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+ servings
glass jar with candied fruit

Bourbon Cherries

Course: Condiment, Dessert, Drinks
Cuisine: Compliments many cuisines
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 20
Calories: 49kcal
Author: Julie
Summer cherries are candied with orange, vanilla, and spices. Bourbon adds a boozy touch.
Print Recipe


  • cheesecloth and string


  • 1 ½ pounds cherries pitted
  • 5 strips orange zest
  • 4 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 star anise
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Bourbon something fruity like Maker's Mark


Make sachet

  • Add the star anise and peppercorns to a fold 4x4 inch piece of cheesecloth. Make sure there aren't any holes the spices can fall out of. With a piece of string secure and tie the cheesecloth.

Candied cherries

  • Add the pitted cherries, orange juice and zest, sugar, and vanilla bean to a saucepan. Nestle the sachet in the pan so that it will be covered in the juice as the fruit cooks.
  • Cook over medium-high heat for approximately 30 minutes. The juices will have thickened and will be syrupy. Let cool for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes and while the cherries are still warm, add the bourbon. Stir to combine. Let the cherries continue to cool.


The amount of sugar in the recipe is dependent on the sweetness of the cherries.  If the fruit is very tart, you may need more sugar.  
This recipe can be made without the bourbon.  
The amount of bourbon is dependent on your preference.  The measurement given is a suggestion.  
Vanilla extract can be used in place of the bean.  They are crazy expensive now.  Use about 2 teaspoons of extract.  


Calories: 49kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 82mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 29IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg