Making Cocktail Cherries


  • 2 pound pitted sour cherries
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup cherry juice
  • 4 oz eau de vie or bourbon 40% ABV
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom optional
  • 1/2 tsp sarsaparilla optional
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns optional


  1. Wash and pit cherries and place in a clean quart size canning jar.
  2. Scrape vanilla bean and put scrapings into the jay with the cherries.
  3. Put the cherry juice, sugar, eau de vie or bourbon, and remaining spices in a saucepan.
  4. Gently simmer the cherry syrup until the sugar is dissolved.
  5. Strain out the solids and pour the warm syrup into the jar with the cherries.
  6. Let the jar cool. Seal everything and store it in the fridge.