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Cherry Bomb Recipe | Cherry Bourbon Smash

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Are you in for a treat! This simple recipe for a Cherry Bomb cocktail is quite frankly, “the bomb”! Fresh cherries muddled with rich bourbon, vanilla, maple syrup, lemon juice and a splash of club soda, makes the ultimate Cherry Bourbon Smash!

glass full cocktail with cherry on top


I was trying to figure out what to name this cocktail, a “Cherry Vanilla“, but it also has maple syrup in it.

Perhaps “Cherry Maple Vanilla Cocktail“, though it’s made with bourbon as well, “Maple Cherry Vanilla Bourbon Cocktail” that’s a bit long.

Then I asked my husband if he wanted a drink last week and he said, “Yes, can you make that Cherry Bomb again!?” A drink is born! It’s also known as a Cherry Bourbon Smash!

glass full cocktail with cherry on top

I love fresh seasonal cocktails, like this Blackberry Bourbon Moscow Mule or this Grapefruit Basil Vodka Smash. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I concocted this perfect late summer cocktail.

Using in-season, fresh* cherries, bursting with amazing flavor, encouraging their dark red juice and flavors to mix with wee dram of bourbon, maple syrup, vanilla and club soda.

The perfect way to end a long, hot summer day. *Frozen cherries may be substituted!

empty glass on table

Cherry Cocktail Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup fresh cherries, pitted and sliced (frozen may be substituted)
  • 1 – 1.5 oz bourbon
  • 1/2-1 Tablespoon Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or go over the top with our Bourbon Vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Ice cubes or crushed ice
  • Club soda
glass full cocktail with cherry on top

Cut or pit about 1/3 of a cup of fresh cherries and place into an old fashioned glass. Use equal amounts of frozen (slightly thawed) cherries.

glass with chopped cherries inside

Pour the bourbon over the cherries…

Pouring whiskey into glass of muddled cherries for Cherry Bomb Cocktail.

…and then the vanilla, I used my homemade bourbon vanilla, either is fine!

Adding bourbon vanilla to Cherry Bomb drink.

Then add maple syrup…

Adding maple syrup to cherry bomb cocktail.

Finally, the fresh lemon juice.

Teaspoon of fresh lemon juice being added to Cherry Bomb Cocktail.

Grabbing a muddler or the end of a thick wooden spoon, gently smash the cherries with the liquids, releasing their juices and flavors.

Using a muddler to press the juice out of the fresh cherries for Cherry Bomb Cocktail.

Filling your glass with ice (I used my Ninja blender and crushed ice)

Cocktail glass filled with crushed ice for Cherry Bomb Cocktail.

Top off the glass with club soda, using a spoon gently stir and bring up some of the cherries to the top for a delicious, refreshing, stunning Cherry Cocktail!!

Pouring in a splash of club soda to the Cherry Bomb cocktail.

How to Make a non-alcoholic Cherry Shirley Temple Drink

This makes a refreshing and vibrant Cherry Maple Mocktail! Simply omit the bourbon and adding a bit more cherries/juice and club soda for a slightly different take on a Shirley Temple drink.

Image of a fizzy Cherry Bomb Cocktail on wooden cutting board with fresh cherries and lemon.

I hope you have loved this cherry bomb, cherry bourbon smash or whatever you want to call it! It’s one of our favorites!

Pinterest Image for Cherry Bomb with fresh cherry on side of cocktail glass filled with the beverage.

Like this recipe?
Don’t forget to give it a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating and comment below the recipe!

Long pin for Cherry Bourbon Smash with image of top of cherry bomb cocktail and bottom a separate of the lower part of the glass with fresh cherries.

More Fresh Drinks

Kathleen Pope, The Fresh Cooky.

About Kathleen Pope

Recipe Innovator | Food Photographer | Food Writer

Hi, I’m Kathleen Pope. Here at The Fresh Cooky you will find easy, mostly from-scratch, trusted recipes for all occasions. From speedy dinners to tasty desserts, with easy step-by-step instructions. I am here to help teach you how to make mouthwatering recipes without spending hours in the kitchen. Read more about Kathleen here.

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  1. 5 stars
    This was our “theme” cocktail for a recent camping trip to Door County WI which is known for their cherries so we named it our “Door County Bourbon Smash”. Everyone loved it! We used less syrup and Sprite instead of the club soda. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve been on the hunt for a wonderfully balanced bourbon cocktail recently, and this cherry bomb is it! I love the addition of maple syrup and the vanilla extract for a little sweetness. Seriously–so good!

  3. This is delicious. I’ve been trying my hand at different cocktails during all of this stay at home business, and this one I’ll make after all this is over! A great treat.