The sultry Manhattan and the classic Old Fashioned are two of my all time favourite cocktails. But, the neon red, sickly sweet maraschino cherry has had some bad press lately, and I can understand why when you look at the ingredients on the back of the jar. Thankfully, it is cherry season in the Okanagan, so it’s time to make my famous Booze Infused Cherries.
The internet is riddled with recipes that I’ve tried over the years. Some have worked out okay, others not so much (and you wonder how hard could it really be to come up with a basic recipe for infused cherries…). So, I’ve mixed and matched a few recipes and through trial and error have come up with this super easy, fail-proof recipe.
Glass Jars – I used 3 250ml jars, but 2 500ml jars will work, just add an extra cup of cherries
3 Cups of Pitted Cherries. Fresh, tangy cherries work best, but you can use frozen, too! Just thaw them first.
2 cups booze. I used bourbon, but rum, whiskey & brandy work great, too! Just make sure it’s something you’d actually drink.
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar.
Optional: Vanilla or a piece of orange rind to kick it up a notch.
1. Sterilize Jars in Dishwasher on Sanitize cycle.
2. Fill the jars with cherries. Don’t be afraid to pack ’em in! Just leave at least 1/2 inch of head space.
3. Heat up the booze in the microwave for 90 seconds. You can also bring it to a light simmer over the stove. Don’t let it boil or you’ll lose to booziness!
4. Stir in the sugar until it has fully dissolved. If it’s not dissolving properly, put the whole thing back in the microwave for 30-40 more seconds, just watch it closely.
5. Pour over the cherries. Make sure they are fully covered. Leave at least 1/4 inch head space.
6. (Optional but highly recommended) Add a flavour infusion! I love vanilla in mine especially since I like using an earl grey tea ice cube in my old fashioned. It goes SO WELL!!!!
7. Store them in the fridge. Wait at least 48 hours, but 2 weeks is usually the sweet spot. As long as they are kept in the fridge they can last 2-3 months…if you haven’t eaten them all by then!
We hope you enjoy our booze infused cocktail cherries, we certainly do!