How To Make Drunken Cherries In Vodka

009Ontario Bing cherries are now in at farmer’s markets.  They are great to eat fresh and even better to jar for the winter in some vodka.  I’ve been making these flavored cherries for a few years and they are always a great companion to dessert on  special occasions.  We always wait until Christmas Eve to  open the first jar from the previous summer and share it amongst the adults at our table.  You are going to be AMAZED at the sweetness in the vodka.  In fact it tastes like  sweet cherry juice with a hint of vodka, minus the harsher alcohol taste of vodka “straight up”.    Just be carfeull………it may be hard to stop wanting more and NO……This DOESN’T count towards a serving of fruit!

First, wash and remove the stems from your cherries.  Discard any bruised or blemished fruit.012

Using a canning funnel (just because it’s easier), drop your cherries into a clean mason jar.014

Firmy pack as many cherries as you can into the jar without smashing up the fruit.016

Fill the jar with vodka, leaving a 1/4″ headspace.  Seal up the jar.  Note:  there is no need to sterilize the jar because the vodka will act as a preservative for the cherries. 019

Now, put it aside in your cantina or cold cellar and WAIT!  You got to give those babies at least 4 months to flavor the vodka.  You will know that the cherries are ready when the vodka turns a deep dark red.020

Serve 3-4cherries in a liqueur glass with a toothpick.  Your family & friends are going to love them!  Enjoy responsibly!004


77 thoughts on “How To Make Drunken Cherries In Vodka

  1. I have a dear friend who is from the UP (Michigan:) The only time I have ever had Drunkin Cherries was at her house on Christmas Eve~ I can’t wait to try this recipe….she is no longer here….but I am going to make these cherries and have them this Christmas Eve~ Thank you Lynn @ Turnips 2 Tangerines

    • Hi Lynn & thank you for your comments. I hope you begin the tradition of “drunken cherries” this Christmas. I also hope you raise your first glass to your friend!

  2. I think I’ve found my next extract to make! Was going to try banana, but cherry extract goes in lots of things. Thanks for the idea!

    • Hi Kathy,
      Thanks for your question.
      I DO leave the pit in the cherry because removing it always bruises the fruit and makes it mushy as it stores. I don’t like the texture or the presentation of the cherry if it is pitted. Just remember to remind your guests before they take a bite! Hope this helps.

  3. What a wonderful idea! I see what my extended family is getting this Christmas! We always enjoy homemade gifts and I usually knit or crochet something. This year I am in the midst of knitting a blanket and trying out a new sweater pattern and won’t have time to go that route, so this will be a fun change! I didn’t realize something so lovely was so easily made!

  4. Any chance this works with Tequila too? I’m just not a fan of vodka, although I’m sure the cherries make it taste great. But just curious if Tequila works the same.

    • I’m not a fan of vodka either as a rule. Something about doing this though takes that harsh vodka hit away. Oddly, the harsh is transferred to the cherries. I can’t explain the alchemy here, but it does work.

    • you can use brandy or bourbon! it’s called “Cherry Bounce” in Door County, they use the tart pie cherries.

  5. Yum-O! I’ll be featuring you this week on the Clever Chicks Blog Hop, so please come grab a featured button (I didn’t see the link-back to the party, but I’m sure it’s here somewhere).
    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

  6. I shared on Facebook as I know I have followers who will LOVE this recipe. I love eating fresh cherries so it will be difficult to spare some … what am I saying? Of course I will be making some.

  7. Thanks for sharing this with us. I was just wondering how long after the 4 months they will keep with the cherries maintaining their integrity? Just wondering if I could make extra while the cherries are available?

  8. This looks like a wonderfully full flavored serving of fruit to ME! This is going on my must do list, thank you! Stopping by from The Homesteaders Hop, thanks for participating and come again this Sunday!

  9. Shared this on FB as well as my blog on Christmas presents last week. I am making another batch today because I found some more cherries! Very excited to try this at Christmas and give as gifts this year! Love your blog!

  10. I have been making cherry vodka since the early 80s. I add a little sugar. My friends can’t wait for their Christmas gifts!!!!!

  11. Your recipe was a hit. I love the crispness of the cherries and the wonderful flavor the vodka takes ons. I did not add one bit of sugar and still turned out very well. Thanks

  12. have a question.. just purchased a bag of cherries, its the start of the season so they dont taste that sweet, or really have much of taste at all… does this make a difference since they are going to be infused with vodka?? Or should I wait and purchase a different kind of cherry?

  13. Loved this when I saw it last year. I add nothing but Vodka and cherries. Turns out just wonderful. Here’s the problem. I ran out before this year’s cherries came in. Well solutions abound. I found some great pomegranates and the market. I filled a jar with those and of course the vodka. Problem solved.

  14. great idea for Christmas gift giving and story sharing. I’m putting this activity on my “to do list”. Christmas is about stories and you just started a new chapter for me. thanks a bunch!

  15. I have just done a very similar thing with brandy. I was actually making cherry brandy and hadn’t thought to simply preserve some cherries. I will have to go back out and pick some more cherries tomorrow as I stoned all the ones that I picked today. A local tree is dripping with fruit.

    • Hi Sheri,
      I have not experienced this before. Is it possible that your cherries were starting to spoil before you put them in the jar? If the lids are bulging, it sounds like there may be a fermentation occurring.
      Hope this helps,

  16. I use these to make Vodkakirshin – chocolate covered vodka soaked cherries. I only make them for Christmas along with rummy raisins and brandy orange peel. I also never give them to my friends who are in AA.

  17. So Happy 🙂 Ever since I moved to Wisconsin I have heard about these amazing cherries. I never found a recipe. Thanks so very much!! I want to make many many small jars to give away. Does the recipe stay the same??

  18. OK 🙂 I have now done 20 batches of your wonderful cherries 🙂 Problem?? Two of the small jars have leaked over onto the shelf?? Should we eat them now OR through them away?

    Hope tasting them wins 🙂 Thanks for starting a new Christmas Cherry tradition in our home and for friends 🙂

    • Hi Marise,
      I can’t say that has ever happened to me. Is it possible that some of your cherries were starting to spoil before you canned them and now they are starting to ferment? Did you leave the 1/4″ head space?

  19. We have done this same thing in large jars with our plums. Makes a delicious plum “wine”. I can’t wait to try it with cherries!!

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