Bourbon Cherry Jam From Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits – Chicago, IL

This content originally appeared on, part of a four year series, Whiskey… Among Other Things.

Thanks to a few intrepid entrepreneurs, my hometown of Chicago, Illinois has become ground zero for a baking revolution of the pie variety.

Among them, my personal favorite, Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits, is as well known for its inventiveness as it is for its consistency. As fond as I am of pie, I am an even bigger fan of biscuits, and I can assure you no one makes a better biscuit than owner Michael Ciapciak and the fine folks he employs.

I asked Michael if he’d consider adding Basil Hayden’s® Bourbon to one of the jams that top his fluffy and crusty squares. His idea was to create something that would work on a biscuit or in a cocktail. We decided we loved the tart flavor of a Manhattan.

“Let’s make a bourbon cherry jam,” he said. “Cherries and bourbon are a classic combination. This brings out that subtle depth of flavor.”

He took frozen cherries from the Michigan farm of mutual friend, added the delicious taste of Basil Hayden’s® Bourbon, and created a wonderful, sweet and earthy jam, an instant classic that would complement just about anything from biscuits to a bourbon drink.

Bourbon Cherry Jam
Made with Basil Hayden’s® Bourbon

by Chicago’s Michael Ciapciak

Basil Hayden’s® Bourbon (to taste; approximately 2-3 tablespoons)
3 pounds cherries, stemmed and pitted, fresh or frozen
2 cups sugar (to taste, center on natural sweetness of cherries and bourbon)
½ large lemon (squeeze of fresh lemon juice, approximately 1 tablespoon for the addition of brightness & acidity)
2 ½ teaspoons pectin; Pomona’s Universal Pectin® is preferred but any pectin works

Carefully chop cherries in food processor or by hand to a nice pulp. Add chopped cherries to a large pot with medium heat.

Add Basil Hayden’s® Bourbon and lemon juice. Heat to boil, stirring constantly.

Stir in pectin and allow it to come to a boil before adding sugar. Boil for one or two minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and cool over ice bath to room temperature before refrigerating.

Enjoy over freshly baked biscuits or in a cocktail!

For outtakes from my time with Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits, visit Flickr.