DIY: Marilla's Cherry Cordial

I like to cook, and when I do I think it generally turns out nice enough to eat. Yet, I highly doubt (unless I'm brainwashed or something) I will ever be a really lovely cook. Through out life, I prefer to just...visit...the idea every once in awhile, rather than become the idea. 

9780448424323-l                       Book Cover by: Jody Lee

"I should think Marilla's raspberry cordial would prob'ly be much nicer than Mrs. Lynde's," said Anne loyally. "Marilla is a famous cook. She is trying to teach me to cook but I assure you, Diana, it is uphill work. There's so little scope for imagination in cookery. You just have to go by rules." -Anne of Green Gables

When I came into our kitchen the other evening to find every last bit of the counter space covered in cherries, I knew Kenny (my husband) was experimenting with some sort of recipe. Turns out, he'd thought up a great idea for making "Cherry Bounce" or "Cherry Cordial" (it's more traditional title). I was beside myself excited, as it immediately reminded me of my favorite chapter from Anne of Green Gables:

"Mrs. Lynde was up to see Mrs. Barry today and Mrs. Barry was in an awful state," she wailed. "She says that I set Diana drunk Saturday and sent her home in a disgraceful condition." 

I begged Ken to let me call our recipe, "Marilla's Famous Cherry Cordial". But he said this wasn't "manly" enough. Well, we shall see about that...(evil laughter).

Our plan is to let it age until December and then give it to friends and family as Christmas gifts. It's a very yummy seasonal liqueur that you can drink, add to other drinks or cook with. And of course there will be vintage inspired labels on the bottles created with love by Jarfly ;)

Interested? Well here are the steps!


Ingredients & Supplies You'll Need:

1/2 Gallon Ball Mason Jar (or comparable container)

 2.75 liters Brandy or Bourbon

A pinch freshly ground Nutmeg-optional

2/3 Cup Sugar or 1 Cup Raw Honey

The peel of 1 lemon

1-3 Cinnamon Sticks


AND..........of course.....


2 Cups of Sweet or Sour Pie Cherries!

 While Cherry season is over, if you plan ahead for next year it's extra fun to pick them yourself or buy from local farmer's markets.



1. Place the cherries in a 1/2 Gallon Ball Mason Jar (or any 1/2 Gallon container). Be careful NOT to crush the fruit.

Jar                              Photo: Ken Kupelian

2. Add the sugar OR honey (not both) along with the lemon peel. 


3. Add 1-3 sticks of cinnamon (depending on your preference). We also added a pinch of freshly ground Nutmeg...but this is optional.

CinnamonPhoto Ken Kupelian

 4. Fill the REST of the jar with Bourbon OR Brandy (not both)


5. Seal the lid on the jar, then gently shake it up for 30 secs! This helps distribute the alcohol and sugar (or honey) more evenly.


6. Put the Jar in a cool, dark place for at least 4 months to age and become infused with flavor. The sugar will dissolve as it sits out. We chose to label our jar with the recipe, just to remember exactly what kind of cordial it is. There are many different styles.

PLEASE make a cuter label than we did!

Sit out

7. The process can be sped up by placing the jar on a windowsill for the FIRST TWO WEEKS. After that, place it in a cool, dark spot for the duration of the aging period. This can be risky, so keep that in mind if you opt for this choice.

As you can see above, my husband took this very seriously, duct taping the darn thing to our windowsill. Geesh. Hope your "Cherry Bounce" turns out amazing!  If you use this recipe and are pleased...let me know how it all went, especially in 4 months time! I love getting comments and messages. Happy Monday everybody. -Jenni



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