Maraschino cherries are great (especially when you opt for the artisanal version over the syrupy, neon red sugar globs), but sometimes the liqueur-soaked treat just doesn’t have the punch you need. Introducing hard liquor-infused cherries, a step up in both boozy content and DIY bragging rights.
We here at Supercall Labs don’t believe any liquor-infused project should require more than three steps: Add liquor, wait, enjoy. So far, the strategy has worked with both cookout condiments and sundae toppers, so we took the same approach with our cherries.
We plopped the fruits—pits, stems and all—into five jars filled with five different spirits (vodka, tequila, rum, whiskey and gin) and let them soak. We then tasted them after 36 hours, 72 hours and one week. The little stone fruits soaked up the alcohol way more effectively than expected, yielding little boozy bombs that are not for the faint of heart (or liver).
Here, the play-by-play of our booze-infused cherry experiment.
After 36 hours, the rum-infused cherries took on a mellow apple taste, even provoking one confirmed rum-hater to admit, “I like rum again.” Gin was also relatively popular, delivering unhindered fruit flavor better than any other infusion. Whiskey tasted like a strong Old Fashioned. And the tequila and vodka versions could generously be described as cough syrup.
Verdict: Rum (You should probably just stop here.)
An extra day and a half made a dramatic difference, escalating the liquor flavor and almost annihilating the taste of cherry in all the infusions. While rum remained the best of the bunch, the pleasing mixture of sugary, apple-esque flavors were gone, replaced by a serious rum kick. Gin left just enough hint of cherry to make us long for more of the fruit’s essence, but the sharp alcohol bite dissuaded us from sampling further. The whiskey and tequila cherries transformed into straight up edible booze. Even the vodka cherries were overcome by the flavor of the traditionally neutral spirit.
Verdict: Rum (But not as good as before.)