How to Make Cherry Brandy

Cheery brandy is a delicately flavored liqueur that strikes a perfect balance between the tart freshness of ripe cherries and the warm richness of brandy.  Learning how to make cherry brandy at home adds another layer of personal satisfaction and creativity. So, let’s explore this fascinating journey of making cherry brandy, understanding the intricacies, and unveiling the various ways to enhance and enjoy this delightful drink.

Choosing the Right Ingredients

Crafting cherry brandy begins with the careful selection of the right ingredients. The foundation of your liqueur rests upon the quality of cherries and brandy you choose, while the additional flavors can augment the drink’s complexity.

Selecting Cherries

Cherries are the soul of your brandy, so picking the right variety is paramount. Always aim for ripe, juicy cherries, that are bursting with flavor. While sweet cherries can make your brandy rich and velvety, sour cherries, with their tart punch, can lend a certain vibrancy to the drink.

The ripeness of cherries is an important aspect to consider. Overripe cherries may lead to an overly sweet brandy, while underripe cherries may make it excessively tart. Inspecting the cherries for any signs of mold, blemishes, or spoilage is essential, as these can negatively impact your brandy’s flavor.

Choosing Brandy

Choosing the right brandy to infuse your cherries is as crucial as selecting the cherries themselves. While some people will learn how to make brandy from scratch, others will use a commercial brandy.  A common misconception is to use the most expensive brandy, but that’s not necessarily a good idea. High-end brandies come with their distinctive flavors that can overshadow the delicate taste of cherries.

Instead, a mid-range brandy works best for making cherry brandy at home. The aim is to find a brandy that brings warmth and richness to the drink without compromising the fruity notes of cherries. Brands classified as VS (Very Special) or VSOP (Very Superior Old Pale) offer an excellent balance between flavor and affordability.

Additional Flavoring Options

While the core flavor of your cherry brandy will be derived from the cherries and brandy, additional flavors can bring complexity and depth to the drink. These can vary based on individual preferences, but common choices include vanilla, cinnamon, or nutmeg. These ingredients can introduce a smooth, spicy undertone to your cherry brandy.

On the other hand, citrus peels, such as those from oranges or lemons, can add a tangy zest that beautifully contrasts the sweetness of cherries. When adding these flavors, remember to use a light hand. The aim is to complement the core flavors, not dominate them.

Preparing the Cherries

The process of making cherry brandy requires the cherries to be prepped carefully. Proper preparation ensures maximum flavor extraction and prevents any unwanted elements from affecting your brew.

Washing and Stemming

Preparing the cherries for your brandy begins with a thorough wash. This is to remove any residual pesticides, dirt, or grime that may be present on the cherries’ skin. Washing the cherries under cold running water is the best way to ensure they are clean.

After washing, remove the stems from the cherries. While the stems don’t impact the brandy’s flavor, stemless cherries allow for better infusion of cherry flavors into the brandy. Moreover, stems can take up unnecessary space in your infusion jar.


Pitting the cherries is an important step in preparing them for your brandy. Removing the pits allows the brandy to penetrate more deeply into the fruit, leading to a more pronounced cherry flavor in your final product. While this can be time-consuming, it’s well worth the effort for the intensity of flavor it provides.

Be cautious when pitting cherries, as the pits can be quite hard, and a misstep could lead to injury. There are various tools available, such as cherry pitters, that make this task safer and easier.

Inspecting for Blemished Fruit

Following pitting, you should inspect your cherries one more time. Even though you chose the best cherries at the start, the washing and pitting process may have exposed previously hidden flaws. Look out for cherries with spots, cuts, or any signs of mold. It’s better to err on the side of caution and discard any potentially compromised fruit. This ensures that only the best cherries make it into your brandy.

How to Make Cherry Brandy

Once you have your cherries ready and your brandy chosen, learning how to make cherry brandy is fairly straightforward. It involves creating the right mixture, allowing it to age, and then straining and bottling your homemade liqueur.

Creating the Mixture

Creating the mixture is as simple as combining your cherries, brandy, and any additional flavorings in a jar. However, the magic lies in the details. For instance, the ratio of cherries to brandy can significantly impact the taste of your cherry brandy. A one-to-one ratio, by volume, is a good starting point.

While adding the cherries and brandy to the jar, ensure that all the cherries are fully submerged in the brandy. This promotes even flavor extraction and prevents the exposed cherries from spoiling. Once all the ingredients are in the jar, stir it well to make sure everything is well combined.

Storing and Aging

After preparing the mixture, it’s time for the most challenging part – waiting. The aging process is where the real transformation happens. As the mixture sits, the cherries infuse their flavor into the brandy, and the additional ingredients meld together, creating a unique and complex flavor profile.

The mixture should be stored in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight. The duration of aging can vary, but a minimum of two weeks is generally recommended. However, the longer you allow the brandy to age, the more intense and complex the flavors become.

During aging, it’s a good idea to shake the mixture every few days gently. This helps distribute the flavors and ensures that the cherries continually release their essence into the brandy.

