Every June I receive the best FedEx shipment ever: 18lbs of fresh cherries. For the past three years I have participated as a canbassador for the Washington State Fruit Commission. Free fresh fruit… multiple blog posts… duh!? I deem the next few cherry posts CherryPalooza!
Up first: boozie cherries! Specifically, Luxardo Maraschino liquor soaked cherries. You’ve probably seen canned Luxardo “original” Maraschino Cherries in your local liquor store before. Like the store bought cocktail cherries, these are cherries are sweet, booze soaked, and oh so good. Unlike store bought maraschino cherries, these cherries only contain cherries, booze, sugar, lemon, and a few spices. No citric acid, no glucose, no other flavors! I slightly modified a recipe I found over at the Will Cook for Friends blog. I plan on using these cocktail cherries plus their liquid in homemade cocktails.
“Before prohibition, maraschino cherries were simply cherries preserved in maraschino liqueur (an alcohol made from the juice of marasca cherries and their crushed, almond flavored pits. After prohibition, the alcohol was replaced with a process of bleaching, dying, chemically preserving, and otherwise robbing the cherries of anything that might once have been considered good or natural.”
Wait, before you toss all of those cherry pits!! Why not make a vodka or whiskey cherry infusion? Simply toss your seeds into a ball jar full of liquor and let sit in a cool place for 2-4 weeks.
- 3-3/4 pounds fresh cherries (stemmed and pitted)
- 1-1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- pinch of nutmeg powder
- 1-1/2 cup water
- 3 cups Luxardo Maraschino Liquor
- juice from 3 lemons
- In a large non-ionized pot, combine sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon sticks, lemon juice, and water. Over low-medium heat bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
- Stir in cherries. Return to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Add luxardo liquor and stir to completely combine.
- Add cherries and liquid to jars. Wipe rims, apply lids. Let cool completely. Place jars in fridge.
- Refrigerate for at least 3 days before consuming. Best flavor is set of 2 weeks.