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Over the past couple years, Corey and I have acquired a love for creating cocktails at home. While the Moscow Mule is a trusty go-to for most occasions, our favorite night cap or date night beverage is the old fashioned. We’ve made quite a few variations involving different herbs and fruits, but there is something so smooth and classic about the standard version: bourbon, orange zest, bitters, cherry.

My one hang up when it comes to the classic old fashioned is the maraschino cherry. I love cherries, I do, and there was a time when I loved maraschino cherries too, but these days I really can’t bring myself to eat them. Between the neon fire engine red color, waxy texture and a pretty scary ingredient label (I know there are some better brands), I decided it was time to make my own juicy cherries for our beloved old fashioned.

The hands on prep for these cherries is about 20 minutes, with an extra 2 hours added on for the maceration and chilling. I used water and maple syrup as the base for the liquid, adding just a 2 inch section of orange peel to the mix and adding bourbon once removed from the heat. In this instance, you don’t want the alcohol to burn off, you need it there for macerating the cherries.

This recipe is perfect for creating lightly boozy garnish cherries, or you can use these same cherries as a filling or topping for a dessert. I have a feeling these would go pretty phenomenally with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

Maple Bourbon Cherries

These maple bourbon cherries are perfect for cocktails and filling or topping your favorite summer desserts.

Course Dessert, Drinks, Snack
Keyword bourbon, cherry, cocktail cherries, garnish, macerated cherries, maple
Prep Time 25 minutes
Chill Time 2 hours


  • 1.5 cups dark red cherries pitted
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 1/4 cup pure and organic maple syrup
  • 1 slice orange peel 2 inch portion
  • 2 oz bourbon


  1. Once pits are removed from cherries, place them in a 16 oz mason jar.

  2. In a sauce pan, bring the water, maple and orange peel to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  3. Pour liquid into measuring or batter bowl and allow to cool for 10 minutes, before adding bourbon.

  4. Pour mixture over the cherries, cover, and chill in fridge for at least 2 hours before using.

  5. Cherries may be stored in fridge for up to one week.

Posted in Coffees + Drinks, Recipes, Sweets + Treats


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