Cinnamon Whiskey Jelly- Putting Up with ErinCinnamon Whiskey Jelly: SOOO good!- Putting Up with Erin

Do you remember those individually wrapped fireball candies? They were always conveniently priced and placed at the local pool, theater, arcade, or some other fun concession stand when I was growing up. I can recall the countless memories and horrible enjoyment of slobbering and sucking the hot saliva away which always resulted in very red and very sticky lips, checks, and fingers.

Fast forward 20 years to me discovering Fireball Whiskey. While it’s hard to deny the sugary goodness of Fireball whiskey, there is definitely a time and a place for it. I had been playing around with the notion of making a Fireball jelly for some time, and decided that rather than overpowering the jelly with the crap sugar and unknown ingredients, I would instead make my own cinnamon whiskey jelly using good old bourbon and cinnamon sticks. I ended up pairing apple cider with the whiskey as I wasn’t trying to make straight up whiskey jello shots… though come to think of it, that may have made the process much more exciting. Nonetheless, with a fifth of added whiskey, I’m not sure if I would choose this jelly for your kids’ next PB&J.

“So what should I put it on?” Even though this recipe calls for quite a bit of whiskey, much of that cooks off and the strong rye flavor is somewhat muted by the sweet cinnamon notes. Not only is it a great concept, but it’s also a really good jelly. Maybe my best yet. Then again, I really like cinnamon. I mixed a Tbsp of jelly into my Greek yogurt this morning resulting in a creamy cinnamon breakfast treat.

A reader just brought to my attention the importance of stirring this jelly constantly! Alcohol over high heat has a tendency to expand in volume. I’d hate for you to find yourself in an unfortunate kitchen mishap like the one found here.

Cinnamon Whiskey Jelly: SOOO good!- Putting Up with Erin

Cinnamon Whiskey Jelly

Yield: 5 half pints


  • 750ml bourbon/whiskey
  • 2 cups fresh apple cider
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 package of powdered pectin
  • 3-1/4 cup white sugar
  • 6 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon


  1. In a small-sized, non-reactive pot combine 1 cup apple cider and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer on low-medium heat for 10 minutes.
  2. Whisk together sugar and powder pectin.
  3. In a large-sized, non-reactive pot, combine cider (1 fresh cup + cinnamon infused cider), lemon juice, whiskey, ground cinnamon and sticks, and pectin/sugar mixture. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat for 7-10 minutes, stirring regularly until jelly consistency has thickened. At this point the bubbles should look shinny and syrupy.
  4. Test the jelly set using the saucer test: freeze saucer for 15 minutes, drop 1tsp of jelly on saucer then put in fridge for 1 minute, nudge the edge of jelly drop, should wrinkle if set.
  5. Remove cinnamon sticks.
  6. Pour jelly into prepared (hot and sterilized) jars, wipe rims, apply lids and rings (finger tight), then process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.
  7. Remove from water bath and let cool on a folded towel for 8-12 hours.
  8. Enjoy

37 responses to Cinnamon Whiskey Jelly

  1. I followed your recipe and am currently in the process of the hot water bath. I’ve tasted the jelly that was left over. It’s delicious and I absolutely cannot wait until it is completely set and ready to go! I liked your idea of just making the jelly with just the whiskey alone and no apple cider. How would you ammend the recipe to do that and still have it gel up? Joe many pectin boxes would you recommend and with how much juice, one lemon still? If be interested in your thoughts. I’m not exactly an expert at making jelly so I wouldn’t know how to go about altering the recipe.

    • I’m not sure how it would work without apple cider. I originally hadn’t planned on using it, but then figured it wouldn’t set with out a pectin base like apple juice. If you were to do it with out cider, you would maybe want to up it to 2 lemons and maybe an additional box of pectin. I’m in no way a jelly expert, it’s still very much an experiment for me too. Good luck!

      • I think if you used Pamona pectin, it might get you further, than with the big-name pectin companies. It’s, pretty much, a fool proof set pectin.

      • your going to need extra pectin for sure because alcohol prevents coagulation and i’ve made wine jam before and the red wine which is higher in sulfites and higher in alcohol content tends to be runnier so good luck!

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  3. I tried making this jelly the other day. The flavor is amazing! But it didn’t gel up for me. 🙁 I added both cups of apple cider to the pot, but the directions only mention one cup. Is it supposed to only be 1 cup of apple juice like the instructions? Or 2 cups like the ingredients list?

    • Hi Sara- Right, I guess I didn’t completely clarify that. You first use 1 cup to infuse the cinnamon sticks in. Then you combine that cider PLUS a fresh cup of cider with the remaining jelly ingredients. Sorry if this wasn’t clear.

      • Thanks for the quick answer! This is exactly what I did, so I have no idea why it didn’t set. Well, I will try again because this was the best jelly I have ever tasted! It’s just not jelly yet. 🙂

  4. This sounds great! I use frozen apple juice as a base for many of my jelly recipes; I make many jars of jalapeno pepper jelly every year and the apple juice seems to maintain the hotness of the peppers better than apple cider. I was thinking of trying your recipe with apple juice instead of apple cider. What do you think? Thanks.

  5. I’m on a canning kick, and I found this recipe by hap and now I am so excited to go through the rest of your stuff!

    Question: How boozy is this after being boiled and is there any way to add some of the bourbon later in order to maintain the booziness?

    • Hi Kate- it still has the taste of whiskey, but it’s not strong. Im not sure how adding bourbon after it sets would work. It would most likely screw with the gel set and pectin.

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  7. I make a lot of freezer jam. Do you think this would work as a freezer jelly if I used the same amounts of liquid as it calls for using the Sure Gel recipe? Thanks

    • I’m not sure as regular juice doesn’t contain as high of pectin content as cider. That being said you could always up your added pectin amount to make up for it. Let me know how it turns out.

  8. I am making apple butter for my daughter’s wedding as favors, and the recipe I am using calls for draining the juice, and saving for other uses, I thought this sounded perfect. Could you use the lefter cooked off apple juice instead of cider? It would not be as clear as purchased apple juice, so would the pectin be similar? Thank you.

  9. Hi! Can you tell me how many half pint jars this recipe will yield? I need at least 10 jars and I’m unsure of this recipe will need to be doubled. Thanks 🙂

  10. I found this recipe when I was looking for wine jelly recipes. I think I’m going to make this for my next food swap! What would you suggest pairing this with?

  11. Hi, instead of cinnamon sticks, Aaigon cinnamon is my household go to. that is the Hot Tamale cinnamon.
    Also suggested: Open windows for ventilation. As I cook and bake with alcohol, you can become intoxicated by just smelling it. And the warmer it is, the faster you smile. That was a suggestion from a police officer family friend. Hate to call 9-1-1 for heavy none drinking intoxication.

  12. Can’t wait to try this! Although I know in my case EVERY time I mix the pectin and sugar together, mine never sets. So I use the sure jell method of (after all your ingredients are cooked & mixed) add the pectin – plus another 1/2 box- and bring to rolling boil for 1 minute. Works every time. I do this for all my wine jellies !

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