Maraschino Cherries Recipe (2024)

By Melissa Clark

Maraschino Cherries Recipe (1)

Total Time
20 minutes, plus 2 days' macerating
Rating
4(189)
Notes
Read community notes

The liquid and cherries glow Kool-Aid red, but they are seductively crisp-textured and steeped with an exotic, piney, floral flavor that is just sweet enough but balanced by a tart tang. Sublime in a manhattan, they are even better over coconut sorbet, and just imagine them on top of an ice cream sundae.

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Ingredients

Yield:About 1 pint

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

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (4 servings)

253 calories; 0 grams fat; 0 grams saturated fat; 0 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 grams polyunsaturated fat; 32 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram dietary fiber; 29 grams sugars; 1 gram protein; 8 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Maraschino Cherries Recipe (2)

Preparation

  1. Step

    1

    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.

Ratings

4

out of 5

189

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Private Notes

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Cooking Notes

Ellen Cassilly

I pit the cherries by putting one on top of an open, empty wine bottle, stem end down, wrapping my hand over/around it, then poking it with the fat end of a chop stick. The pit goes into the bottle still with a bit of cheery meat on it. after a pound of cherry pits are in the bottle I add sherry, or any other liquor, and let sit to make Cherry Sherry.

Alex

The article that goes with this recipe says that there isn't a shortcut for pitting cherries, but in the intervening decade or so, the landscape has changed. A cherry pitter can be had for under $15 (Oxo makes a good one) and is perfect for this recipe. My whole quart of cherries was pitted in 15 minutes.

LindaL

I've made these twice, in late June or early July when fresh sour cherries are available. They've been good for a year in the refrigerator, although they tend to be gone sooner! For a quart of cherries, 1-3/4 cups liqueur is enough.
You will never be satisfied with supermarket "maraschino" cherries again.

Jo

I would like to honor my mom's memory (1915-1999) by sharing her brilliant cherry pitter invention with the world. You put a hair pin (if they still make them) in a wine cork. This nifty invention removes the pit cleanly and almost effortlessly. I've used mine for many decades. We live near Door County, the land of Montmorency cherries. Dad loved picking cherries and thankfully, Mom was kind enough to pit them and make her family scrumptious desserts.

Harriet

I see, the article was published mid-July, when cherries were great!

JB

I would not use the canning method in Saveur. I have never seen any method like this. I cannot find out if it's safe. I tend to say it is not safe.

Kelly

Has anyone ever made these using flash frozen tart cherries from a good grower?

Tim O.

I make these every summer for winter Manhattans. I pit with the Oxo pitter, fill quart canning jars with cherries, tap on counter to pack tightly, fill with Maraschino liqueur, tap again to release air bubbles, close with the lid, and store at room temperature. They're ready after a couple of months and last for years. Each time I make a Manhattan, I add a bit of the "juice" along with a cherry.

Martha

Thanks for the hairpin method and, yes, they still make hairpins. I love my 7 at a time cherry pitter but sours are too delicate. I’ve been using my thumb nail but this seem as if it would leave the cherry more intact. If there’s more at the farmers market this weekend, I’ll grab a quart and make a few jars for gifts.

Christina

For those who want to can, in his wonderful book 'Saving the Season' (p. 116, 2013) Kevin West has lovely, simple canning directions for making Maraschino Cherries: "Pack closely into a scalded pint jar, cover with Luxardo leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Seal the jars, and process in a boiling-water bath for 15 minutes. To reduce venting, allow the jars to rest in the water for 5 minutes before removing."

Emily

The OXO multi cherry pitter is a big disappointment but not as much as this recipe being in both cups and ounces and pints. After attempting to pit a whole tree’s worth of cherries, I am not capable of the conversions.

Trish

These are the best co*cktail cherries! Other recipes add sugar, cinnamon etc but those are just distractions. I’ve kept these in the fridge for a year, no problem. You can use any kind of cherry but tart cherries have the best flavor and texture.

