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What is a Cherry Cordial?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 16, 2024
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A cherry cordial is a confectionery treat made by enclosing a preserved cherry inside a chocolate shell. The cherry is typically preserved in cordial, a sweet liqueur, or sugar syrup for a non-alcoholic version, and the result is a very sweet candy treat with a faint bite from the alcohol. Numerous other fruits can be used to make cordials, although cherries remain especially popular, and the chocolate shell may be made from milk, dark, or white chocolate, depending on the taste of the confectioner.

The liqueur used inside the filling of the cherry cordial is made from crushed whole cherries which can been steeped in a sugar syrup with alcohol, and then strained. The result is a very dense, syrupy alcohol with a strong cherry flavor, courtesy of the crushed fruit and pits. Cherries are preserved in the liqueur by being halved, pitted, and heated briefly in the alcohol mixture before being preserved in cans or jars for use in cherry cordials. As an alternative, halved and pitted cherries can be cooked in sugar syrup and jarred for an alcohol-free version of cherry cordials.

These chocolates are especially common during the holiday season, with many markets carrying an array around December. They may be given as gifts or set out at holiday parties with other sweet treats, and people may pair cherry cordials with brandy or another alcohol as an after dinner treat. Beyond the holiday season, it can sometimes be challenging to find a cherry cordial in some regions of the world.

Cooks can make cherry cordials at home, assuming that they have access to candy molds. Making cherry cordials will require a supply of preserved cherries in syrup or cordial, and chocolate suitable for candy making. The chocolate is melted and carefully brushed into the molds in layers to create a shell, and the shells are filled with a single cherry each, along with a dollop of syrup, and topped with a layer of melted chocolate which will seal to create a closed confection.

The term “cordial” is also used specifically to refer to a family of fruit liqueurs made from crushed fruit, sugar syrup, and a fortifying alcohol. As a result, “cherry cordial” can mean both a filled chocolate, and a type of alcoholic drink. The drink is usually too sweet and intense to be consumed in large amounts, and it may be offered with an array of cordials either before or after dinner so that people can experience a small taste. Cherry cordial may also be blended into various mixed drinks.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By SZapper — On Jun 10, 2012

I have to admit that I'm a sucker for candies that mix alcohol and chocolate. My dad calls them "boozy chocolates" and we always get them around the holiday season. We do get cherry cordials, but there's another kind I really like too.

I'm not sure what they're called, but the chocolates are shaped like little liquor bottles and they contain a little bit of alcohol inside. They are labeled like a bottle of whiskey or vodka or whatever, and the alcohol inside matches the label. They are delicious, but I only ever see them during the holiday season.

By indemnifyme — On Jun 10, 2012
@JessicaLynn - Sugar free candy really isn't very good! I think it defeats the purpose. And in the case of a cherry cordial, what's the point of using sugar free chocolate when the cherry center has sugar in it?

Anyway, whenever I think of a cordial drink, I always think of the book Anne of Green Gables. There is one scene in the book where a young Anne accidentally get her friend drunk on cordial, which neither of them realizes has alcohol in it. I think the cordial in the book was either cherry cordial or raspberry cordial, I can't remember which.

By JessicaLynn — On Jun 09, 2012

@Perdido - That sounds pretty tasty! I actually once had a cherry cordial martini, which was made with cherry cordial (the alcohol, not the candy), a chocolate liqueur and vodka. It was delicious, but very strong like the drink you're describing. Needless to say, I only drank one, but I savored every sip.

I have to admit that I don't have that much restraint with cherry cordial candies though. The only time I've ever managed to eat only a few at a time is the one year I got the kind made from sugar free chocolate. It just wasn't that good, so it was easy to eat only one!

By Perdido — On Jun 08, 2012

I have had a delicious cherry cordial drink that included rum and cola. It was like an alcoholic cherry cola, and it was super sweet.

I felt like I was drinking dessert. I barely touched the slice of pie I had, because the cherry cordial drink was so sweet and rich that it filled me up.

