Cocktail Cherries

While this is not a true canning recipe (the cherries are never processed), it is a great example of food transformation and preservation.


  • 1 pound sweet cherries, pitted and stems removed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 strip of orange peel
  • 1 cup spiced rum


  1. Place cherries in two clean pint-sized mason jars (or one large quart-sized mason jar). Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together water, honey, sugar, and vanilla extract until combined. Gently stir in the cinnamon strip and orange peel. Continue heating, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, and continue simmering for another 10 minutes for the flavors to meld.
  3. Remove from heat, and strain out cinnamon stick and orange peel. Slowly add in the rum and stir to combine.
  4. Pour the bourbon mixture evenly over the cherries, then let the mixture cool completely to room temperature. Secure the lids on the mason jars, give them a shake, and refrigerate for at least 3 days before using. The recipe should last for up to 2-3 months.


  • These make great replacements for those brilliant red Maraschino cherries bought at the grocery store. They're divine in a Manhattan Sweet, a French 75, or a Whiskey Sour.
  • The punchy booze and softened cherry also make for a divine Dark Chocolate Cherry Truffles.