Cherry Bourbon Slush

Mix up a Cherry Bourbon Slush on a warm day! This adult slush drink is beautifully colorful, wonderfully bold and incredibly simple to make at home.

Looking for more refreshing summertime drinks? Be sure to mix up a Honeysuckle Cherry SmashPeach Bourbon Slush and Frozen Moscow Mule!

Two Cherry Bourbon Slushes are shown on a marble background

Who has two thumbs and enjoys a colorful, flavorful drink that’s perfect for sipping at any kind of gathering?

This lady right here. (And probably you, too. You do like a good drink, yes?)

So it should come as no surprise during this season’s FREAKY FRIDAY collaboration that I would choose a fun cocktail to share with y’all.

This recipe comes from Lori and Heather of the site, Who Needs a Cape? .

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    Why I love this recipe:

    Honestly, how could you NOT adore a frozen sipper such as this one?

    The added bonus is that it’s incredibly simple to make. You don’t have anything to boil, cook or even pop in the freezer.

    All you need are a few simple ingredients to make this mixture.

    This cherry bourbon slushie also wonderfully refreshing and easy to make and share with a crowd.

    More summer drink recipes: Cherry Lemonade MargaritasSpiked Watermelon LimeadeBlackberry Mint SpritzerPeach Moscow MuleVodka Lemonade with Raspberry

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      Cherries sit in a white bowl on a turquoise background

      Let me tell you a little bit about Who Needs a Cape?

      Lori and Heather are have been friends since they met online during their pregnancies, and their friendship has turned into a sisterhood.

      Together, they formed their blog to share simple, easy to prepare recipes their families enjoy… and the occasional cocktail and dessert, too, so long as they don’t take too much time.

      They say they don’t wear the “cape” so many super-moms seem to wear these days. (HI, hello. Who does? Not me!) Meaning… they’re real ladies who have real lives and who share what makes their lives easier, as well as bring smiles.

      I had a hard time choosing which recipe to make off their blog because everything sounded scrumptious. I mean, hello, their Buttery Bacon Cheddar Rolls look mouthwateringly delicious. So do their Raspberry Lemon Bars. And don’t even get me started on their Watermelon Fizz Cocktail.

      Ultimately, I chose the Cherry Bourbon Slush because I’m a sucker for a good bourbon drink… and because it’s cherry season!

      Freaky Friday Summer 2019 banner

      So… What Is Freaky Friday?

      It’s an old-fashioned blog hop.

      A blog hop, for those of y’all who haven’t been around the blogosphere for forever, is a collaboration between bloggers where everyone brings something to the table, then you link to one another when the posts go live.

      Michaela from An Affair from the Heart, the lady who founded this quarterly collab, secretly assigns everyone another blogger, who we will choose and make a recipe from.

      We make their recipe, photograph it as if it were our own, write a post about it with our own personal anecdote and then all share our posts on the selected Friday.

      We hope that this collaboration helps you discover some amazing new recipes, as well as find new bloggers to follow!

      You can check out these Boozy Bacon Pretzel Peanut Butter Bars, the recipe I made for the Winter 2019 Freaky Friday, and Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese, which I made for the Spring 2019 Freaky Friday.

      Ingredients for the the slush drink are laid out before blending

      What you’ll need to make this recipe:

      The Speckled Palate participates in affiliate programs. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases. Please refer to my disclosure page for more information about these affiliate programs.

      Let’s talk ingredients!

      In addition to the tools above, you’re going to need some ingredients to make this recipe, too! Chances are, you might already have some of them in your fridge or pantry. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full measurements and instructions.

      Here’s what you need to grab at the store:

      • Ice — this is the main ingredient because, well, it transforms our bourbon drink into a slushie. You can use the kind that your freezer produces because it’ll be blended up.
      • Bourbon — choose a bourbon that you enjoy the flavor of, but don’t use the fancy sipping stuff! After all, we’re blending it with a few other ingredients.
      • Maraschino cherry juice — you might look at this ingredient and scratch your head. You know the juice inside the jar with maraschino cherries? That’s what this is. And since you’re using them as a garnish, you’ll have ’em on hand! This takes the place of a traditional simple syrup to sweeten our drink.
      • Lemon-lime soda — grab your favorite from the store!

      A note on the bourbon for this recipe:

      Please, for the love of everything good and right in this world, use a good drinking bourbon.

