Maraschino cherries taste sweet and are firmer than cherries that haven’t been treated. They are very dark red, and you might think they are black. People often don’t believe they are real, especially since there are so many neon-colored fakes, but they are cherries. And, contrary to what most people think, they don’t have alcohol in them, even though they used to. Only the Marasca cherry, which grows in the Dalmatian area, can be used to make real Maraschino cherries. So, it was called a Maraschino. The liqueur is still around today and is well-known as Maraschino liqueur.
Maraschino cherries taste much like Maraschino liqueur but don’t have any alcohol. They are sweet, and you can taste the natural cherry flavor, and you can also taste a hint of almond. If you like cherries in general, you’ll probably enjoy eating these. Modern Maraschino cherries are bright red and taste more like candy. They are very tough and chewy and taste like a lot of sugar. Most of the time, I wouldn’t say I like eating them.
What are Maraschino Cherries?
Italian-style maraschino cherries made their way to America around the turn of the century, but then Prohibition prevented the sale of those liquor-soaked cherries. The modern maraschino cherry, developed by Oregon Agricultural College professor Ernest H. Wiegand in the 1920s, gave cherry farmers a way to preserve their sweet Royal Anne cherries without alcohol. Wiegand devised a process to bring the fruit with calcium salts, which removed the flavor and color from the cherries. He then poached them in sugar syrup and injected them with red dye, creating the candied cherry best known for its use in the Shirley Temple mock cocktail.
What are the Varieties Of Maraschino Cherries?
Today’s maraschino cherry is more like the chewy candy Skittles than a fresh cherry. You can buy them in different fruity flavors and colors, like purple, green, orange, blue, and yellow, as well as the usual red.
Natural kinds that you can find in organic and natural food stores don’t have any artificial coloring or preservatives. Instead, they get their color from beet or radish juice. They tend to be darker and a bit softer, but the sweetness is usually just as strong as in the mass-market versions.
A recipe from the Old World is used to make maraschino cherries sold in stores outside the United States. Most of the time, they are smaller and darker, and they still have the natural sour taste of cherries.
How to Make Easy Maraschino Cherries?
You can buy a jar of maraschino cherries, but the way they are usually made today leaves much to be desired. They are often bleached and then made sweeter and colored with chemicals. Why ruin a good cocktail by adding a bad garnish? Garnishes should make drinks better, not make them worse. Instead of eating these weird cherries, you should think about making your own at home. It’s very easy, and these little boozy cherries are something you’ll want to nibble on!
This method is like the way maraschino cherries were made in the beginning. It uses maraschino liqueur as a preservative, and your cherries will be ready in just a couple of weeks. You can make as few or as many as you want, and one batch will last a long time.
- 1 pound of fresh cherries, pitted
- Two teaspoons of granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups maraschino liqueur
Steps to Make it
- Collect the things you need.
- Put the cherries and sugar in a 1-quart jar or two 1-pint jars with lids that fit tightly. The container should be full of cherries, but they shouldn’t be crammed in.
- Pour enough maraschino liqueur into the jar or jars to completely cover the cherries.
- Shake well for about 30 seconds to get the sugar to mix in. Refrigerate for a week to two weeks, giving each jar a gentle shake twice daily.
- After one week, taste the cherries to see if they have the flavor you want. Once the cherries are ready, you can use them to decorate your favorite drinks or desserts.
You can put the rest in a second jar if you have more cherries that will fit in the jar. The number of jars you need will depend on the size of the cherries and the size of the jars you use.
Keep your finished maraschinos in the jars they came in and in the fridge. The liqueur will keep them from going bad, so they should last longer.
Many Ways to Make Homemade Maraschinos
Maraschino liqueur is just one of many spirits you can use to make maraschinos at home. However, the liqueur is pronounced mare-uh-SKEE-no, and the cherries are pronounced mare-uh-SHEE-no. Maraschino liqueur is a good choice because it naturally makes fruits taste better. Brandy, vodka, and rum are other popular liquors to use as well.
This is one of the most basic and easiest ways to make maraschino cherries home. Other ways include adding different coloring agents or using traditional canning methods, which take longer to prepare, using more flavoring ingredients than necessary, and having other differences depending on the situation. You can use any of these to make your customized cherries.
To make a maraschino without alcohol, you must do a little more work ahead of time. Since there is no alcohol in this recipe to act as a preservative, it needs to be canned the old-fashioned way. They are very tasty, and everyone can enjoy them.
