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How to Make Homemade Cherry Liqueur

Updated on August 4, 2012
Delicious cherry liqueur.
Delicious cherry liqueur. | Source

How would you rate this cherry liqueur recipe?

5 stars from 3 ratings of Cherry Liqueur
Dark red cherries such as these are sweet cherries.  Tart cherries are bright red in color.
Dark red cherries such as these are sweet cherries. Tart cherries are bright red in color. | Source

Ripened Cherries

The beginning of July in Michigan is a cherry extravaganza! Traverse City, Michigan claims that it is the cherry capital of the world and it hosts a delicious festival every year around the 4th of July. While I'm not really convinced that it is the cherry capital of the world, I would definitely agree that it is the cherry capital of the Midwest.

I am fortunate enough that my in-laws have a farm with an abundance of fruit trees, some of which are cherry trees. Along with the more standard cherry fare, like pies and coffee cakes, a favorite among the adults is homemade cherry liqueur. It is so delicious that it has because the expected drink to be served at summer gatherings at my house. Even my neighbors now expect me to bring some along when we have our neighborhood bonfires. The gorgeous dark red color, thick syrupy and sweet taste of the drink, along with the intensity of the alcohol will make you want to go back for more. The best part? It is sooo easy to make and it will last you a good amount of time. Well, that is if you don't have friends that like it as much as mine do. So I guess you'd better make a large batch!

Picture Guide to Making the Cherry Cordial

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Using a large glass jar, add the cherries and sugar and let it sit for about 7 days in the sun.Straining the cherries will separate the cherry juice from the actual fruit.  This will allow a smooth liqueur to be made.The juice will be dark red in color.Add the juice to a container that can be mixed with the vodka.Add an equal amount of vodka to the juice.Pour the cherry liqueur into a container for storage.Serve in cordial glasses.
Using a large glass jar, add the cherries and sugar and let it sit for about 7 days in the sun.
Using a large glass jar, add the cherries and sugar and let it sit for about 7 days in the sun. | Source
Straining the cherries will separate the cherry juice from the actual fruit.  This will allow a smooth liqueur to be made.
Straining the cherries will separate the cherry juice from the actual fruit. This will allow a smooth liqueur to be made. | Source
The juice will be dark red in color.
The juice will be dark red in color. | Source
Add the juice to a container that can be mixed with the vodka.
Add the juice to a container that can be mixed with the vodka. | Source
Add an equal amount of vodka to the juice.
Add an equal amount of vodka to the juice. | Source
Pour the cherry liqueur into a container for storage.
Pour the cherry liqueur into a container for storage. | Source
Serve in cordial glasses.
Serve in cordial glasses. | Source

Ingredients for Cherry Liqueur or Cherry Cordial

  • 5 pounds tart cherries
  • 2-3 pounds sugar
  • Vodka

Directions for Cherry Liqueur

  1. Put about 5 pounds of tart cherries in a glass jar.
  2. Add about 2-3 pounds of sugar. Place cap on the jar and let sit in the sun for about a week. Be sure that the sugar has completely melted.
  3. This will form a syrupy mixture. Once the sugar has dissolved, strain the cherries so that the liquid is in a separate container. You can use the cherries for another recipe, discard them, or keep a few to add to your drink when it is served.
  4. One cup at a time, add equal parts of cherry juice and vodka. Pour into glass jars to store or into glasses to serve.

Giving Cherry Liqueur as Gifts

This is a beautiful, delicious, and easy gift to give to friends and family for the holidays or for a host or hostess when you are invited for a gathering. You can easily find some beautiful decorative glass jars to place your homemade liqueur in with a customized label for your friends and family.

Adding a custom label to your bottles adds a personal touch to your gift giving.
Adding a custom label to your bottles adds a personal touch to your gift giving. | Source

Serving and Drinking the Cherry Liqueur

Please be aware that this is not cherry wine and should not be served or drank from a large wine glass. It is best served in a cordial glass where one can sip the drink slowly and enjoy the cherry flavor.

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    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

      Hehe, thanks! When we were in Cleveland this weekend I had a blueberry drink that was some sort of fermented blueberries mixed with a sort of moonshine. Alex called it something else but I don't remember what it was called. Anyway, I actually really liked it.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      This liquor was sooo delicious when I tasted it at your party. I'll try to send the photo of Danette and I 'sampling' it to you. :)

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

      I'm sure it will turn out great and trust me, a little bit goes a long way! :)

    • theclevercat profile image

      Rachel Vega 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Oh my goodness! My, my, my! I want this very badly!!! Lol. I;ve totally going to try this and I hope it turns out as well as yours looks! Voted useful, up, and awesome!!!

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

      We will be well stocked for your visit!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      I'm with Aunt Danette-can't wait to have a sip or three... Thanks for sharing this (easy) recipe. :)

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

      It is W O N D E R U L!!!! Hope you get a chance to give a try. :)

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      I've heard of other homemade liqueurs before, but never anything made with cherries. This is so cool! Thanks for the recipe.

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

      It is a fun gift idea internpete. Yes, there usually are lots of cherries in Michigan. Unfortunately this year the very early warm weather brought out the blossoms too soon and the frost caught them. The orchards in Michigan are at about a 90% loss of fruit (for all types) this year. It is very disappointing to us but thankfully I froze some last season so I still have some to work with this year.

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

      Well mts, my father in law would say, 'just eyeball it!' It is supposed to be equal parts juice to vodka but of course you can make it stronger (ahem...) or weaker depending on your personal taste. Thanks for stopping by.

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

      Michigan cherries are delicious! Of course I am biased. :) Thanks for your continued support teaches!

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

      Yes, medicinal indeed chef-de-jour! Hope you enjoy it and thanks for your visit.

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

      it is wonderful to have those trees. We are very fortunate not only to have that fresh fruit but such an abundance of it to cook and bake with. Glad you are going to give it a try vespawoolf!

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

      LOL, I'll be sure to save some for you Alissa! We'd be thrilled to have you and those cutie pie boys of yours as our neighbors!

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

      It is tasty. I'm not a huge drinker but I enjoy a drink on occasion. If you ever get a chance to taste it, give it a try! Thanks for your visit Crystal.

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

      We will definitely have some left and if not, I'll make sure I make a batch before you get here! The alcohol is pretty strong in it so it's not super sweet. I'm looking forward to our evening "drinks." I guess we should limit it though if we plan to get anything else accomplished! :)

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

      Interesting Anil and Honey. Maybe it is just the type of cherry that is different. There are several varieties that are popular here in the US.

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks Kelley! It is very easy.

    • internpete profile image

      Peter V 5 years ago from At the Beach in Florida

      This sounds like a lot of fun, and a great gift idea! Plus, lots of cherries in Michigan!

    • mts1098 profile image

      mts1098 5 years ago from InsideTheManCave

      How much vodka :) I just had to stop by for the Cherry Liqueuer...cheers

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Ooooh, the first photo is so inviting! I remember when we lived in the Midwest the Michigan cherries were always bought out first in the grocery store. They do have a sweet, juicy taste. Great home-made recipe idea.

    • chef-de-jour profile image

      Andrew Spacey 5 years ago from Near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire,UK

      Cherries are such a fascinating fruit, the way they bunch on the tree so delicious looking when ripe. Extracting their essence mmmm...great idea.

      Thanks for this, another medicinal recipe to try!

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

      This recipe is right down my alley! How nice to have fruit trees in the family. We get wonderful Bing cherries from Chile in December, right before Christmas time. I've marked this recipe to try. Thanks so much...love the photos and writing. Voted up and shared.

    • alissaroberts profile image

      Alissa Roberts 5 years ago from Normandy, TN

      Awesome recipe! How lucky are your neighbors to live beside you to get in on this yummy looking cherry liqueur! If we ever decide to move up to Michigan, I know which neighborhood I am moving into ;)

    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 5 years ago from Georgia

      I've never been a fan of liqueur, but this actually looks tasty! I love cherries.

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois

      Cara, this does look very easy to make and maybe I should try some when I'm up in MI (if you have any left!). But right now I can't seem to get past the "sweet" cherry liquor description. I usually don't like sweet drinks (I go for the whiskey, mind you, shades of Nona!) although even as I'm writing this, I'm enjoying a grownup "soda" of Bailey's and ice cream!

    • Anil and Honey profile image

      Anil 5 years ago from Kerala

      Cherry is my favorite fruit. But i thank that your cherry differ from my(Indian) cherry.Your image shows it.

    • profile image

      kelleyward 5 years ago

      Seems easy and tasty! Beautiful picture! Kelley

    • cardelean profile image
      Author

      cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks Heather. It really is easy and I don't think I would have believed it if I hadn't tried it myself. Thanks for your comments!

    • Heather Says profile image

      Heather Rode 5 years ago from Buckeye, Arizona

      Wow! You make it seem pretty easy to pull off. Great hub! And I absolutely love that grape-bunch-shaped bottle. Beautiful!