      It should not be Pappy or anything exceedingly fancy, but you want it to taste good. Quite honestly, you wouldn’t want to be mixing something exceedingly fancy into a mixed drink, but you want the alcohol to be palatable.

      TL;DR: Don’t purchase the bottom-shelf bourbon for this drink because you’re gonna taste the bourbon.

      Ice is poured into a blender before the drink is made

      How to make this Cherry Bourbon Slush recipe:

      Measure out the ingredients.

      This recipe, obviously, takes more measuring than anything else. (Hi, it’s a blender drink.) So it’s measure-heavy at the beginning.

      When making this, you can measure the ice, bourbon, cherry juice and Sprite directly into the blender, or you can measure them into separate containers and let kitchen helpers assist you in the pouring.

      Whatever you choose, just make your pours as accurate as possible.

      Cherry juice is poured into a blender

      Blend the ingredients.

      The next step, obviously, is to blend everything together.

      If you like your slush a little less ice-y, you can add ½ cup less ice.

      Personally, I like mine where it ended up for these photos — the perfect slushy consistency, but still drinkable. And still super flavorful, too.

      Bourbon is poured into a blender

      Serve the drinks.

      I chose to divide this recipe into two drinks because the bourbon can be a bit strong for me, though it’s delicious.

      That said, if you want this to just be for you, no judgment. You can pour it into a highball glass instead of a smaller glass, like the ones shown in these photos.

      Garnish with a maraschino cherry, add some colorful paper straws and serve immediately!

      Sprite is poured into the blender

      Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips

      Slush drinks are perfect for warm weather entertaining… but they’re not something you will want to make ahead because they separate.

      I find slushes are best to mix as guests arrive and are looking for a drink.

      The nice thing about this one, too, is that it’s customizable.

      • Skeptical about all that bourbon in the drink? Add 2 oz. instead of the 3 listed in the recipe.
      • Interested in a larger serving? You can mix up a whole one instead of diving it into two.
      • Just want a sip? Offer several smaller glasses to guests so everyone can have a sip!
      • Make it a batch drink. Use your math skills to double or triple the recipe to serve a larger group.

      And if they want it without alcohol, you can make that happen, too! Personally, I think this Cherry Bourbon Slush would be incredible on its own without the bourbon. Basically, it’s a Shirley Temple Slush.

      Cherry Bourbon Slush is poured into a cup from the blender

      Frequently Asked Questions

      What the difference between a slush and a smoothie?

      Quite honestly, there isn’t much of a difference! Typically, smoothies include some form of dairy (yogurt, milk, etc.) or could also be dairy free, but with a product like almond, cashew or coconut milk that adds a creamy element.

      Slushes tend to involve liquids, which is why adding booze is totally acceptable!

      What is the maraschino cherry juice you list in the recipe? 

      You know the jar of maraschino cherries that you’ve got in your fridge? The juice inside there is the juice I’m talking about.

      You can also use grenadine, though if you do that, this would technically be a Pomegranate Bourbon Slush since real grenadine is made with pomegranate juice.

      Can I make a nonalcoholic Cherry Slush?

      I haven’t tried it without the booze, but I bet it would be delicious! Who doesn’t love frozen cherry-flavored goodness?

      To do this, simply leave out the bourbon, mix it all up and call it a day! 

      Close up of two Cherry Bourbon Slushes on a marble background

      Quick tips for making Cherry Bourbon Slush

      • Make it virgin by leaving out the bourbon!
      • Measure out your ingredients in advance for easy entertaining.
      • If you like more cherry flavor and less bourbon, simply pour in 2 oz. of bourbon instead of the noted 3.
      A Cherry Bourbon Slush from above, on a blue towel

      Take a look at all of our Summer 2019 Freaky Friday Recipes:

      Looking for a quick and simple dinner? Check out Greek Chicken Salad with Lemon Oregano Dressing and Instant Pot Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes.

      Need a fun side or starter? I’m swooning over this Mexican Coleslaw, Warm Bean Dip a.k.a. Texas Trash and Summer Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Poppy Seed Dressing.

      Looking to serve kids? You can’t go wrong with Cherry Quick Bread or Easy White Pizza Tarts.

      Love flavors from around the world? Try out Thai Shrimp Curry, Caprese Empanadas and Cornbread Tamale Pie!

