A Cherry on Top

Give your carefully crafted cocktails the garnish they deserve.

By Jessica Voelker March 15, 2010 Published in the April 2010 issue of Seattle Met

INSTEAD OF BESMIRCHING your drinks with those chemical-red sugar bombs from the jar, try this tasty recipe for homemade maraschino cherries, courtesy of Mike McSorley, the bar manager at Naga Cocktail Lounge ( The mixture takes just a few minutes to prepare, but for maximum flavor McSorley suggests leaving the cherries to steep in syrup for one to two weeks.

32 oz Chukar Totally Tart dried cherries
2 oz Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
6 oz Paul Masson VSOP brandy
4 oz R. W. Knudsen unsweetened cherry juice
1 cinnamon stick
½ oz Angostura bitters
12 oz water
4 oz unbleached sugar

Place cherries in a large container with a tight-fitting lid. Combine remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan, heat until mixture comes to a soft boil. Pour hot liquid over cherries, cover, then shake the container vigorously and leave out at room temperature for 4 to 6 hours (or overnight). Refrigerate for 1 to 2 weeks, shaking the container gently every couple of days.

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