The term maraschino cocktail cherries can refer to any light-colored cherry-like Rainier or Royal Ann, preserved in sugar, liquid, and flavorings. Because there are so many types of maraschino cherries, we thought we’d share our favorites with you, so you can avoid the pits.
The sweet red “with a cherry on top” Maraschino cherries got their start on the Croatian coast. Back in the late 1800s, these specially grown marasca cherries were marinated in Maraschino liquor. As times changed and Prohibition was the law of the land in America, not only did the cherry varieties change, but the preservation methods did, too.
Luxardo Gourmet Maraschino Cherries
These sour marasca cherries are the same variety as the original maraschino. Fresh cherries are used to maintain the sour cherry flavor and are complemented by bathing in sugar and cherry juice. That’s all that’s in this amazing jar of cocktail maraschino cherries. Gourmet cherries are the required ingredients in a top-notch Old Fashioned. Combine one of these plump cherries and a spoonful of the juice with some ice and lemon-lime soda for a Shirley Temple. With two jars you can use one and give the other to a foodie on your list.
Peninsula Premium Cocktail Cherries
Maraschino cherries have come a long way from being the pariah in a can of fruit cocktail. Today’s cherries actually look and taste like cherries. Starting with Northern American cherries like “Gold” and “Napoleon,” which have similar characteristics to the original maraschino cherries, they’re picked when perfectly ripe and aged in a rich, nutty syrup. The natural cherry flavors are enhanced as they age. So when they’re ready to go in a jar, they’re dark and richly flavored. Try topping some fresh vanilla ice with a few and some of that syrup. Yum.
Premium Cocktail Cherries
These are Balaton cherries. Brought to America in the 1980s, these sour cherries originated in Hungary. Where some sour cherries are small and bitter, these are wonderfully flavorful. On average, these premium natural cherries are 20 percent larger than other cherries, so they look great on a cheesecake. Because they are made by a whiskey company, we’re confident you’ll want to add them to your Whiskey Sours.
Fabbri Amarena Cherries from Italy Candied in Rich Amarena Syrup
After more than 100 years, these Italian wild cherries are still in high demand for their balance of flavor. Is someone on your shopping list a budding bartender or the consummate host or hostess? This gorgeous jar of traditional Italian cherries in syrup makes a thoughtful and memorable gift. Use them in the bar or in the kitchen, these dark cherries are amazingly flavorful. Not to mention the ‘Oh yes, I just picked those up in Bologna,’ ceramic blue and white jar these Fabbri cherries arrive in.
Woodford Reserve Bourbon Cherries
Bring your cocktails to life with these amazing bourbon cherries. These bright and boozy cherries will put the fashion in your old-fashioned. Not just aged in bourbon (and sugar) but actually aged in bourbon barrels, these bitter cherries get all the smoky, oaky notes from the cask. Maybe for the next book club meeting, you could use these cherries in your famous Black Forest Cake. If you’re looking for a fresh cherry taste with just a hint of bourbon for your next Manhattan, you’ve found it.