12 Best Bourbon Cherries Of All Time Ranked

The phrase "cherry on top" has as much meaning in the culinary world as it does in the metaphorical one. Cherries are fruits that are synonymous with an added fruity treat. Cherries make any ice cream sundae or mixed drink a little fancier. There's also a high demand for the juicy red fruits during peak season, which can often lead to a high price tag for fresh cherries as well as the fancy jarred varieties. 

Jarred cherries expand way beyond the artificially colored maraschino cherries that are so often popular, despite not adding much flavor to whatever they are put on. One upgrade is a boozy cherry, particularly cherries that are soaked in bourbon. Cherries taste good soaked in almost any liquor, whether it be rum or brandy, to add a spicy and alcoholic bite to them. 

Bourbon-soaked cherries end up being a much more flavorful addition to cocktails and desserts than the typical maraschino variety. Plus, whether you're incorporating them into a recipe or eating them right out of the jar, good bourbon cherries have a perfectly balanced bite all on their own. 

There are tons of bourbon cherries on the market that make great garnishes for cocktails like an Old Fashioned or a Manhattan. If you'd like to use these boozy cherries, it's best to know which ones are the best so that you can make the most informed decision possible next time you're trying to pick out a jar of boozy cherries. 

12. Bourbon Country Cherries

Speaking of maraschino cherries that are so red that they look fake, Bourbon Country Cherries are almost indistinguishable from the classic version. The large cherries are infused with Kentucky bourbon; however, the high amount of corn syrup in this jar takes over the flavor of these cherries. The size and texture of the cherries isn't the worst, but there's absolutely no tart flavor like you'd expect from the fruit. Even the booze isn't enough to up the ante for this jar. 

Additionally, this 8.25-ounce jar is significantly smaller than other options on the market despite being similarly priced at $8.50. According to one Amazon customer, the taste is far too bland, and the coloring is far too artificial. You're better off buying whatever discount brand of non-alcoholic cherries you can find at the grocery store for a fraction of the price that you would be shelling out for this jar. 

11. Ruddell's Mill Cherries

It isn't coincidental that the bourbon cherries that are suspiciously bright red are among the worst you can buy. Both Bourbon Country and Ruddell's Mill Cherries are, unfortunately, reminiscent of the overly sweet maraschino cherries you either love or hate. However, especially in the case of Ruddell's Mill, the addition of bourbon makes for an even more unsettling flavor in this 9-ounce jar.

The texture of the cherries isn't horrible, as they have a pleasant crunch and bite, unlike other options that essentially disintegrate when you add them to a drink. Ruddell's Mill just could use some improvement in terms of the flavor department. According to one Etsy customer, they taste like maraschino cherries that have been drizzled with oodles of corn syrup. For $10 and some change, there are much better options for topping off your cocktails and ice cream sundaes beyond than this jar. 

10. Tillen Farms Bada Bing Cherries

Tillen Farms Bada Bing Cherries are sold in an expansive amount of stores, but the ease of access doesn't mean they are the best-tasting bourbon cherry you can buy. It's another option that's light on the bourbon and with a flavor that falls flat. 

If you're not a fan of cocktail cherries with stems, that is another reason to opt for a different jar of cherries when deciding between a few options since these cherries include the stems. The price is reasonable, with a 13.5-ounce jar selling for about $10, but you're saving money in exchange for a lower-quality product. 

An Amazon customer noted in a review that Bada Bing Cherries are better than the standard jarred maraschino, but they're far from the best option out there. As the customer notes, while these may help you save some money, ultimately, the lower quality is just not worth it. 

9. Evan Williams Bourbon Black Cherries

Evan Williams Bourbon Black Cherries have the benefit of name recognition on their side. If Evan Williams is your bourbon of choice, these cherries might land way higher on your own personal ranking. These are pretty standard cocktail cherries that are a huge step up from candied maraschino cherries, but they could still be improved upon. This 9-ounce jar has a thicker syrup than the other previous options, which is a nice addition to cocktails in lieu of simple syrup or other sweeteners. 

The main improvement that could be made here is in terms of the consistency of the cherries. They are noticeably soft, bordering on mushy, which can be an unsatisfying quality in any cocktail garnish. One Amazon customer wrote that they expected better-tasting cherries considering the name brand and suggested making your own cherries at home. Evan Williams Bourbon Black Cherries sell for about $10 a jar. 

8. Collins Bourbon Stemmed Cherries

Collins Bourbon Stemmed Cocktail Cherries look exactly like the quintessential cherry you want in your cocktail of choice. Unfortunately, looks aren't everything. Collins definitely doesn't make a bad cherry at all, but when considering the $14 price tag for an 11-ounce jar, there's room for improvement. 

Collins packs some massive whole cherries in this jar, which is a major plus. As one Amazon customer wrote in a review, the cherries retain their shape quite well, and they are not mushed together like some of the other cherries, making them ideal for cocktails. 

The fruit itself is perfectly ripe and juicy, but the downfall is the liquid that they're soaking in. The bourbon is not the shining star of these cherries as it causes the flavor to fall to the wayside. The syrup is also unpleasantly thin and unbalanced in flavor. 

The sweetness feels artificial, and it seems like it would benefit the cherries if the syrup were reduced longer to concentrate both the flavor and texture. 

7. Dirty Sue Whiskey Cherries

Dirty Sue Whiskey Cherries are sold in a 16-ounce jar that sells for $18, and the reviews are mixed in terms of the contents. Some Amazon customers who previously praised the brand claim in more recent reviews that jars of Dirty Sue contained cherries that were smaller than usual. Older reviews praise the brand for having big cherries with a crisp texture but allege that the shape has changed over time. Still, the flavor seems to be consistently on point. 

