Maraschino Cherries

by Columbine Quillen on April 2, 2010

On my current cocktail list is a Manhattan Flight which is three baby Manhattans, each one with a different handcrafted bitters.  I hate to admit it, but I didn’t really think that the drink needed a cherry – the point was to introduce the Manhattan drinker to notion that only a few drips of highly-flavorful liquid could completely revolutionalize their drink.  The maraschino cherry in a Manhattan always seemed a bit cliché and nasty to me – the amount of preservatives in one cherry alone is enough to embalm a small adult male.  But people kept wanted cherries and it killed me to put one of those noxious fictitious crimson cancer bombs in my beloved cocktail – so the birth of my own maraschino cherries.  I’ve tested out making maraschino cherries before, but the biggest problem was removing the pit from fresh cherries.  This recipe calls for dehydrated cherries, so the pits are already removed – making the whole process a million times less time-consuming and messy.

Maraschino Cherries Recipe

1 cup dried cherries

You can use any type of dried cherries but I like Montmorency cherries as they are a bit tart and have a nice deep plum color.

1 cup cherry juice (make sure that it is 100% cherry juice with no added sugar)

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup triple sec

1 rind from a medium size orange

Place all the ingredients together in a metal or glass container.  Stir the mixture until the sugar is dissolved.  Let the cherries soak in the brine for at least seven days at room temperature so that they plump up and take on the flavor of the solution.  The end result will be a delicious perfectly balanced cherry with a hint of orange.  If you like the almond flavor from store-bought cherries, just add a drop or two of almond extract to the brine and you’ll love the results.

- Columbine Quillen
I am a bartender and this is my blog.

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