Easy Maraschino Cherries: Make Your Own Cocktail Garnish

Make Your Own Maraschino Cherries
Making your own maraschino cherries is very easy. This simple recipe produces cocktail-worthy garnishes that are much better than any you can buy. silversaltphoto.j.senosiain / Moment / Getty Images
    30 mins

Yes, you can buy a jar of maraschino cherries, but the standard process of making maraschino cherries today leaves a lot to be desired. If you regularly use this popular cocktail garnish, you may want to make them yourself for a far more natural maraschino cherry.

This is similar to the original method of making maraschino cherries and it uses maraschino liqueur as the preservative. Though the sour Marasca cherry is the original "maraschino" you can use any variety of cherry you desire, bing cherries are a good sweet option.

What You'll Need

How to Make It

  1. Add the cherries and sugar to canning jars with tight sealing lids. Cherries should fill the container but should not be crammed inside.
    • If you have more cherries than comfortably sit in the jar, use a second jar for the remainder. 
    • How many jars you end up needing is going to vary based on the size of the cherries as well as the jars you use.
  2. Pour maraschino liqueur into the jar(s) to cover the cherries completely and shake well to dissolve the sugar. The cherries will float so you will have to gauge this accordingly.
  1. Refrigerate for 1-2 weeks, gently shaking each jar 2 times every day.
  2. After 1 week, test the cherries to see if they have reached your desired taste.

More Tips for Homemade Maraschinos

There are many homemade recipes for maraschino cherries and this is one of the most basic ways. Other methods include adding different coloring agents or require traditional canning methods, longer preparation times, excess flavoring ingredients, and many other variations on the factors involved.

A simple internet search will produce all of these. I like the simple way for the bar. However,  I do want to point out this homemade maraschino cherry recipe that uses no alcohol, so it is perfect for your mocktail and dessert garnishes.

While frozen cherries can make acceptable maraschino cherries, I recommend sticking with fresh cherries for the best results.

If your cherries are not pitted you will want to invest in a cherry pitter as pitted cherries (stem or no stem) are expected in cocktails.

Buy Heavy-Duty Cherry Stoner at Amazon.com

Don't want to buy a pitter? Learn how to pit cherries with tools in your kitchen.