Maraschino Cherries

Black Cherries

I love cherries and back a couple of months ago in Cherry season I collected a pile to do something with.  I like them to eat, put them in cakes and also in cocktails, so I thought I would make my own Marachino Cherries. In the US the term Maraschino Cherry refers to the red cocktail cherry, but in Europe it means a plump boozy cherry.  Traditionally Maraschino Cherries are made from the Marasca Cherry found in Croatia, Italy, Slovenia and Hungary, but are hard to find on the shelves of UK supermarkets. My research lead me to many different ways of making them, but I chose this one for its lovely Christmassy flavours!

Maraschino Cherries

Ingredients (Makes about 500ml liquid and cherries)

100g Caster Sugar
100ml Water
250ml Brandy
400g Cherries
Rind of 1/2 Orange
Pinch of Sea Salt
Cinnamon Stick


  • In a pan put the Sugar, Water, Salt, Orange Rind and Cinnamon and simmer until the Sugar dissolves
  • Remove from the heat and add the Brandy and Cherries
  • Sterilise a glass jar and pour in Cherries and Brandy Mixture
  • Screw the lid on tightly and give the jar a good shake
  • Leave to cool to room temperature before putting in the fridge
  • They will keep in the fridge for about 8 weeks… if they last that long!

You can enjoy these straight from the jar, or to jazz up a Black Forest Gateau or Trifle, or if you really want your day to start off with a kick ; on top of your porridge! Alternatively, you could try them in a cocktail such as my take on a traditional Old Fashioned using the Maraschino Cherries!

Maraschino Cherry Old-Fashioned

 Ingredients (Makes 1)

1 tsp Sugar
4 dashes of Angostura Bitters
1/2 tsp Maraschino Cherry liquor
60ml Tullamore Dew (or Bourbon)
splash of Soda Water
Maraschino Cherries, to decorate


In a short or old-fashioned glass add the sugar, bitters and liquor and splash of ginger ale and muddle together

  • Take the piece of orange rind, squeeze hard into the glass to release the oils, then rub it over the rim of the glass
  • Drop it into the glass and muddle with the other mixture, then remove the rind
  • Top up with Bourbon and Ice and garnish with a fresh piece of orange zest and some of the maraschino cherries

Maraschino Cherry Old Fashioned