Cheerwine Simple Syrup

A DIY Cheerwine Syrup is a great way to infuse some North Carolina flavor into cocktails and drinks. The iconic cherry soda gets reduced into a thick, syrupy mixture that you can use for drinks or desserts.

a cheerwine bottle cap with a jar of cheerwine syrup

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Cheerwine Syrup recipe

When my out of state friends visit me in North Carolina, I always try to introduce them to our #1 foods.

At the top of the list is barbecue. Then there’s our fried chicken. And lastly it’s our drinks, from our huge local beer scene to our two famous sodas, Cheerwine and Sundrop. (Pepsi is made here too but most people have had that!)

Last summer I made a Cheerwine Old-Fashioned Cocktail for one of said visiting friends, and I decided the syrup I used in it needed a post all its own.

When Cheerwine is reduced on the stove, it makes a sweet cherry syrup that you can use in drinks or drizzle over desserts.

What is Cheerwine?

Cheerwine is a cherry-flavored soda made in my home state of North Carolina. It is similar to Cherry Coke or Dr. Pepper, but it is most similar to a cherry soda.

Its roots go back to 1917, when L.D. Peeler created this wild cherry soft drink during a sugar shortage. This soda has come a long way since then, despite not being crowned the state drink of North Carolina (that title belongs to milk).

Every May, the town of Salisbury, N.C. hosts a huge Cheerwine festival that features Cheerwine flavored desserts and treats. More than 60,000 people celebrate this effervescent soda each year!

As you can see, Cheerwine has a big following, and they have really leaned into it over the years. There are tons of Cheerwine products available, from barbecue sauces to apparel.

The Cheerwine company also produces their own Cheerwine Syrup, but I much prefer to make my own because it’s just so easy.

a jar of black-colored cheerwine simple syrup


You only need two ingredients to make this tasty cherry-flavored syrup. It’s a new way to make a flavored simple syrup that uses soda and sugar instead of water and sugar.

Cheerwine soda

Cheerwine is a cherry soda from North Carolina. It is sold in all 50 states as well as online.

It comes in cans, glass bottles and larger liter bottles. It also comes in a diet flavor and there is a holiday edition available in the winter months.

However, you can use any cherry soda to make this syrup if you can’t locate Cheerwine. The flavor will still be similar.


For sugar, I use white granulated sugar because it is finer. You can also use cane sugar or brown sugar in a pinch, but the finer white sugar will do a better job of mixing with the tiny grains of ground cinnamon.

cheerwine boiling in a saucepan

How to make Cheerwine Simple Syrup

I love to make homemade simple syrups for my home cocktails. This recipe is pretty different from the other recipes I’ve shared here, even blackberry simple syrup.

Here’s what to do:

  1. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring Cheerwine to a boil for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Stir in cane sugar. Let cool completely. Store in a mason jar in the fridge.

The syrup makes about 1 cup.

Variations and substitutions

Cheerwine is available in all 50 states (here’s how to find it near you) but if you can’t find this Southern soda, here’s what to do:

You can use any type of cherry soda to make this recipe. A black cherry soda will work, but if you find one that’s cherry red in color, it will work best.

Cherry cola or Dr. Pepper would also work (and would probably be quite delicious) though it will lack some of the red coloring of Cheerwine.

During the holiday season, Cheerwine produces a product called “Cheerwine Holiday Punch” with the added flavors of ginger and pineapple. Feel free to use that in this syrup to add more flavor to your desserts and cocktails.

To make a cinnamon-flavored syrup, add a cinnamon stick to the syrup while it boils on the stove to infuse some spiced flavor.

Add an orange peel and/or a few drops of orange bitters to add some citrus flavor to the syrup.

a bottle of cheerwine next to two Cheerwine Old-Fashioned cocktails and a gold jigger on a white background

How to use Cheerwine syrup

There are a number of ways to use this cherry syrup. Whether you choose to add it to your own craft cocktails or mix it into desserts, the sweet flavor of Cheerwine will be most welcome.

More Cheerwine recipes

a cheerwine bottle cap with a jar of cheerwine syrup

Cheerwine Syrup

Yield: 8 ounces
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Cook up a batch of Cheerwine Syrup to mix into cocktails or drizzle over desserts.
5 from 2 votes
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  • 12 ounces Cheerwine soda
  • ¼ cup cane sugar


  • In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring Cheerwine to a boil for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Stir in cane sugar. Let cool completely. Store in a mason jar. (Makes 1 cup.)

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nutrition information

Yield: 8 ounces

amount per serving:

Serving: 1ounce Calories: 43kcal Carbohydrates: 11g Fat: 0.02g Sodium: 8mg Potassium: 0.1mg Sugar: 11g Calcium: 0.1mg Iron: 0.004mg
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  1. Mary says

    Do you have a recipe for Cheerwine Bacon Jam?
    I had this with pimento cheese at a restaurant who would not share how it is made. It is good with white crackers.

    • Susannah says

      Hey Mary! Gosh, that sounds delicious! I don’t have a recipe of my own, but I did find this recipe for maple bacon jam. You could maybe use the Cheerwine syrup recipe here instead of the maple syrup. I’m not certain if it would pan out, but it’s worth a try! I’d love to hear if it works for you so please report back!

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