April

Can I use sweet cherries instead? I've got an abundance of those in my freezer from this summer, but no sour cherries on hand.

Kelly

Has anyone ever made these using flash frozen tart cherries from a good grower?

Katie

Yes! I was quite happy with the way they turned out. Possibly a little softer than fresh cherries but I haven’t tried it with fresh cherries so can’t say for certain.

Roxy

I have a six-cherry cherry pitter made by a company called Progressive and it makes pitting cherries go much more quickly than the single cherry pitter.

Cathy

I use a paper clip, same idea as the hair pin. It doesn't make the extra hole in the cherry so you don't lose as much of the juice.

Jo

I would like to honor my mom's memory (1915-1999) by sharing her brilliant cherry pitter invention with the world. You put a hair pin (if they still make them) in a wine cork. This nifty invention removes the pit cleanly and almost effortlessly. I've used mine for many decades. We live near Door County, the land of Montmorency cherries. Dad loved picking cherries and thankfully, Mom was kind enough to pit them and make her family scrumptious desserts.

Ellen Cassilly

I pit the cherries by putting one on top of an open, empty wine bottle, stem end down, wrapping my hand over/around it, then poking it with the fat end of a chop stick. The pit goes into the bottle still with a bit of cheery meat on it. after a pound of cherry pits are in the bottle I add sherry, or any other liquor, and let sit to make Cherry Sherry.

Tim O.

I make these every summer for winter Manhattans. I pit with the Oxo pitter, fill quart canning jars with cherries, tap on counter to pack tightly, fill with Maraschino liqueur, tap again to release air bubbles, close with the lid, and store at room temperature. They're ready after a couple of months and last for years. Each time I make a Manhattan, I add a bit of the "juice" along with a cherry.

Tim

After a few days, I taste the cherries for balance and often find I want a squeeze of lemon juice, which integrates great in a few days. I’m guessing adding this is also one reason I find these last for years, not just months.

Alex

The article that goes with this recipe says that there isn't a shortcut for pitting cherries, but in the intervening decade or so, the landscape has changed. A cherry pitter can be had for under $15 (Oxo makes a good one) and is perfect for this recipe. My whole quart of cherries was pitted in 15 minutes.

Lisa

Will canned tart cherries in water work.?

JennB

If I want to make these for holiday gifts, should they be canned or just stores? Thanks.

Laura

Saveur has a recipe for canning cherries here: https://www.saveur.com/recipes/maraschino-cherry-recipe/

JB

I would not use the canning method in Saveur. I have never seen any method like this. I cannot find out if it's safe. I tend to say it is not safe.

Tessa

Saveur has this heated hotter than a boiling water bath (212 F for the water, 250 for the oven) and it is alcoholic. I would not be too worried about the safety of this method.

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Maraschino Cherries Recipe (2024)

FAQs

What can I do with a jar of maraschino cherries? ›

15 Ways to Use Maraschino Cherries
  1. 01 of 15. Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies II. ...
  2. 02 of 15. Maraschino Cherry Pound Cake. ...
  3. 03 of 15. Divine Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream. ...
  4. 04 of 15. Cinnamon Tortilla Surprise. ...
  5. 05 of 15. Adult Slushies. ...
  6. 06 of 15. Banana Split Cake Bars. ...
  7. 07 of 15. Cherry Walnut Bars. ...
  8. 08 of 15. Classic Old Fashioned.
Feb 3, 2020

What are the ingredients in maraschino cherries? ›

CHERRIES, WATER, CORN SYRUP, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CITRIC ACID, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, POTASSIUM SORBATE AND SODIUM BENZOATE (PRESERVATIVES), ARTIFICIAL COLOR (RED 40), SULFUR DIOXIDE (PRESERVATIVE).

What do they soak maraschino cherries in? ›

In their modern form, the cherries are first preserved in a brine solution usually containing sulfur dioxide and calcium chloride to bleach the fruit, then soaked in a suspension of food coloring (common red food dye is FD&C Red 40), sugar syrup, and other components.

