Canning Boozy Cherries With Alcohol

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canned cherries with brandy or bourbon

Canning Boozy Cherries

If you make a glaze for ham, you will want these spiked cherries with alcohol to have more flavor, you’ll want to can this, to use for the holidays and use some for desserts.  And make this in advance (and date it), because flavor infusion takes 4 weeks. These would make great Christmas gifts for your family and friends. Be responsible when using or consuming this recipe.

If you have frozen cherries in your freezer, get them out and let’s get started making this recipe. They are perfect to use as a cocktail garnish and in recipes. Everything from this recipe can be used to make something wonderful.

Be sure to add this recipe to your favorite canning recipes.

What Makes Them Drunken Cherries?

They are boozy cherries because you are adding alcohol. For this recipe, you can use brandy or bourbon. The sugar dissolves into the water and then heats the cherries. The cherries sit in the liquid and are canned infusing the flavor.

whole cherries in boiling granulated sugar water

Should Fresh Cherries Be Used?

You can use fresh cherries or frozen cherries. Whichever you are using, you want to use sweet cherries. Before you start the recipe, we recommend thawing the cherries, so that you are not waiting a long time for the cherries to simmer on the stove.

Can You Use Maraschino Cherries For This Recipe?

We do not recommend using maraschino cherries or maraschino juice. Per the Ball Canning Book, you need dark sweet cherries.

Do You Use Cherry Juice To Make Boozy Cherries?

No cherry juice is needed. You are using whole pitted cherries. We use Bing cherries and turn them into bourbon cherries.

stirring whole bing cherries in completely melted sugar water mix

What If There Is More Bourbon Syrup Than Cherries?

Grab a jar and can the syrup too. This is liquid gold and can be used to glaze ham, over ice cream, an old fashioned and in baking.

drunken cherries in bourbon

Can I Use This to Make An Old Fashioned?

Definitely. The infused bourbon cherries will add a delicious taste to your drink. Serve with a splash of drunken cherry juice. There are other cocktail recipes you can use the spiked cherries for.

soaked cherries in hot liquid with pint jars to can

Can I Use The Spiked Cherries For Baking?

You can use these cherries to make a delicious drunken chocolate cake (or dark chocolate cake), baked in brownies, cupcakes. The alcohol should cook off. You will want to drain the cherries and use the infused juice for a glaze. Anything chocolate will probably pair well with these drunken cherries.

Consider looking at your favorite cherries recipe and see you can use these boozy cherries in the recipe instead.

ladle with soaked cherries waiting to go in a jar

What Is Used To Make This Drunken Cherries Recipe?

We use dark red cherries, white granulated sugar, water and bourbon (you can also use brandy).

pint jar of cherries with hot liquid

Do You Need To Pit The Cherries?

You need to use washed and pitted cherries.

proper canning techniques are leaving 1/2 in head space on jar of cherries

What If All the Cherries Do Not Fill A Jar?

You can place the leftover cherries in a bag and place in the fridge to enjoy soon, or in the freezer to enjoy later. Be sure to date and label the bag.

placing all the jars on towel

Is This How Cherry Brandy Is Made?

Cherry Brandy is a different recipe. While this could be a start, there are additional ingredients besides what is included in this recipe.

removing jars from water bath canner


canned cherries with brandy or bourbon
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5 from 1 vote

Canning Brandied Cherries

Drunken cherries with alcohol are perfect for baking or making some delicious drinks. You can can and make your own boozy cherries.
Course: Canning
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 pints
Author: Regina Sober


  • 6 pounds dark sweet cherries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 cups brandy


  • Turn on your water bath canner and fill with water to heat up while processing the cherries.
  • Mix together the water, sugar and lemon juice.
  • Place on the stove, cooking on a medium heat.
  • Bring up to a boil.
  • Stir until the sugar dissolves into the water.
  • Reduce heat to a 180F simmer and add the cherries.
  • We want the cherries to simmer and become hot inside and out.
  • Once the cherries are hot, turn off the burner and remove from the heat.
  • Add the bourbon/brandy and stir into the mix.
  • Pack the hot cherries and syrup into hot jars.
  • Leave 1/2" headspace with cherries and syrup in each jar.
  • Remove any bubbles from the jar.
  • Clean the jar rim and place the lid on finger tightening the band.
  • Place the jars into the hot water bath canner and make sure jars are covered by 1 inch of water.
  • Bring the water bath canner to a rolling boil for 10 minutes on medium-high heat.
  • Once this happens, turn off the bath bath canner.
  • Remove the lid from the canner and let the jars sit in the canner for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the jars from the canner and place on the towel.
  • Cover the jars and allow them to cool for 12 hours, covered by the towel.


YouTube video


Test jars to make sure they have sealed.  Remove the bands when storing.
Label and date the jars.
Give the boozy cherries 4 weeks to flavor with the ingredients, then enjoy.

Drunken cherries with alcohol are perfect for baking or making some delicious drinks. You can can and make your own boozy cherries.

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