 15 minutes... and I promise you'll like them better than those radioactive-looking "maraschino" cherries most bars and grocery stores stock. (I gave maraschino the sarcastic quotation mark treatment because the neon-red ones that are most common don't even use maraschino liqueur or marasca cherries... just a lot of sugar.)

Aside from garnishing cocktails like Manhattans with these, you can also use them as a dessert topping or just snack on them plain.
I used Wild Turkey American Honey liqueur, but you could also do a mixture of 3 parts bourbon to 1 part honey. Since I was going for a sweet treat, I used Bing cherries. However, if you want a more traditional style of cocktail cherry, use sour cherries. Rainier cherries could be interesting, too. Try it and let us know how it is!

Honey Bourbon Cocktail Cherries

1 cup American Honey liqueur (or 3/4 cup bourbon + 1/4 cup honey)

1 pint Bing cherries, stemmed and pitted

Simmer liqueur in a small pan for five minutes, then add the cherries and reduce heat. Cook for an additional five minutes then remove from heat and let it cool. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for two days before use.

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  • Snooth User: Mundy49
    820775 1

    This sounds great and I plan to make them soon. Great idea for that nagging cough too!!!

    Apr 14, 2011 at 5:14 PM

  • Snooth User: 2shar
    341684 1

    thanks for the 108 duplicate emails you sent to me from 2:52 pm to 3:11 pm. I really think someone had a few too many!

    Apr 14, 2011 at 8:14 PM

  • Snooth User: bbeeler83
    619027 12

    This sounds to good not to try!

    Apr 15, 2011 at 4:13 AM

  • Snooth User: EWhite37
    292074 22

    Sound great... Any idea how long they'll keep in the fridge?

    Apr 15, 2011 at 8:04 AM

  • Snooth User: cmajka
    272535 11

    Here's another post on the topic...


    Sounds delicious!

    Apr 15, 2011 at 10:53 AM

  • Snooth User: Wenter
    745986 4

    Let's see the cherries, and not the jar, please

    Apr 15, 2011 at 1:07 PM

  • Snooth User: LostKat14
    392728 9

    The cherries around me don't look so hot. Can I used thawed frozen ones?

    Apr 15, 2011 at 2:40 PM

  • I think these would be much better made with pie (sour) cherries rather than black cherries (Bing, Black Republican to name a few varieties). Pie cherries generally ripen a little later and are smaller -- but have much more flavor. Take it from a cherry country dweller . . .

    May 10, 2011 at 5:12 PM

  • Snooth User: MixterB
    641574 1

    Does anyone know if the cherries need to be refrigerated as long as the liquor continues to cover them? You might think the alcohol (and sugar?) would be enough of a preservative. BTW, I made this recipe, with the addition of a couple of cardamom pods and a bit of lemon peel - very good.

    Jun 05, 2011 at 11:50 AM

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