What's the difference between co*cktail cherries and maraschino? ›

“In the 1890s, a maraschino cherry was nothing more than a sour cherry that had been macerated in maraschino liqueur,” writes Wondrich. Today, most co*cktail cherries are preserved in sugar syrup, though many add alcohol to lengthen shelf life and add complementary, boozy flavor.

What is the myth about maraschino cherries? ›

An urban myth prevented me early on from eating them – word got around they were preserved in formaldehyde and could not be digested. Not quite, as it turns out. The cherries are actually preserved in sodium metabisulfate, calcium chloride and citric acid and subsequently dyed those alarming shades of red and green.

Do maraschino cherries in a jar go bad? ›

According to Tracey Brigman, EdD, associate director of the National Center for Home Food Preservation, an unopened jar of co*cktail cherries can last for up to two years. “Once opened, they can keep for about 6 to 12 months, as long as they are continuously refrigerated during that time,” Brigman continues.

Are maraschino cherries soaked in grenadine? ›

Contrary to popular belief, grenadine is not a cherry-flavored syrup. Maraschino cherries have nothing to do with it. This sweet-tart syrup is actually made from pomegranates, and it is surprisingly easy to make at home. Think of grenadine the way you might consider simple syrup and sour mix.

Why are maraschino cherries so expensive? ›

They are pricey because Luxardo uses marasca cherries, a particular type of cherry that's only grown in northeastern Italy. It's an uncommon variety and is therefore more expensive. Luxardo also uses high-quality ingredients and an age-old candying process, which pushes up the cost.

What liquor is in maraschino cherries? ›

Originally, sour marasca cherries from the Dalmatian Coast were soaked in maraschino liqueur, an Italian spirit distilled from the pits, stems, leaves, and flesh of the same cherry.

Why are cherries so addictive? ›

Cherries contain vitamin C and a notable amount of vitamin A(beta carotene) and lutien. Sour cherries have higher concentrations of vitamin C than sweet cherries. Your body is probably craving the vitamins and lutien.

How do they get the seeds out of maraschino cherries? ›

The cherry is centered over a round(circular or elliptical) cutter and then a blade(you've seen the cute "X" shape at the bottom of an olive) pushes the cherry onto and the pit through the cutter.

Can you use the juice in maraschino cherries? ›

Maraschino cherries are also popular garnishes for co*cktails such as the Old Fashioned, and the liquid in the jar can be used to add a pop of cherry flavor to mixed drinks.

Why you shouldn't eat maraschino cherries? ›

Low in nutrients

Maraschino cherries lose many vitamins and minerals during the bleaching and brining process. Maraschino cherries pack nearly three times as many calories and grams of sugar than regular cherries — a result of being soaked in the sugar solution. They also contain far less protein than regular cherries.

Is there embalming fluid in maraschino cherries? ›

Is there formaldehyde in my cherries? This question makes CherryMan scratch his head. Formaldeh-WHAT? (Sounds like a high school biology experiment gone wrong.) No, my friend, this is one totally crazy urban myth.

Are candied cherries the same as maraschino? ›

Glace (candied) cherries are cooked in a sugar syrup until they are almost completely preserved and are then dried so that they are just slightly stickly. Maraschino cherries are instead stored in sugar syrup, are not cooked for such a long time and tend to be softer in texture.

Is the stem of a maraschino cherry edible? ›

Are the stems edible in Maraschino cherries? They won't hurt you if eat one, but usually they are not eaten, if only because it's like eating a little twig.

Are maraschino cherries good baking? ›

Application. These cherries are commonly used as a garnish in drinks, ice cream sundaes and embellishment in decorated cakes. They can also be used in cookies, muffins and cold cake fillings such as black forest cakes and as a topping in pineapple upsidedown cake.

Can you use maraschino cherries instead of grenadine? ›

Maraschino cherries, on the other hand, might already be sitting in your fridge -- especially if you've got a sweet tooth and like to indulge in homemade desserts. Even though they're more commonly used as garnishes or toppings, you can utilize them to replace grenadine.

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