Ch-Ch-Cherry Bombs: Patriotic Vodka-Infused Cherries


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Vodka infused cherries made by blogger Stephanie Ziajka on Diary of a Debutante

Happy 4th of July weekend, y’all! I hope there are some fireworks and good old-fashioned summer barbecues in your weekend plans. Kyle and I just moved, so we’ll be laying low and having an intimate Independence Day celebration on Sunday. Even for small gatherings, I always love making signature cocktails. This year a recipe I saw on Cosmo’s Facebook page caught my eye. Originally adapted from Frosting and a Smile, this “Cherry Bomb” recipe video made my vodka-hating mouth water. Honestly, in my humble opinion, the only “edible” cocktails that rival spiked gummy bears are vodka infused cherries. So, instead of making patriotic sangria or a firecracker cocktail, I decided to try my own 4th of July-inspired boozy cherries. And y’all– they’re amazing

These vodka infused cherries, aka cherry bombs, are the perfect combination of sweet and sour. My only warning is to enjoy them responsibly… because they’ll sneak up on you. And fast. To make a batch, all you need is a jar of stemmed maraschino cherries (be sure to not accidentally purchase stemless cherries– if you do, it’s not the end of the world, but you’ll need cocktail picks), whipped cream-flavored vodka (I used Pinnacle Whipped), white chocolate wafers (I used Ghiradelli), and blue decorating sugar. Keep reading for a handy little recipe card and step-by-step spiked cherry instructions!

4th of July-Inspired Vodka Infused Cherries

Blogger Stephanie Ziajka makes vodka cherries on Diary of a Debutante

These vodka infused cherries are ridiculously easy to make, although (full disclosure) they can get a bit messy. Be sure to make these at least one day before your event, because there’s a recommended 12+ hours of refrigeration and soaking involved. The actual “prep work” should only take you about five to ten minutes, though!

Ingredients

These vodka cherries are perfect for parties because they’re batched by the jar. That said, here’s everything you need to serve 16 (multiply by 2 or 4 for even larger gatherings):

  • 1 16oz jar stemmed maraschino cherries, chilled thoroughly– I buy mine from Walmart, and a jar is under $3. Be sure to not accidentally purchase stemless cherries, though. If you do, it’s not the end of the world, but you’ll definitely need cocktail picks for the decorating portion.
  • 1 cup whipped-cream flavored vodka, such as Pinnacle Whipped Vodka– If you can’t find Pinnacle, Smirnoff Whipped Cream is a great alternative. Cardi B apparently makes a vanilla whipped cream vodka now, too, although I can’t vouch for its taste.
  • 1 cup white chocolate wafers– Any white chocolate wafers will do, but I use Ghiradelli. If you don’t have any on hand, almond bark and candy melts work well, too.
  • 1/2 cup blue decorating sugar– I use Walmart’s light blue sanding sugar! If you want a bit more crunch, Wilton’s blue sanding sugar sprinkles are perfect. 

Bottle of Pinnacle whipped cream vodka on Diary of a Debutante

Substitutions

Here are some substitutions that work well for this boozy cherries recipe–

  • Vanilla-infused vodka– The whipped cream vodka is probably the MVP of this spiked maraschino cherries recipe, but if you’re in a pinch, regular vanilla vodka works fine, too. I don’t recommend foregoing the creamy flavoring altogether and using regular vodka, though. It just doesn’t taste the same. 
  • White candy melts or almond bark– If you don’t have white chocolate wafers on hand, white candy melts and white almond bark both work great for this recipe. Follow the instructions on the package for melting info!
  • Different-colored sanding sugar– Don’t limit these vodka cherries to red, white and blue holidays like 4th of July! Swap out the blue decorating sugar for different colors to represent other holidays, like green for Christmas, pink for Valentine’s Day, etc. 

Patriotic Vodka Cherries Recipe

Spiked cherry recipe by blogger Stephanie Ziajka on Diary of a Debutante

This vodka-infused cherries recipe is as simple as can be! One quick tip before getting started– make sure the cherries are cold. Not cool, cold. To make sure they’re thoroughly chilled, I usually let the entire jar of cherries sit in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours before preparing these vodka-infused cherries.

