Bourbon Cherry “Glazed” Mahi-Mahi Recipe

Cherry and bourbon "glazed" mahi-mahi

We love mahi-mahi around my house so I’m always looking for new ways to serve this fish. So when I started cooking on Sunday, I started looking through the fridge for inspiration. My eyes landed on a bag of fresh cherries that I bought for Old Fashioned cocktails for New Year’s Eve.

And that got me thinking: How can I use the ingredients from an Old Fashioned to make mahi-mahi? Let me tell you! But before I get to the recipe, which I promise is coming ASAP, I have to tell you what Mike said when he asked about the flavors we could expect.

Mike: “So, give me a preview on the ingredients.” God love him, he’s always intrigued by my experiments!

Me: “Well, basically, it’s all Old Fashioned ingredients on fish.”

Mike: “So it’s an Old…Fishioned.”


Without further ado, here’s the recipe. This would also be AWESOME on pork chops, by the way!


Prep Time: 10 – 15 minutes; Cooking Time: 40 minutes

  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 3 fillets mahi-mahi
  • 20 fresh cherries, halved & pitted
  • 2 ounces of rye or bourbon whiskey (I used Balcones Rye)
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 fresh orange (for a twist and zest)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

In a small saucepan, combine fresh cherries and bourbon. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to help soften the cherries.

Add one twist of orange to the cherries. To do this, simply cut a piece of the peel off the rind. Then twist it above the cherries and drop the peel into the mixture.

Turn the heat down and allow the cherries to simmer on low for 20 minutes or until the cherries start to get mushy and lose their shape a bit.

Remove from heat and add brown sugar to the mixture. Stir until the sugar dissolves.

Cherries and rye whiskey mahi-mahi recipe
The cherries right after adding the twist.

Once cooled, transfer it to a food processor and process to desired consistency. (Mine is course, but you may want something smoother.)

Place cherry mix back in the saucepan and add salt and pepper to taste.

Resume low heat and let it hang out on the stove while you prepare the fish. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn.

Melt butter over low heat in a separate pan.

Rinse the mahi-mahi. Salt and pepper the fish. Add it to the butter.

Lightly brown the fish on one side before flipping.

Mahi-Mahi recipe with bourbon and cherries
Lightly-browned mahi-mahi.

After the first flip, add about 1 teaspoon of olive oil to the pan to keep the butter from burning.

Flip the fish once more and add the warm cherry bourbon mixture to top each fillet.

Reduce heat to the lowest setting and cover for five minutes or until the fish is cooked (it happens fast, so keep an eye on it!).

Plate and then grate about 1/4 teaspoon of orange zest to all fillets.

Mahi-mahi recipe with cherries and bourbon
A close-up so you can see the orange zest and all the butter!

Recipe Notes:

Orange Zest:

The orange zest brightens the whole recipe up, so be sure not to skip this step.


Depending on the bourbon – or in my case, rye – you use, the taste will be a little different. I picked Balcones Rye for it’s rich smell that already hints a bit of cherries and vanilla.

Other suggestions:

  • Maker’s Mark
  • Bulleit Bourbon
  • Woodford Reserve
  • Rebecca Creek

Try It On Pork, Too!

Like I said before, the cherry glaze would be awesome for pork chops or pork loin! I’ll actually be making it the next time I pull out a pork loin.

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