It had two different types of rum in it, and it was so delicious that I drank it rather quickly. I began to feel lightheaded and warm inside rather quickly. I knew better than to drink another one, because I would probably end up both nauseous and drunk!

By orangey03 — On Jun 07, 2012

@golf07 – I don't know how you managed to eat just one a day! I don't have that kind of willpower when it comes to cherry cordials.

If I have a type of candy that I can take little bites of, then I can make one piece last several days. With cordials, if you take one little bite, some of the syrup runs out, and you have to lick it up. Since it will never stop oozing, it seems messy to put it back in the box, so I have to eat the whole piece at once.

If I eat one, then I find myself craving another. The craving is so strong that I can't resist. Since the box says that a serving size is two pieces, I usually allow myself that many.

By StarJo — On Jun 07, 2012

@cloudel – I love the cheap creamy kind, too! My best friend's dad would always get me a box of them as a Christmas gift, and I would eat half a box before the day was through.

I think I would probably love every type of cherry cordial on the market, though. Whoever came up with this recipe hit onto something big, because the flavor combination is a winner any way you make it.

I think that boxes of cherry cordials are popular gifts to give to someone that you work with or an acquaintance. Some of my coworkers will bring these to work during the season and put them on the break room table for everyone to enjoy.

By cloudel — On Jun 06, 2012

I have noticed that there are two different types of fillings for cherry cordials. One is white and creamy, and the other is clear and fluid.

The creamy kind always seemed sweeter to me. This was the kind that boxes of cherry cordials sold in dollar stores would always have. Even though they only cost $1 a box, I thought they were delicious, though several of my friends turned up their noses at them.

The kind with the liquid center seem to have a more sophisticated taste. They are great, but they just lack that creamy texture that I find so satisfying.

By Mykol — On Jun 06, 2012

I love the taste of cherry, and when you combine it with chocolate, I don't think you can go wrong. My favorite is a mixture of dark chocolate and cherries.

I also love cherry cordial ice cream. My kids don't care for this so much so I usually have the carton to myself.

One place where we used to live had a cherry tree that I was able to pick cherries from as long as I got them before the birds did. I used these to make several cherry desserts, but never tried making cherry cordials with them.

I think if you used fresh cherries and high quality chocolate, they would be much better than candy that has been made months ago and shipped across the country.

By myharley — On Jun 05, 2012

I don't usually like the chocolate covered cherries that you see in boxes every year at Christmas time either. Some of them taste like they have been in there for a long time and don't look very appealing.

One of my good friends does a lot of candy making during the holidays and came up with her own chocolate cherry cordial recipe.

I must say these were the best cherry cordials I have ever tasted, and were so much better than what I had ever tasted from a box before.

When she was describing how she made them, it sounded like a lot of work to me, but they tasted great and didn't last very long at our house.

By LisaLou — On Jun 04, 2012

I have never been a big fan of traditional chocolate cherry cordials. If given a choice, I would choose some other kind of candy over these.

One thing that I have discovered I love though is the Hershey's cherry cordial kisses. A co-worker brought these in to work, and I loved them. They are in the shape of the regular kisses, but are milk chocolate with a cherry flavored filling.

I like the taste of the cherry filling better than eating a big cherry. They just kind of melt in your mouth, and it is hard to stop at just one. I have only seen them around Christmas time, and they are wrapped in bright, festive paper which makes them hard to resist.

By golf07 — On Jun 04, 2012

Chocolate covered cherries have always been one of my favorite candies at Christmas time. Ever since I was a young girl, I have always received a box of these from my mom.

I would always savor each one and allow myself to eat one a day, so they would stretch out as long as possible. My sister never liked them, so I didn't have to worry about her finding my box of chocolate cherries and eating them.

I like just about any kind of chocolate, but there is something about the sweet, sticky syrup that surrounds the cherry, and then dipped in chocolate that makes my mouth water thinking about it.

Once I tried these with white chocolate and found that I didn't care for them nearly as much as those made with milk chocolate.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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