Cherry Liqueur Recipe

The color is gorgeous.  I especially love using Morello cherries.


They are hard to find so you may have to plant your own tree!

inebriated cherries

Cherry Liqueur Recipe


1.5 pounds sour red cherries, cut in half with the pit left in one side

1.5 cups granulated sugar

2.5 cups 100 proof vodka

small piece of cinnamon

Method: You put a third of the cherries in a half gallon sized jar, then pour a third of the sugar in. Do the next third of the cherries and the next third of the sugar. Then do the last third of both. So it is layered in the jar. If you want to use the cinnamon add it now. Then pour the vodka in. I guess the layering is just for fun because then you stir it all up. Every recipe I’ve read always calls for layering the ingredients in the jar first. Stir it up, cap it, and then put it in a cool, dry, dark place.

For the first two weeks shake the jar up at least once every day. This makes sure that the sugar completely dissolves. After that let it age for 3 months.

Strain out the cherries and pour the liqueur into bottles.

Recipe Notes: I have made many attempts at cherry liqueur and all of them were unsatisfactory until the last batch I made which was perfect!  I confidently recommend that you only make it using a pie (sour) cherry.  It doesn’t matter what kind as long as it has red skin to contribute color.  Definitely leave the pits in, they add a very subtle almond flavor to the drink which makes the flavor more complex.
I also highly recommend that you use 100 proof vodka (or everclear).  If you are using 80 proof I would lower the sugar content or it will be more like cough syrup than a fruity enjoyable beverage.  The next time I make this it will be without the cinnamon.  Although I enjoyed the slight spiciness it added to the flavor, I want a clearer cherry flavor.

11 thoughts on “Cherry Liqueur Recipe

  1. littlemissgoldenblog

    Mmm, I’ve had cordials and liqueurs on my “to make” list ever since one of the recent posts on “The Traveler’s Lunchbox” highlighted them…this looks wonderful!

  2. stitchy1

    I love the Traveler’s Lunchbox! I saw that post too and meant to book mark it. I have only made a few liqueurs that I was truly satisfied with. this was one of them. I also have made an excellent plum liqueur. I’ve been trying to make a good cherry liqueur for years so I was really excited when I finally did it! I’m a little embarrassed at how quickly I drank it up!

  3. alison

    I hope that at some point you will share your recipe for plum liqueur as well. This sounds incredibly tasty, but sadly I am deathly allergic to cherries ( I could eat them as a child, but not any more SIGH, I remember the flavor and miss it) I have been really enjoying the variety of articles here, and hope to start my own “gift pantry”, and including some homemade liqueur would be great!

  4. clare

    Thanks for posting this recipe! I bought my first house with a large sour cherry tree last year, and they are almost red!! This recipe is awesome because I don’t have to pit the cherries!!! woohoo!

  5. stitchy1

    You have no idea how jealous I am that you have an established sour cherry tree! Congratulations on buying your first house which is such a great adventure! Try the cherry liqueur and also freeze any cherries you can’t use right away- they freeze well and then you can make pie from them whenever you want!

  6. amy

    This is the best way to use the onslaught of the neighbor’s cherries I think! I also found a chocolate chip cherry bread recipe that sounds good. Thanks for the recipe!

  7. Philip

    I just used this recipe as the basis for a new batch of Sour Cherry Liqueur. I had to change things a tiny bit based on what I had.
    1 lb 10 oz sour cherries (from our trees!)
    1.5 cups sugar
    2 cups Everclear (151 proof)
    1/2 cup water (0 proof)
    I split the batch across two quart jars for the layering and shaking, since I didn’t look deep enough in the pantry for a half gallon jar.
    Hope it turns out as well as the last batch!

  8. Bonnie

    I have an Evans cherry tree and am trying a liquer recommended by my Italian neighbour. Initially just letting the cherries on their own ferment in a covered container for a week before adding any sugar or alcohol….will see how it goes.

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