Cherry Cordial

Packed with the sweet flavor of ripe fruit and rounded out with subtle notes of orange, cardamom, and ginger, this cherry cordial has countless uses. Add a splash to a glass of sparkling wine or lemonade, or serve over ice with plenty of tonic water. Brush cherry cordial on layers of chocolate cake before frosting, or drizzle it over crepes or vanilla ice cream.

Cherry Cordial
Photo: Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Melissa Gray / Prop Styling by Heather Chadduck Hillegas
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs
4 cups


  • 1 ½ pounds fresh whole dark sweet cherries, unpitted and unstemmed (about 5 cups)

  • 2 cups granulated sugar

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 ½ teaspoons teaspoons cardamom pods, smashed

  • 1 ½ teaspoons grated orange zest, plus 1/2 cup fresh juice (from 1 orange), divided

  • 2 cinnamon sticks

  • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced


  1. Stir together cherries, sugar, water, cardamom pods, orange zest, cinnamon sticks, and ginger in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium; simmer, stirring occasionally, until cherries are tender and liquid is a thin syrup consistency, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat.

  2. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a large heatproof bowl. Pour cherry mixture through strainer into bowl, pressing cherries using the back of a spoon to extract remaining juices. Discard solids. Stir orange juice into strained cherry mixture. Let stand at room temperature, uncovered, until cooled to room temperature, about 30 minutes. To enjoy, pour a ¼-cup serving over an ice-filled cocktail glass and top up with tonic water, or add a splash to a glass of chilled sparkling white wine.

Cherry cordial may be stored in resealable glass jars in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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