Prep two canning jars – one pint and one 1/2 pint *
1 pound cherries with stems attached**
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 ounces fresh lemon juice, strained
10 ounces of bourbon
Rinse, then pit the cherries (you will need a cherry pitter for this – perhaps you can borrow one if you don’t have one).
Bring the sugar, water, and lemon juice to a boil in a large sauce pan, turn down heat and simmer for five minutes. Gently add the cherries and gently stir until they are coated with the sugar syrup. Bring just until a simmer, add the bourbon, heat until hot. (Do not boil as this will boil away the bourbon.)
With a slotted spoon, ladle the cherries into the canning jars. Gently pack down with a spoon. Pour the hot syrup over the cherries until it is a quarter of an inch from the top of the jars. Put the canning lids on them immediately, then gently tighten the rims.
*Boil the jars and the rims for 10 minutes, then leave in the hot water until ready to use. Put the tops in a small bowl and pour boiling water over them and let sit until ready to use.
**I used regular cherries grown in Northern California. Cherries should be firm and not overly ripe.
Notes on canning: for food safety, most canning requires a boiling water bath of ten minutes. But higher concentrations of sugar, acid, and/or alcohol will decrease the need for the boiling water bath – thus skipping that step for this recipe. Essential to food safety is getting the lids to seal. You can ascertain that the lids have sealed either by hearing the “pop”, noticing that the lids are slightly inverted, or tapping on the lid – a sealed lid will have a duller sound then an unsealed lid.