1. Choosing and Pitting your Cherries
The original “maraschino” was the sour Marasca cherry, which is still a great choice. You can use any cherry you want to. Among the sweet cherries, Bing cherries are a good choice.
Many cherries are in season in the spring and summer, but you can find them in markets all year long. When you find good cherries at a good price, you might want to buy a lot of them. If you make enough maraschinos, they might even last until the next cherry season.
Even though frozen cherries can be used to make maraschino cherries, fresh cherries are better. Even the prettiest frozen cherries don’t look great in a cocktail glass.
2. Take the Pain Out of Pitting
If your cherries don’t already have the pits, you need to buy a cherry pitter. You should expect to see pitted cherries with or without stems in cocktails. You can pit cherries with things you already have in your kitchen, but a good pitter will make the job go much faster.
What are the Maraschino Cherry Uses?
The name “cocktail cherries” comes from the fact that maraschino cherries are used in many alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and cocktails, such as the Tequila Sunrise, the Queen Mary, and the Shirley Temple. (This word is also used for other types, like Amarena, Balaton, and Bing, when they are used the same way, usually by soaking them in sugar or alcohol. Sometimes, cherries and some maraschino syrup are added to a glass of Coca-Cola to make an old-fashioned or homemade “Cherry Coke.”
As a garnish, they can be used on frozen yogurt, baked ham, cakes, pastries, parfaits, milkshakes, and ice cream sodas. They are an important part of an American ice cream sundae, where the phrase “cherry on top” comes from. They are often found in fruit cocktail that comes in a can.
Many classic cocktails, like the Manhattan and the pia colada, have maraschino cherries on top. They also add a splash of color to the top of a mound of whipped cream on banana splits, ice cream sundaes, and other nostalgic desserts. You can add chopped or mashed maraschino cherries to batters and sweet doughs. You can also use the syrup they come in to sweeten and color frosting.
- You can drop them into your glass or put them on top of the ice, but cherries are also fun to use in fancy ways to decorate cocktails:
- Flags A cocktail skewer is used to attach the cherries to a slice of orange, pineapple, or another similar fruit. It is often added to tropical drinks like a pia colada.
- For boats, cut a slice from a whole large orange and wrap it around itself to make a funnel shape. Use a skewer to hold it, then put a cherry in the middle. It looks great floating on top of drinks like a tequila sunrise with a lot of fruit.
- Unless the cocktail calls for it, always serve a cherry with the stem still attached so the drinker can easily pop it in their mouth if they want to.
What do Maraschino Cherries Taste Like?
The maraschino of today tastes more like candy than like fruit. It makes a drink or dessert very sweet but doesn’t add much depth to the taste. The cherry pits used during distillation give classic maraschino cherries a hint of almond flavor. When amygdalin mixes with stomach acid, it breaks into benzaldehyde, which tastes like almonds and is not dangerous, and hydrogen cyanide, which is dangerous and goes by the name prussic acid. Small amounts of cyanide can be taken in by a healthy body without harm, but larger amounts over time are poisonous.
Where to Buy Maraschino Cherries?
You can find maraschino cherries in grocery stores near the ice cream toppings or the baking aisle. You might also find them with other kinds of fruit jam. The Old World recipe for preserving cherries in maraschino liqueur is harder to find, but you can buy them online or at high-end liquor stores. They do, however, cost more than other things. You can also buy maraschino cherries from other countries that have been preserved in marasca syrup. Look for Luxardo, the original maker, or Fabbri, both from Italy. Maraschino cherries can be found in some stores near the canned fruit and others near the olives. Industry statistics show that the average supermarket has nearly 39,000 items.
Maraschino cherries have a lot of sugar, so if you store them right, they will last for a long time. Keep jars that haven’t been opened in a cool, dark place. Once you open them, you can keep them in the fridge for up to a year if you keep the lids on tight. Maraschino cherries are safe to freeze, but they might get too soft to enjoy when they thaw.
Maraschino cherries can last for two to three years if not opened and about a year after they have been opened. Maraschino cherries can last for a long time, but how long depends on some things, like the “best by” date. Maraschino cherries that haven’t been opened should be kept in the pantry, where the temperature is always less than 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the cherries have been opened, put them back in their jar and the fridge. If you bought them in a can, put them in a jar or with a tight lid.