Maraschino Cherries

In the summer, cherries are the icing on the cake for me. Growing up I used to eat them by the bowlful, trying to tie the stems in knots like Audrey Horne in Twin Peaks. Though I’ve given up ever being able to achieve that feat, they’re still one of my favorite fruits.

Lately my boyfriend has wanted to try making maraschino cherries; gloriously red and nostalgia-inducing, they’re a perfect garnish to a summer night’s ice cream sundae and an ingredient in many classic cocktails (his favorite being the Manhattan). So we made a quick trip to Dry Dock Wine + Spirits to pick up some Luxardo (pictured), and then we were ready to go.  — Adrienne McIlvaine

{Recipe after the jump.}

A far cry from the hyper-sweet, dyed industrial variety, homemade maraschino cherries are simply cherries that have been preserved in maraschino, a clear liqueur made from the crushed fruit and pits of the marasca cherry. The sweet, nutty flavor of the Luxardo balances out the mouth-puckering tartness of the sour cherries from this week’s fruit harvest.

What you need:

I gathered up everything I’d need — a clear glass jar (mine held a little more than 3 cups), 2 pints of sour cherries, and 2 cups of Luxardo.

Making the cherries:

First, pit the cherries, using either a small paring knife or one of those handy cherry pitters. Next, warm the Luxardo on the stovetop. Pour the cherries in the jar, and pour the liqueur over them. That’s it.

Let the cherries sit in the fridge for two days before trying one; they’ll be firm and sweet with an edge from the liqueur.

They will last for months in the fridge (if they last that long).

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