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Small antique glass of homemade cherry brandy with the jar of brandy and another glass behind.

Cherry Brandy

An easy recipe for homemade cherry brandy. This is my family recipe, passed down through generations for a spiced cherry liqueur. Perfect for the holidays, to sip after dinner or as a gift.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Aging 120 d
Course Drinks
Cuisine American, Italian
Servings 8 small glasses
Calories 115 kcal

Equipment

  • 16 ounce jar clean and sterile with airtight lids

Ingredients
  

  • 20 cherries dark, sweet, whole cherries with stems removed (see note)
  • 2 small cinnamon sticks or one large cinnamon stick broken in half
  • 10 whole cloves
  • ½ cup superfine granulated sugar or caster sugar
  • 1 cup bourbon whisky (see note)

Instructions
 

  • Begin by adding the cherries to your clean and sterile jar. Leave a little space at this point, the jar should be loosely filled up to within about half an inch of the rim.
  • Fit the cinnamon sticks alongside the cherries. At this point the jar should be well packed. You can add some extra cherries if there is still space in your jar, but again leave about half an inch gap at the top.
  • Add the whole cloves and the sugar.
  • Pour the bourbon into the jar slowly. This will begin to dissolve the sugar and will sink into the jar, causing some air bubbles to come to the surface as it fills the space. Fill the jar, continuing to leave half an inch gap at the top.
  • Tightly screw the lid onto the jar and shake the jar to help disturb the sugar which will have sunk to the bottom. Invert the jar so that it is sat upside down on the counter and leave to sit for about half an hour. (see note)
  • After half an hour, shake the jar again and flip back over. Repeat this process (shaking and flipping the jar) until all of the sugar is dissolved - usually 3-4 flips.
  • Once the sugar is dissolved, place the jar in a cool dark place and allow to sit for about 4 months to age. This will allow the flavours to infuse. (see note)
  • After four months, open the jar and decant into small glasses, serve with the soaked cherries on the side.

Notes

The number of cherries will depend on their size and the size/shape of your jar. The goal is to fill the jar, leaving about a half inch gap at the top and enough room for the cinnamon sticks to slot in alongside.
Amounts of bourbon will also vary depending on the size/shape of the jar and the amounts of cherries you've been able to fit in.
When dissolving the sugar, make sure the lid is tightly screwed onto the top of your jar so that this does not leak when inverted. As a safety precaution for spills, you may want to place on towels or in a tray with a lip.
The four months aging is just a recommendation - we usually make this brandy in the summer and serve at the holidays. It can be kept for considerably longer.
For more tips and helpful images, see the above post.

Nutrition

Calories: 115kcalCarbohydrates: 13.5gProtein: 0.1gFat: 0.1gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 11mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 12.8gCalcium: 7mg
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