Port-Infused Cherries

Between Christmas and New Year's, we're looking to what's in your glass. We're beginning with a fantastic port-infused cocktail cherry recipe that will have you foregoing jars of those bright red maraschino cherries in the grocery store. And, while these are fantastic in your favorite drinks, I'll admit I pop them in my mouth on their own and serve them over my favorite desserts because they are that good.

My recipe calls for ruby port because I like it more. You could opt for tawny port or even a different liquor that suits your fancy. Make sure you pull the cinnamon stick when you put the cherries in your jar unless you are really a fan of cinnamon. The longer it sits, the more cinnamon flavor will be added to your cherries.

I like using these in Wisconsin's drink of choice, the old fashioned, but they are also lovely in a tot of bourbon or floating in mulled cider or wine. Really, any cold weather cocktail that calls for a cherry garnish should be happy to spend time with one or three of these gems!

Port-Infused Cherries

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup ruby port
  • 1 lb. cherries, pitted and stemmed (you can also use high quality frozen cherries)

Combine the water, sugar, cinnamon stick, and nutmeg in a saucepan; bring the mixture to a simmer. Stir occasionally as the sugar dissolves.

Add the ruby port and the cherries. Stir to coat all of the cherries in the syrup. Cook for 5 minutes to soften the cherries slightly.

Turn off the heat and allow the cherries to cool. Once cooled, store in the fridge in a tightly sealed jar.

  • Yields: 1 lb. cocktail cherries
  • Preparation Time: About 20 minutes