      A woman grabs a glass of Cherry Bourbon Slush

      Lookin’ for more boozy slushes? I recommend this Blackberry Ginger White Wine Slush, Bourbon Peach Slush and Blackberry Gin Slush.

      And if you just want this drink? Well, you’re in luck!

      Here’s how I made this Cherry Bourbon Slush:  

      Two Cherry Bourbon Slushes are shown on a marble background

      Cherry Bourbon Slush

      Lori and Heather, Who Needs a Cape?
      Mix up a Cherry Bourbon Slush on a warm day! This adult slush drink is beautifully colorful, wonderfully bold and incredibly simple to make at home.
      4.86 from 14 votes
      Servings 2 drinks
      Calories 232 kcal
      Prep Time 7 minutes
      Total Time 7 minutes


      • 2 ½ cups ice
      • 3 oz. bourbon
      • 2 oz. maraschino cherry juice
      • 4 oz. lemon-lime soda

      As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.


      • Measure out your ingredients into the base of your blender.
      • Blend the ingredients together until smooth.
      • Pour into two cocktail glasses, garnish with a maraschino
        cherry, add paper straws and serve immediately.


      This recipe was shared as a part of Freaky Friday, a blogger collaboration. The original appears at Who Needs a Cape?
      To make this a Virgin Cherry Slush, leave out the bourbon, and blend everything together.
      What is maraschino cherry juice? You know the jar of maraschino cherries that you’ve got in your fridge? The juice inside there is the juice I’m talking about.


      Serving: 1 drinkCalories: 232kcalCarbohydrates: 34gSodium: 83mgFiber: 1gSugar: 32g
      Keyword blended drink, bourbon, bourbon cocktail, bourbon slush drink, cherry bourbon drink, cocktails, drinks, mixed drink, summer recipe
      Course Drinks & Cocktails
      Cuisine American
      Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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      About the Author:

      Erin Parker is a Southern gal living in Texas with her husband and two daughters. She started The Speckled Palate to share what she was cooking as a newlywed… and over the years, it’s evolved to capture her love for hosting. Specifically, the EASIEST, lowest key entertaining because everyone deserves to see their people and connect over good food. Learn more about her

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      1. How perfect that this popped up in my FB feed…. served these for game night at the pool bbq this weekend. It was 101 degrees but we were keeping nice and chilled with the cool cocktails! The bourbon was such a fun way to spike the cherry/lemonlime soda! We LOVED them!

      2. This drink is a perfect combination of flavors and is perfect for sipping on a hot summer day!

      3. We’re going to be on vacation next week and I’m going to make sure I pack all of the ingredients for this cocktail. It will be perfect for sipping on the beach!

        1. Heck yes! I hope you were able to bring the ingredients for these slushes with you, Lisa, because I think they would be a perfect beach sipper, too!

      4. I am drooling over here! Its SO hot and this looks so perfectly refreshing! I’ve got to grab everything for this!

      5. I was never a sucker for bourbon even though my husband is an AVID bourbon drinker and collector but I had a bartender in Kentucky add some raspberry gingerale to it and I loved it! Once I started trying cherries with bourbon I fell in love all over again! Bourbon always seemed like a “winter” or cold weather spirit but this slush version is my new summer favorite! And I can drink it with Brooks!

        1. Oh my goodness, that’s too funny about your husband and you… and that bartender changing your tune with raspberry ginger ale and cherries! That makes me really happy because I feel like bourbon sometimes needs a little sweetness to it to get started. (At least, that’s how it worked for me.)

          I normally think of bourbon as a more wintery drink, too, but this slush is absolutely 100% summery. I hope you and Brooks enjoy it as much as we did!

      6. I’m totally making the non-alcoholic version for me and my kids! And I had NO idea that real grenadine was made with pomegranate juice! That’s so surprising!

        1. You ABSOLUTELY should, Amy! When I made this, I kept thinking, “This would be great without the booze, too.” So I hope you and your girls enjoy it!

          Isn’t that a funny fact? I didn’t know that for the longest time, either. Glad that you learned something reading this post!

      7. These are the perfect summertime sipper!! We have friends coming to the pool next weekend, and I found my cocktail!! (because THIS girl has two thumbs and loves a good cocktail, too!! ) Thanks!!

        1. This truly is, Michaela! I hope that this slush delighted everyone’s tastebuds when you had friends over to the pool. Here’s to good cocktails and the summertime and finding something you can sip by the poolside!

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