Go Back
+ servings

Bourbon Cherries Canning Recipe

Infusing fresh cherries with a sweetened lemon and bourbon syrup makes these bourbon cherries pop with flavor. Add these boozy cherries to your favorite cocktails, spoon over ice cream for a decadent treat, or give to friends as gifts.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Processing Time10 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Pantry
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bourbon cherries
Servings: 192 servings
Calories: 40kcal
Author: Grow a Good Life


  • 6 pounds sweet cherries
  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice freshly squeezed or bottled juice
  • 1 1/4 cups bourbon


Prepare the Cherries

  • Rinse, stem, and pit the cherries. Set them aside while you prepare the canning equipment and make the bourbon syrup.

Prepare the Canning Equipment

  • Wash your jars, lids, screw bands, and canning tools in hot soapy water. Rinse thoroughly to remove all suds. Set aside to air dry on a clean kitchen towel.
  • Place the canning rack into water bath canner, place jars in the canner, and add water to cover. Bring the canner to a simmer (180˚F) for 10 minutes, and keep hot until you are ready to fill them.

Make the Syrup

  • Add the sugar, water, and lemon juice to a medium pot. Bring the pot to a boil over medium-high heat while stirring to dissolve the sugar.
  • Add the cherries, reduce the heat to a simmer (180˚F), and cook until the cherries are warm, about 5 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and remove the pot from the stove. Add the bourbon, stir to combine, and cover to pot to keep it warm.

Can the Bourbon Cherries

  • Spread a towel on the counter. Use your jar lifter to remove a warm jar from canner, drain the water into the canner, and place on the towel. Keep the rest of the jars in the canner so they stay hot.
  • Using the canning ladle and funnel to fill the jars with the cherries and syrup. Maintain a 1/2-inch headspace.
  • Run the bubble popper through the jar to release air bubbles, and clean the rims of the jars with a damp towel.
  • Place a lid on the jar, gasket side down, and screw on the metal band until fingertip tight.
  • Place the jar back into the canner with the jar lifter, and repeat with the remaining jars.
  • Once all the jars are in canner, adjust the water level to two inches above the tops. If adding water, pour the water in between the jars and not directly onto them.
  • Cover the canner and bring to boil over high heat. Once water boils vigorously, process pints for 10 minutes at altitudes of less than 1,000 ft. Adjust processing time for your altitude if necessary (see notes below).
  • When processing time is complete, turn off the heat and allow the canner to cool down and settle for about 5 minutes.
  • Lay a dry towel on the counter. Remove the cover by tilting lid away from you so that steam does not burn your face.
  • Use the jar lifter to remove the jars from canner and place on the towel. Keep upright, and don't tighten bands or check the seals yet. Let the jars sit undisturbed for 12 to 24-hours to cool.
  • After the jars have cooled for at least 12 hours, check to be sure lids have sealed by pushing on the center of the lid. The lid should not pop up. If the lid flexes up and down, it did not seal. Refrigerate and use within several months.
  • Let the flavor infuse into the cherries for at least 4 weeks before opening a jar. Once opened, store the jar in the refrigerator, and use within a year. Yields about 6 pint jars.


This recipe is adapted from the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving, "Brandied Cherries."
All times are at altitudes of less than 1,000 ft. Adjustments must be made for altitudes greater than 1,000 ft: Processing time for pints at altitudes of 1,001 - 6,000 ft. is 15 minutes, and above 6,001 feet is 20 minutes.


Serving: 3cherries | Calories: 40kcal | Carbohydrates: 13.4g | Protein: 0.2g | Sodium: 7mg | Potassium: 42mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 6g | Calcium: 4mg