Top Shelf Cherries


  • 1 lb fresh cherries (Bing or Rainier), stems and pits removed
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise
  • Pinch of fresh nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp whole allspice berries
  • whole star anise, broken in half
  • ¾ cup brandy
  • 1/3 cup cherry liqueur (I use Cherry Marnier)


In a large pot combine water and sugar. Scrape the seeds of the vanilla bean into the pot and add the pod. Stir in the cinnamon stick, nutmeg, allspice and star anise. Bring to a simmer. Once sugar has fully dissolved, remove from heat and cover for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, pack cherries into clean and sanitized jars, leaving ½ inch space from top of the jar.

After 15 minutes, remove the vanilla bean pod, cinnamon stick, allspice and piece of star anise. Stir in brandy and cherry liqueur. Ladle the syrup mixture over the jars of packed cherries, ensuring that the liquid covers the cherries completely. Cover tightly with lids.

Optional: Process jars in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.

Store in a cool, dry place. Store cherries for 2-3 months before serving to allow flavors to develop. Refrigerate jars after opening.



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