Straining and Bottling

Once the cherry brandy has aged to your satisfaction, it needs to be strained and bottled. Straining removes the spent cherries and any other solid matter from the brandy. A fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth works well for this.

After straining, the cherry brandy is ready to be bottled. Ensure the bottles you use are clean and dry to prevent contamination. It’s also a good idea to use dark glass bottles, as these can help to protect your cherry brandy from light, which could affect its flavor.

Bottling your cherry brandy makes it easier to serve and allows you to store it longer. If stored properly, your homemade cherry brandy can last several months or even years without losing its flavor.

Serving Suggestions

Once your cherry brandy is ready, there are countless ways to enjoy it. This versatile liqueur can be enjoyed in various ways, from crafting unique cocktails to pairing it with desserts to sipping it neat.

Cherry Brandy Cocktails

While sipping homemade cherry brandy can be a joy in itself, using it to create delicious cocktails can bring a whole new excitement. Cherry brandy can be combined with other spirits, mixers, and ingredients to create a variety of cocktails.

A cherry brandy Old Fashioned, for instance, adds a unique twist to the classic bourbon drink. Alternatively, a cherry brandy spritzer, combined with some soda water and a squeeze of lime, can be a refreshing summer drink.

Dessert Ideas

Cherry brandy isn’t just for sipping or mixing into cocktails; it can also be a secret weapon in your dessert-making arsenal. The complex flavors of cherry brandy can enhance a range of desserts, adding a luxurious touch.

Try drizzling your cherry brandy over vanilla ice cream for a grown-up sundae, or use it to soak the sponge in a Black Forest gateau. You could also use cherry brandy as a glaze for a fruit tart, adding a layer of richness and sophistication.

Straight or Neat

Sometimes, the simplest way to enjoy cherry brandy is straight or neat. This allows you to appreciate the full spectrum of flavors – from the tart, fruity notes of cherries to the rich, warm tones of the brandy. Sipping cherry brandy neat can be a great way to unwind after a long day or to savor alongside a cheese platter for an indulgent treat.

Homemade Cherry Liqueur Variations

Making cherry brandy at home opens up a world of possibilities for experimenting with different variations. You can alter the spirit base, introduce new flavors, or experiment with different sweeteners to create a cherry liqueur that’s truly your own.

Using Vodka or Rum

While we’ve focused on brandy as the spirit base for this guide, it’s worth noting that you can also use vodka or rum to create different versions of cherry liqueur. With its neutral flavor, vodka can allow the cherries to take center stage. Rum, on the other hand, can introduce a layer of sweet, caramel-like notes that can beautifully complement the cherries.

Adding Almond Flavor

Adding almond flavor to your cherry brandy can introduce a nutty depth that balances the fruity sweetness of the cherries. Almond extract or a handful of crushed almonds can be added to the mixture before aging.

Experimenting with Different Sweeteners

While the cherries provide a natural sweetness to your brandy, additional sweeteners can introduce unique flavors and increase the depth of flavor. Honey can lend a floral note, while maple syrup or agave nectar can bring a rich, caramel-like sweetness. The choice of sweetener can significantly impact the final flavor profile, so feel free to experiment to find what you like best.

Nutritional Information

Homemade cherry brandy, like any alcoholic drink, should be enjoyed responsibly. Brandy typically contains about 64 calories per ounce. However, the exact nutritional content of your cherry brandy can vary greatly depending on the cherries, brandy, and any additional flavorings or sweeteners you use.

Frequently Asked Questions

Learning how to make cherry brandy can raise several questions. Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked ones.

Best Cherry Brandy Recipes?

There are numerous cherry brandy recipes available in books and online. Some popular ones include the Cherry Blossom, the Brandy Alexander, and the Singapore Sling. However, the best recipe is the one that caters to your personal taste.

Quick Cherry Liqueur Recipe?

A quick cherry liqueur recipe involves combining pitted cherries, sugar, and a spirit of your choice in a jar, shaking until the sugar dissolves, and then letting it sit for a couple of weeks before straining and enjoying.

Cherry Brandy or Cherry Liqueur?

While the terms are often used interchangeably, cherry brandy refers to a spirit made by distilling cherries, while infusing cherries makes cherry liqueur in a neutral spirit.

Using Vodka for Cherry Liqueur?

Yes, vodka can be used instead of brandy to make cherry liqueur. The neutral flavor of vodka allows the cherries to shine through.

Popular Cherry Liqueur Brands?

Some popular commercial cherry liqueur brands include Luxardo, Cherry Heering, and Maraska.

How to Drink Cherry Brandy?

Cherry brandy can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, in cocktails, or used as a flavoring in cooking and baking.


Making your own cherry brandy is a rewarding journey. The process allows for creativity and the end product is a testament to your effort and patience. So, gather your ingredients, equip yourself with these guidelines, and embark on this adventure of learning how to make your own cherry brandy.

P.S. Don’t forget your gift as a small token for dropping by. Look on the blog side or at the bottom if you’re on your mobile. Cheers!

Leave a Comment

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap