DIY Boozin

Make This: Homemade Maraschino Cherries.

A simple recipe for homemade maraschinos from Naga Lounge bar manager Mike McSorley

March 22, 2010

My parents rarely made cocktails, but they always had maraschino cherries. Stuffed into the top condiment shelf on the refrigerator door, the glass jar full of goopy fruit would rattle against the Miracle Whip and the Grey Poupon whenever you opened or shut it. The cherries came out sometimes at parties, but mostly they were there for when my great grandmother came for a visit, bringing with her the world’s most fabulous white cake with coconut frosting and a strictly adhered-to policy of imbibing one Manhattan cocktail every day at dusk.

Oh, how I loved that cake. But such treats were a rare sight in our largely sugar-free household, and when my desires for sweet stuff could not be quelled by yet another carrot, I would reach into the maraschino jar and pluck, by its skinny stem, one fire engine-red cherry from the pile, relishing the shock of sugar that coursed through my veins upon ingestion.

Now I find those cherries gross. Especially when I see them languishing at the bar in their little germ-incubating metal container. In fact, one of the first thing that hooked me about fine cocktails were the purpley cherries that garnished Manhattans and old fashioneds at the better cocktail bars. Delicate, not too sweet, delicious when soaked in booze: housemade maraschinos are an essential piece of the truly well-made drink. And the good news is they are easy to make. Check out the recipe I got from Naga Cocktail Lounge bar manager Mike McSorley here.

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