Luxardo Maraschino cherries are used as garnishes or decorations in different pastries, confectionery, ice cream but also as ingredients in the recipes of classic cocktails such as: Manhattan, Pearl Harbor or Boulevardier.
Etymologically, “marasca” comes from the Latin Amaris, which means “bitter”. Initially, these cherries, called marasche were preserved in Maraschino liqueur, a traditional Italian distilled product, obtained from wild cherries.
History of Maraschino Cherries
Maraschino cherries have been known since 1920 when in the United States they were used in cocktail garnish, they were then simple maraschino cherries preserved in Maraschino liqueur.
In the 19th century, cherries in Maraschino became popular throughout Europe, but because the supply was insufficient for the demand from the whole continent, they came to be perceived as a delicacy that only royal and very rich houses could afford. allow.
Maraschino cherries first appeared several hundred years ago along the coast of what is now known as Croatia. There grew a cherry called marasca. These cherries were soaked in seawater and then dipped in a liqueur derived from the same cherries called “maraschino”. The popularity of cherry grew even until the 1800s, confectioners in Europe imitated the coveted treatment, soaking locally grown cherries, liqueur and marketing them as “maraschino cherries”.
Finally, the cherry soaked with beverage came to the US Very popular in the U.S. Until the end of the 20th century, the Maraschino cherry was used in bars and as a noteworthy garnish for drinks.
With a history dating back to 1821, Luxardo has a long-standing tradition of producing liqueurs. Winning numerous awards for the beverages produced in the Luxardo distilleries, Amaretto di Saschira is never left behind. Originally from Italy, from the Veneto region, the Luxardo family carries on the tradition further, the networks being known only to close family members.
Preserving the cherries
The famous Maraschino cherries, grown by the Luxardo family in the Veneto region, Italy. The cherries are kept in the cherries syrup, so that the product is kept as juicy. The content is natural and non-genetically modified, without the use of thickening agents or preservatives.
When the cherry season is in full swing, we are ready to regain some of the magic of those maraschino cherries. Although cherries would be ideal, their season is short and cherries can be hard to find. Sweet cherries like Bing or Rainier are available throughout the summer and fit the bill quite nicely. Soaked in a solution of simple syrup and Luxardo liqueur, maraschino homemade cherries can be ready to go in just a few days, although the more they soak, the deeper the sweet and tart bite. The cherries at the bottom of the glass are no longer beautiful. This cherry bite becomes a part of the drink that I didn’t know was missing, but now we can’t do without it. Homemade maraschino cherries are also great on ice cream, but don’t let the kids catch you. This is for adults only.
Homemade Luxardo Cherries
- 1/2 cup old
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup of Luxardo liqueur
- 4 cups sweet cherries
Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and mix lemon juice, vanilla extract and Luxardo liqueur. Remove the cherry cod and wash the cherries. Then put cherries in a jar until it is filled. Pour the syrup over the cherries and allow to cool. Put the lid over the jar and set it well and put it in the refrigerator. Luxardo cherries will be ready for use in 3 days, but will improve over time when stored in the refrigerator.
- 1 pound cherries, pitted
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 lemon peel
- 5 black peppercorns
- pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup Luxardo liqueur
First, optionally remove stems if you have not so done already. Next, in a medium sized saucepan, combine water, sugar, cinnamon stick, lemon peel, peppercorns, nutmeg, and salt. Stir to dissolve sugar and bring to just under a boil. Lower heat to a simmer for 5 minutes and then stir in cherries. Coat cherries in the syrup and then remove from heat. Stir in the Luxardo liqueur and let mixture sit until cooled. At this point you can store the cherries in the fridge up to one month, or you can can them and store in a cool, dry place.
Note: if you would like a thicker syrup for your cherries, you can do one, two, or a combination of things. First, make a richer syrup with a 2:1 sugar to water ratio. Second, you can add in marasca cherry juice that you can reduced by half into the mix. This will some additional mouthfeel and an even more pronounced cherry flavor. Third, you can combine both the richer syrup and cherry juice and reduce to a thick syrup.
These fleshy and translucent fruits are also perfect for decorating cakes, icecream, for sweet bread, or consuming as such. Can’t be described what a Luxardo cherry does to an ice cream. It takes sophistication to another level. Taking this idea a step further, we can use Luxardo cherries to garnish the Christmas desserts. It also makes an exponentially better garnish for cheesecake than any canned stuffing could make.
True, they are quite a bit more expensive than the American counterpart and you likely won’t find them on grocery store shelves (instead they’ll be alongside the liqueur in good wine and spirit stores). But Luxardo’s cherries are packed with real fruit flavor—that fruit having all the nuance of notoriously seasonal tart cherries—and they have zero artificial coloring. The texture is more toothsome, more satisfying than those other cherries, too. Even if they’re dropped into nothing more than a humble Shirley Temple.