Maraschino Cherries, The Real Deal

by

Maraschino Cherries It’s cherry season in Italy, and I’ve been not so patiently waiting to make another batch of Maraschino cherries. Last year’s batch was stupendous, addictive, a reason to drink another Manhattan. I’m not talking about those unnatural red things that are sold as “Maraschino” cherries. They gave Maraschino a bad name and should be banned! Or at least called something different like “Radioactive Shirley Temple Cherries.”

Maraschino Cherries It’s cherry season in Italy, and I’ve been not so patiently
waiting to make another batch of Maraschino cherries. Last year’s batch was
stupendous, addictive, a reason to drink another Manhattan.  With craft cocktails, Slow Food
cocktails, home brewed bitters all the rage, I’m sure you know by now that I’m
not talking about those unnatural red things that are sold as “Maraschino”
cherries.  They gave Maraschino a
bad name and should be banned!  Or
at least called something different like “Radioactive Shirley Temple Cherries.”

 This year isn’t a great year for cherries, it was too cold
and too wet, but there are cherries around and it's time to get a
few batches of Maraschino cherries macerating.

 

Technique: Select cherries with their stems on and not too
ripe.

Pit the cherries. With a sharp knife, score the cherry in half, but leaving it intact, use the pit as a knife guide. Separate gently and pry out the pit. Pack firmly into a jar, and cover with
Maraschino liquor. 

Don’t crush them into the jar, but fill it to the rim with
cherries because otherwise they will float.

Hard Part: Wait at least two weeks before you start adding
them to your cocktails.
Frosty cold

 

With all due respect to NPR and Kara Newman, pitting the
cherries is vital because you get a much better penetration of the liquor into
the cherry. And you also avoid the inelegant pit spitting when you do get to
eat your cherry.

Imagine you are drinking a very glamorous Manhattan, the last
thing you want do is to start spitting pits at your companion. (Save that game
for another time, and besides watermelon pits make better ammo.)  Maraschino liquore can be difficult to
find, the brand of choice is Luxardo, but like it’s luxurious name, it can be
expensive. If you can find a cheaper brand, use it for cherries and pastry
cream.  In Umbria, I can only find
it in the baking section of the grocery store.  Odd, but true.

 

Everyone has their favorite version of a Manhattan, but
here’s our current favorite: 

2.0 parts rye whiskey

1.0 part sweet vermouth

and a dash of bitter! Angustura please.

(and I've been informed that we've been experimenting with 3:1 Manhattans. Guess you can tell who is the mixologist in our house.)

 

Stirred and never shaken. Served very, very cold.

One Response to "Maraschino Cherries, The Real Deal"

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


PageLines