Boozy Maraschino Cherries

by Leslie on June 27, 2012

The hot items at the greenmarket last weekend were pints of bright sour cherries. I’d never eaten a sour cherry before, so I tried one and it tasted, well, sour. I didn’t get it. All I knew was that people were buying them up and only a few pints were left, so, of course, I bought them. I didn’t need to like them, I just needed to know they’re prized and rare. I’m an advertiser’s dream.

Now I needed to find something to do with these cherries I didn’t particularly want to eat. After some internet searching I came across this recipe for maraschino cherries in The New York Times. If you’re like me, when you hear maraschino cherries you immediately think of those gross, fluorescent red, sugary things of your childhood. No, no. Not these. These are adult maraschino cherries. They’re pitted and macerated in delicious maraschino liqueur for days transforming them into amazing boozy bites of cherry goodness that literally burst in your mouth.

One pint of sour cherries makes a pretty good size jar that will keep in your refrigerator for several months. If it was the holiday season, I’d tell you they’d make a great gift to give friends. Luckily it’s not, so keep them for yourself. Instead, this July 4th have an adult ice cream sundae party. Pile those cherries on top of vanilla ice cream, dark chocolate sauce, and chopped salted peanuts and watch your friends’ eyes light up as they bite into the drunken fruit. Or impress your guests by adding them to classic cocktails like a manhattan or a daiquiri. The options are endless. Don’t tell teenage girls this, but sometimes following the pack pays off!


Maraschino Cherries
From The New York Times

  • 1 cup maraschino liqueur
  • 1 pint sour cherries, stemmed and pitted (or substitute one 24-ounce jar sour cherries in light syrup, drained)

Bring maraschino liqueur to a simmer in a small pot. Turn off heat and add cherries. Let mixture cool, then store in a jar in refrigerator for at least 2 days before using, and up to several months.

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