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Easy Maraschino Cherries


Manhattan & Old-Fashioned Cocktails

Manhattan & Old-Fashioned Cocktails

Photo Credit: © Shannon Graham
Sure, you could buy a jar of maraschino cherries, but the standard process of making maraschino cherries today leaves a lot to be desired (read more about maraschino cherries). If you regularly use this popular cocktail garnish you may want to make them yourself for a far more natural maraschino cherry.

This is similar to the original method of making maraschino cherries using maraschino liqueur as the preservative. Though the sour Marasca cherry is the original "maraschino" you can use any variety of cherry you desire, with bing being a good sweet option. Read more about cherry varieties...

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 1 Jar Maraschino Cherries



  1. Add the cherries and sugar to canning jars with tight sealing lids. Cherries should fill the container but not crammed in to fit. If you have more cherries than comfortably sit in the jar use a second jar for the remainder. This is going to vary based on the size of the cherries.
  2. Pour maraschino liqueur into jar(s) to cover the cherries completely and shake well to dissolve the sugar. Cherries will float so you will have to gauge this accordingly.
  3. Refrigerate for 1-2 weeks, gently shaking each jar 2 times every day. After 1 week test to see if they are desired.

There are many homemade recipes for maraschino cherries. This being one of the basic ways to achieve maraschinos. Some include different coloring agents while others require traditional canning methods, longer preparation times, excess flavoring ingredients, and many other variations on the factors involved. A simple internet search will produce all of these. I like the simple way for the bar, though I do want to point out this homemade maraschino cherry recipe that uses no alcohol for your mocktail and dessert garnishes.

While frozen cherries can make acceptable maraschino cherries, I recommend sticking with fresh cherries for the best results.

If your cherries are not pitted you will want to invest in a cherry pitter as pitted cherries (stem or no stem) are expected in cocktails.
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