Once you’re ready to get started, pour out the chilled cherries and maraschino cherry juice from the jar. Then, return the cherries to the jar and add in 1 cup whipped cream-flavored vodka. Note: If you prefer a less intense vodka taste, pour half of the maraschino cherry juice back into the jar and then fill the remaining space with vodka. It makes the cherries much more palatable for non-vodka fans! Next, cover, refrigerate, and let the spiked cherries soak for a minimum of 12 hours and a maximum of 24 hours. The longer you allow the cherries to soak in vodka, the stronger they’ll taste, so keep that in mind!

After the cherries have had enough time to soak, pour the vodka and boozy cherries into a strainer and (optional but highly recommended) reserve some of the cherry infused vodka for other cocktails. Transfer the vodka-infused cherries to a plate or baking sheet lined with paper towels and allow them to air dry as you prep your chocolate. If there’s still any moisture on the vodka-infused cherries, gently pat them dry with paper towels, otherwise the chocolate will slip right off.

Step one of blogger Stephanie Ziajka's boozy cherries recipe on Diary of a Debutante

Next, using a microwave-safe bowl or container, melt 1 cup white melting wafers in microwave at half power at 15-second intervals for a total of 30-45 seconds (or until the chocolate is evenly melted throughout). Don’t overheat the chocolate, otherwise it’ll harden and essentially become unusable.

White chocolate melting wafers on Diary of a DebutanteBlogger Stephanie Ziajka shows how to make boozy cherries on Diary of a DebutanteBlue dusting sugar used to decorate fresh cherries soaked in vodka on Diary of a Debutante

Dip the dry boozy cherries halfway in melted white chocolate, then in blue decorating sugar. Place on wax paper to set and repeat the process for all the remaining cherries.

Blogger Stephanie Ziajka shows how to make vodka soaked cherries for the 4th of July on Diary of a DebutanteBlogger Stephanie Ziajka shows how to make red white and blue cherries soaked in vodka on Diary of a Debutante

Finally, transfer the vodka cherries to the fridge until you’re ready to serve them. Once your guests arrive, they can be enjoyed at room temperature for 4-6 hours. If they’re going to be out longer than that (or if you’re prepping them a day or two in advance), it’s best to keep them refrigerated. Enjoy responsibly!

boozy chocolate covered cherries made by blogger Stephanie Ziajka on Diary of a Debutante vodka maraschino cherries made by blogger Stephanie Ziajka on Diary of a DebutanteBlogger Stephanie Ziajka shows how to make spiked maraschino cherries on Diary of a Debutante

Storage

Yes, these vodka infused cherries can be prepped ahead of time! You can also save the leftovers for parties later on in the weekend, too. Here’s how–

  • Counter (at room temperature)– When you’re ready to serve these vodka-infused cherries, you can safely store them on the counter at room temperature for anywhere from 4-6 hours. If they’re going to be out longer than that (or if you’re prepping them a day or two in advance), it’s best to keep them refrigerated.
  • Fridge– Transfer any leftover vodka-infused cherries to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Also, if you wait to decorate the spiked cherries, they’ll keep for much longer. 
  • Freezer– Spiked cherries can be frozen, but it’s not an ideal short-term solution. Still, if you decide to go the freezer route, I recommend storing them bare (ie without chocolate or sprinkles) in a freezer-safe container. Then, once you’re ready to enjoy them, defrost them in the fridge overnight and decorate afterwards.
Patriotic Vodka-Infused Cherries

Patriotic Vodka-Infused Cherries

Yield: 16 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Inactive Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 12 hours 7 minutes

Be the belle of the 4th of July barbecue ball with these patriotic vodka-infused cherries! Dipped in white melted chocolate and garnished with blue dusting sugar, these boozy cherries are a festive bite-sized dessert and 4th of July cocktail in one. You can save the prepared cherry vodka liquid for future cocktails, too!

