Moonshine cherries, also known as cherry bombs and spiked cherries, are the perfect boozy snack to kick up a cocktail or dessert. You might have seen mason jars of Tennessee distillery,  Ole Smoky Moonshine Cherries on liquor store shelves, which are absolutely delicious, and as they say, "an explosion of sweet heat."

These sweet cherries are just as easy to make at home and get a long soak in your liqueur of choice: moonshine, rum, cognac, vodka, tequila, the list goes on and on. Get creative! Trust me, this will be your new favorite recipe to have on hand.

Want to create the ultimate cherry coke, ginger ale, or Shirley Temple? Add in a splash of the sweet nectar of moonshine cherry liquid. Or garnish a glass of white wine with a moonshine cherry. How about a boozy ice cream sundae? Top off a few scoops with the alcohol-infused cherries. You could even thicken the remaining cherry moonshine liquid and drizzle that over your sundae. The recipes are endless. Moonshine cherries also make a wonderful gift to hand out to friends and family.

Making moonshine cherries at home is actually quite simple. It all starts with sterilizing your mason jars or other canning jars and lids. Boil everything in a large pot of water, run through the dishwasher, or wash under very hot water. Just make sure they're nice and clean! Once that's done, you can wash and prep your fresh cherries. We prefer fresh cherries, but if you only have fresh maraschino cherries on hand, those will work, too. To prep your fresh cherries, remove the stem and pits. A cherry pitter sure does help this process go much faster!

Next, it's time to make the liqueur and sugar mixture. In a small pot, place sugar and your booze of choice (original moonshine is recommended) and bring to a simmer over medium heat while stirring constantly. You want to keep an eye on the mixture while stirring so the sugar doesn't burn. If you want to experiment and get a little creative, try adding in some aromatics at this point. Cinnamon sticks, citrus zest, etc.

Once the mixture has come to a simmer, turn off the heat and let it sit for about 15- 20 minutes and then stir in a few tablespoons of lemon juice. Fill your sanitized glassware with the cherries and pour the boozy mixture over the top, leaving about 1-inch headspace. Secure the lid and store in the refrigerator for up to a year. If you'd rather the moonshine cherries be shelf-stable, process them in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. Cherry cola and other cocktails and desserts will never be the same!

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Moonshine Cherries 

Prep Time: 25 minutes | Cook Time: 30 minutes

pint jars

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups fresh cherries, pitted
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups liqueur moonshine, rum, vodka, brandy
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions

In a small pot, place sugar and your booze of choice (original moonshine is recommended) and bring to a simmer over medium heat while stirring constantly.

Once the mixture has come to a simmer, turn off the heat and let it sit for about 15- 20 minutes and then stir in a few tablespoons of lemon juice. Fill your sanitized glassware with the cherries and pour the boozy mixture over the top, leaving about 1-inch headspace. Secure the lid and store in the refrigerator for up to a year. If you'd rather the moonshine cherries be shelf-stable, process them in a hot water bath for 15 minutes.