Blog, Booze Recipes, Recipe Box

Cherry Cordial: Dark, Sweet, and Delicious!

Amber Shehan November 8, 2017

Cherries are lush, enticing, sweet and dark. They made an excellent cordial and you can make one, too!


When cherries went on sale this year, I grabbed as many as possible and set to work on making all sorts of goodies!

Eric and I are planning to plant a few cherry trees and apple trees around the property, so I hope this blog will be full of cherry-inspired recipes as the years go by!

I sorted through the bags of cherries before embarking on my projects, and the best fruit went into making a gallon of Cherry Wine. Broken open or soft fruit was set aside to make a nice jar of Cherry Cordial since the booze would kill off any mold or other microscopic friends in the mushy cherries.

The cordial-making process is pretty simple – here’s how I made mine!

Cherry Cordial: Dark, Sweet, and Delicious! Recipe from

Cherry Cordial Recipe

Pro-tip: Don’t wear white or anything you don’t want to be stained with bright red spots. 

I do not always chop or pit my cherries, but when I do I use a handy dandy cherry pitting tool. Some folks are concerned about potential cyanide poisoning from using cherry or apricot pits, but it isn’t an issue unless the pits are crushed. Including them in the cordial lends a nice almond bitterness to balance out the sweet cherry flavor. The choice is yours!

Grab a jar or two, whatever you think might accommodate the cherries you are working with. I prefer wide-mouth quart jars, personally.

Make it yours with reCap mason jar lids.

Add a handful of cherries to the jar and sprinkle sugar over them, just enough to coat them all. Smash it all together with a wooden spoon. Add another handful of cherries, sugar them, and smash again. Repeat the process until the jar is full.

Set the jar aside while you clean up the red, sticky mess you’ve made so far. Letting the jar rest for about ten or fifteen minutes is good, but longer is better. The sugar helps draw out the juices from the cherries and makes a more flavorful end product.

Cover the cherry-sugar mash with your booze of choice. I used vodka, but brandy is quite nice with cherries if you prefer a darker drink.

Label your jar and stash it away for at least a moon cycle. If you leave pits in, remember that the bitter flavor will get stronger the longer you let it sit.  Mine sat from August to early November because I forgot it existed, but luckily I enjoy the bits of bitterness in the brew and consider it perfect!

Strain the cordial into a large bowl and transfer the juice into clean bottles. Don’t forget to try it!  If it isn’t sweet enough, make some sugar syrup and add it in to taste. Label your bottles and enjoy your cordial! If you get adorable small bottles, these cordials make great holiday gifts, too.

Cordials aren’t just for drinking. They make great cocktail ingredients and can make a hot toddy extra fancy, but they are also delicious drizzled on ice cream or chocolate desserts, stirred into brownie recipes, or anywhere else your culinary imagination can take you!



Cyanide in Apricot & Cherry Pits from

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Amber Shehan

Hi! I'm Amber Pixie, and this is my site. Enjoy the recipes, information, posts, and please feel free to message me if you have questions!


  1. Rick on December 9, 2017 at 6:11 am

    I assume you used sweet cherries, but would tart cherries give a similar taste, or maybe add some extra sugar?

    • Amber Pixie on December 9, 2017 at 12:05 pm

      I did use sweet cherries, but if you used tart, you could add more sugar as you layer them or wait until you strain it and add sugar syrup to adjust the flavor at that time! Tart cherries would definitely add a different bite to the flavor, I bet it’d be nice.

  2. Iris on December 10, 2017 at 8:27 am

    The longer you leave you cordial alone aften bottling, the better the tast. Do not ad more sugar, but leave it for another year. Ambrosia will be your reward!

  3. Lynna Karanutsos on July 26, 2018 at 12:53 am

    Could i sub pomagranite raw vinegar for 1/2 of the brandy in a cordial recipie?

    • Amber Pixie on July 27, 2018 at 2:07 pm

      Hmm, I don’t see why not? I have made vinegar infusions and boozy infusions, but never tried both at the same time! It would definitely have that sour vinegar flavor in the final product.

  4. Lisa on August 1, 2019 at 9:15 am

    How much sugar do you use?

    • Amber Pixie on August 12, 2019 at 10:45 pm

      For this one, I just sprinkled on a teaspoon or so between layers of cherries. I’m sorry, I didn’t measure! It’s just enough to get the juices flowing, as if you were sugaring strawberries for pie or ice cream topping. 🙂 If the cordial isn’t sweet enough at the end when you strain it, you can always add more syrup to brighten it up.

  5. Lisa Conner on August 2, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    Do you refridgerate this or put it somewhere dark and cool.

    • Amber Pixie on August 12, 2019 at 10:46 pm

      Someplace dark and cool was where I stored mine, and it didn’t last more than a few months so I can’t speak to how much longer than that it could last! 😉

  6. PMH on October 13, 2019 at 10:56 pm

    Since Cherry season is over. Can I use frozen dark cherries?

    • Amber Pixie on October 14, 2019 at 4:06 pm

      Yes, you may! I use frozen fruit for cordials all of the time. Just let them thaw and use the juice that comes as they thaw, too!

  7. Lisa on November 26, 2019 at 8:41 pm

    I make this in several flavors other than cherry. I also do a cranberry orange one for the holidays and a strawberry rhubarb one for the hot months. I recently made a cucumber mint one and it was refreshing and good.

  8. Liisa OMaley on July 3, 2020 at 10:38 am

    Hi…I live in Taos, New Mexico and this year, 2020, our trees are loaded, all 4, one devoured into cherry pies and crumbles….however I love your ideas and I hate pitting, it’s a mess for sure….and I do it with my hands (i’ve learned I’ve learned to use gloves) as my pitters aren’t always reliable and that tooth crunching sound is a turn off, let alone cracking a tooth…I like the simplicity of your recipe for cordials…I am also one that doesn’t measure. I am trying a mix of Tito’s vodka (for all the gluten free freaks) and some brandy….I’ll let you know come Fall. I love the ease of your site…right to the point, no scrolling to find the info!!

    • Amber Pixie on August 29, 2020 at 1:47 pm

      Oh, thanks, Lisa! Sorry, I missed your message until now. 🙂 I hope your cherry booze is delicious – how’s it looking?

    • Alexis on December 13, 2022 at 11:21 am

      Did your titos vodka and brandy mix turn out Liisa?! What is a quality brandy? When I speak of quality, I mean clean, natural ingredients. This sounds delicious!

  9. Julie Mackay on January 30, 2021 at 10:25 pm

    I have made two batches of this recipe one with Gin and one with Brandy. They have been sitting at the bottom of the pantry. They have been made for nearly a month now. I notice that there is the odd air bubble rising up from the bottom of the jars, but there appears to be no pressure on the lid. Are these air bubbles to be expected? Will they be okay?

    • Amber Pixie on February 28, 2021 at 11:54 am

      It wouldn’t hurt to crack the lids and stir it to make sure you give it a chance to off-gas! I have rarely had fermentation in cordials like this, but it does happen sometimes!

  10. Terri Lodge on December 16, 2022 at 1:24 am

    I made mine and it Tastes like cherry cough syrup. I took out the sweet cherries and added dried sour cherries but still no good. How do I save this?

  11. Tikka on February 14, 2024 at 9:11 am

    Looks delectable! I would want to eat the macerated cherries once strained – any reason not to?

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