According to one Amazon review, the texture of these cherries is great, and they taste wonderful over vanilla ice cream as well. Dirty Sue cherries are actually tart rather than overly sweet, and the booze is prominent in every bite. 

They also have the distinct yet warm flavor of baking spices and vanilla, which is delicious but also affects the versatility of this cocktail cherry. The verdict seems to be that Dirty Sue cherries aren't bad, but they aren't worth seeking out like some other craft brands.

6. Traverse City Whiskey Co. Premium Cocktail Cherries

Traverse City, Michigan, is known for its cherries, so it would be a missed opportunity for Traverse City Whiskey Co. to not sell jars of bourbon cocktail cherries to complement its spirits. This 21-ounce jar costs $18. 

Some reviews on Total Wine compare the large size and texture of these cherries to the popular Luxardo cherries. According to one Total Wine customer, these cherries have a nice chewy texture and are definitely worth the price. They aren't the booziest option, but the bourbon heat is still present. 

The main reason Traverse City Whiskey's Premium Cocktail Cherries aren't the best out there is because there are some mixed reviews regarding the flavor of the syrup. Some Amazon customers compare the flavor to cherry cough syrup, which is definitely off-putting. 

Others give it a positive review, citing the nice savory aspect that balances out the sweetness of the cherries. It seems to be one of those things that's very much up to personal preference, which is worth noting before you are stuck with a massive jar of cherries you end up not wanting to eat. 

5. Sable and Rosenfeld Bourbon Tipsy Dark Reserve Cherries

Unlike some of the other options for boozy cherries, Sable & Rosenfeld's Bourbon Tipsy Dark Reserve Cherries are not your average sundae topping. These cherries are huge and luscious, worthy of a sophisticated cocktail or dessert. They're also extremely well priced at less than $8 for a 10-ounce jar. 

They are definitely one of the options that they taste more like dessert than a shot of booze, but the rich bourbon flavor still shines through. Honestly, if they had a little more bourbon in the syrup, these could easily have been one of the best options out there. 

Sable & Rosenfeld features large Stardust cherries in its jars, mixed with tart dark cherry juice and elderberry juice, and a little vanilla. According to one Amazon customer, there work particularly well for a party featuring Old Fashioned cocktails, so you definitely won't regret buying a few jars of these.

4. Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. Bourbon Cocktail Cherries

Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. puts up a solid fight for the top spot with the bourbon cocktail cherries. Honestly, if this jar contained a little bit more booze, it could easily take the cake. 

Jack Rudy uses fresh and firm cherries that hold their own in its cocktails and desserts. The thick syrup used in the 13.5-ounce jar makes for an added cocktail ingredient to boost up the cherry flavor in any mixed drink you're making or as an added sweetener that can be poured on top of plain vanilla ice cream. 

The $30 price tag for two jars and the low booze level are the two downfalls to these cocktail cherries, but the flavor is deletable, and that alone makes them worth the splurge. One Awesome Drinks customer wrote in a review that the cherries have a great, crisp texture that makes for an incredible addition to cocktails. 

3. Red Camper Bourbon Cocktail Cherries

Red Camper gets props for its line of bourbon cocktail cherries not just because the cherries have a solid flavor but also because the brand sells a variety of flavored cherries. In particular, the brand released a spicy version of their bourbon cocktail cherries that is boozy with a burn.

The sour cherries already have a base that is heavy on baking spices and vanilla, not to mention the heavy pour of Laws Bourbon in the syrup. For the chile cherries, Red Camper adds hints of Guajillos, Habaneros, and Chile Pequin to layer the heat throughout the cherries. 

These cherries are far from the most budget-friendly option. A 9-ounce jar sells for $20. However, it is one of those products you would be hard-pressed to find elsewhere, so it might be worth the splurge for spice lovers. According to a review on the Red Camper website, the flavor of these cherries is unique and wonderful, and it is definitely worth trying. 

2. Luxardo Cherries

Let's start this off by recognizing that Luxardo Cherries are not technically bourbon cherries: There's actually no booze at all inside these magical and aesthetically-pleasing jars. It would be remiss not to consider these cherries because they are sort of standard quality cherries. These Italian candied maraschino cherries have a dark red coloring that matches their deep and complex flavor. They are pricy, with a 14-ounce jar selling for $24 on Drizly

Luxardo is known for its craft-infused liqueurs and other bar staples, but the cherries are truly the cherry on top of the entire product line. The only downfall of these is the lack of booze; otherwise, you can't go wrong. One Drizly customer reviewer writes that this is much better than the regular maraschino cherries, both in terms of flavor and coloring. While they're not quite as exciting as boozy cherries, they are the top of the line in terms of canned cherries. 

1. Woodford Reserve Bourbon Cherries

Woodford Reserve Bourbon Cherries from Bourbon Barrel Foods are the epitome of the classic bourbon cherry. The ingredients in this jar are simple, and they focus on the robust flavor of Woodford Reserve bourbon blends and a delightful mixture of tart and sweet ripe cherries. A 13.5-ounce jar sells for about $18, so you're getting exactly what you expect when you purchase these cocktail garnishes. Additionally, the brand squeezes a solid amount of cherries inside one jar, even though they probably won't last long once you first pop the bottle open: They are that hard to put down. 

The Woodford Reserve spiked cherries also get bonus points for their versatility. They don't have added flavors or spices that make them particularly better for a few specific drinks and/or dishes. You can find a million ways to experiment with these cherries in the kitchen and bar that make it worth the splurge. As one Sam's Club customer wrote in a review of the cherries, these are akin to a slightly less sweetened maraschino cherry with a wonderful addition of bourbon.