Ingredients

  • 1 16oz jar stemmed maraschino cherries, chilled thoroughly
  • 1 cup whipped-cream flavored vodka, such as Pinnacle Whipped Vodka
  • 1 cup white chocolate melting wafers
  • 1/2 cup blue decorating sugar

Instructions

  1. Using a strainer to catch the chilled cherries, pour the maraschino cherry juice out of the jar. Return the cherries to the jar and add in 1 cup whipped cream-flavored vodka. Cover, refrigerate, and let soak for a minimum of 12 hours and a maximum of 24 hours. The longer you allow the cherries to soak in vodka, the stronger they'll taste (and FYI- if you leave them for more than 24 hours, they'll start to taste like perfume instead of fruit), so keep that in mind!
  2. Once the cherries have had enough time to soak, pour the vodka and boozy cherries into a strainer and (optional but highly recommended) reserve some of the cherry infused vodka for future cherry cocktails. Transfer the vodka infused cherries to a plate or baking sheet lined with paper towels and allow them to air dry as you prepare the chocolate. If there's still any moisture on the vodka-infused cherries, gently pat them dry with paper towels, otherwise the chocolate will slip right off when you try to dip them.
  3. Using a microwave-safe bowl or container, melt 1 cup white melting wafers in microwave at half power at 15-second intervals for a total of 30-45 seconds (or until the chocolate is evenly melted throughout). Don't overheat the chocolate, otherwise it'll harden and essentially become unusable.
  4. Dip the dry boozy cherries halfway in melted white chocolate, then in blue decorating sugar. Place on wax paper to set. Repeat for remaining cherries.
  5. Transfer vodka-infused cherries to the fridge until you're ready to serve. Afterwards, they can be enjoyed at room temperature for 4-6 hours. Enjoy responsibly!

Notes

Recipe Tips

  • To make sure they're sufficiently chilled, I recommend letting the jar of cherries sit in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours before preparing these vodka-infused cherries.
  • For a less intense vodka taste, pour half of the maraschino cherry juice back into the jar and then fill the remaining space with vodka. It makes the cherries much more palatable for non-vodka fans!

Substitutions

  • Vanilla-infused vodka- The whipped cream vodka is probably the MVP of this spiked maraschino cherries recipe, but if you're in a pinch, regular vanilla-infused vodka works fine, too. I don't recommend foregoing the creamy flavoring altogether and using regular vodka, though. It just doesn't taste the same. 
  • White candy melts or almond bark- If you don't have white chocolate wafers on hand, white candy melts and white almond bark both work great for this recipe. Follow the instructions on the package for melting info!
  • Different-colored sanding sugar- Don't limit these vodka cherries to red, white and blue holidays like 4th of July and Labor Day! Swap out the blue decorating sugar for different colors to represent other holidays, like green for Christmas, pink for Valentine's Day, etc. 

Storage

  • Counter (at room temperature)- When you're ready to serve these vodka-infused cherries, you can safely store them on the counter at room temperature for anywhere from 4-6 hours. If they're going to be out longer than that (or if you're prepping them a day or two in advance), it's best to keep them refrigerated.
  • Fridge- Transfer any leftover vodka-infused cherries to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.


Recipe card updated on 7/2/22 to include missing prep and cook times.

Nutrition Information
Yield 16Serving Size 2 cherries
Amount Per ServingCalories 165Total Fat 5gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 5mgSodium 19mgCarbohydrates 26gFiber 1gSugar 24gProtein 1g

Nutritional information isn't always accurate and can vary based on a number of factors, including but not limited to discrepancies among brands, precision of measurements, and freshness of ingredients.


 
Adorable, right? Yes, they’re the perfect combination of sweet and tart, and yes, these vodka cherries as dangerous as they look. Like I said before, though, please enjoy them responsibly because they sneak up on you– and fast!

Well, that’s all I’ve got for y’all today! If you tried this boozy cherries recipe for yourself, please don’t hesitate to let me know if you had any trouble. Questions, concerns, or complaints– I love hearing from you guys, and I’m happy to help! Also, if you need more 4th of July cocktails or snack ideas, these skinny watermelon margaritas and these American flag rice krispie treats are two of my favorites. Thanks so much for reading, y’all!

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3 thoughts on “Ch-Ch-Cherry Bombs: Patriotic Vodka-Infused Cherries

  1. CJ

    What an interesting recipe.. I have never thought of using Vodka in dishes like these. I always use Brandy, Rum, etc. I know my Mom would love something like this… Thanks so much for the idea! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Stephanie Ziajka Post author

      I thought so, too! I’m not usually a vodka drinker, but I think these would be too sweet with anything other than vodka. Trust me, the sugar and chocolate coating offer more than enough flavor contrast. Hope you had a lovely 4th!

      xx,
      Stephanie

      Reply
  2. Pingback: Patriotic Fruit Platter Idea for the 4th of July, Memorial Day, and Labor Day

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