I started out this recipe with the intention of making those cute little cocktail bourbon cherries that you can grab for craft cocktails for $15 a jar. Whoa! But quickly turned into an even better and more delicious craft cocktail treat... cherry bourbon. I am soooo not sorry for the little turn we took in this recipe.
I am always looking for any which way to use this beautiful fruit while it is in season. The cherries are sweet, beautiful, and plump. Yum! However, if you haven't ever pitted cherries, you are in for a surprise. Be sure to get your kids involved, with aprons on for sure! It is a messy process and will leave some of your table, bowls, and fingers looking like a homicide just occurred. Kids will love it!
I made my cherry bourbon in small batches so that I could open only a jar as needed. I made 6-8oz jars for my first batch and totally wish I doubled it. Sooooo good!
A funnel is a must-have for loading your jars up cleanly and easily.
All pretty and filled with simple syrup, cherries, and vanilla powder.
Close the jar after adding the warm simple syrup to soften the cherries from the steam before adding the bourbon.
This first batch I used an inexpensive bourbon and it was still amazingly good. Next time, you can be sure I'll use some spendier bourbon and set those aside for a special day. Can't wait!
Now, the question is what to use this bourbon for. My absolute favorite thing to use it in is my cherry bourbon smash.
Bourbon Cherry Smash Cocktail
- 5 cherries
- 1 oz bourbon (best if cherries were soaked in for a couple days!)
- ½ oz simple syrup
- cherry 7-up OR cherry seltzer
- Muddle the cherries.
- Fill a glass with ice. Combine the cherries, bourbon, and simple syrup in a shaker filled with ice. Pour over ice.
- Top with cherry seltzer or cherry 7-Up.
If you're not a fan of that, you could always put a some of the cherry bourbon into a glass of coke and have a cherry bourbon coke. Or just use it wherever you would normally use bourbon, and give it a delicious fruity twist!