Maraschino Cherries…

As a Manhattan drinker, these are a necessity. But most supermarket brands are full of a lot of crap and basically suck. I know Luxardo’s are highly recommended, but I find them mushy, and too sweet. My fav is Tillen Farms Merry Maraschino’s, but I have to order them online and they are expensive.

So I am considering making my own…

Any of you do this?

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There was a thread that wandered in this direction over the summer: Sour cherry season

I remember that thread, but don’t recall a post from any folks here that successfully created some.

Yeah, I posted about the results of my Amarena cherry making experiment, but they are not at all the same as maraschino cherries. The process for making the type of maraschino cherries you get at the grocery store is actually quite complex, so it’s little wonder that people don’t attempt it at home:

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Ok… I’m gonna give one of these a try (with necessary mods). My guess is frozen cherries will be fine as a starting point (at least for the first run), agreed?

The texture of frozen cherries will be much softer than that of fresh, but otherwise I would think it would work.

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I can’t find sour cherries here. I’ve tried some things with bing cherries; pickled, and in a chocolate liquid. Not sure about Maraschino.

As an alternative to maraschino, I make rye and rum cherries. I boil the pitted cherries in simple syrup for 6-8 minutes, and pack them fairly loosely and hot in a canning jar. I then fill the jar half full with the boiling syrup, and top off with high proof rye or rum. Sometimes I freeze them to add to Manhattans or old fashioned. I know this is not real canning, but I have never had a batch go bad. I suppose you could pasteurize them if you wanted.

Ok… cancel that. I just found a reasonable source for the Tillen Farms variety I am so fond of. Seriously doubt I could better these without a lot of trial and error (mostly error).

Their Bada Bings are my favorite, have you tried them?

I have (as they are always at my local Safeway), but the Maraschino’s are quite a bit better (at least in my Manhattans).

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There’s also this, from the good folks at Chukar Cherries: Maraschino Cherries - All Natural Jar of Cherries (

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These look good, with similar ingredients to the Tillen Farms, but even more expensive ($8.99 vs $14.95)… unless you know a cheaper place to buy?

Sorry, I don’t.

I’ve always detested maraschino cherries. But now reading your OP and skimming the recipes, I wonder if that’s only because I’ve never run into a good one.

Interesting the breadth of the 3 recipes. One calls for a salt brining step (followed by sugar syrup soak), the other 2 sugar and/or cherry liquor but no brining. Two call for sour cherries, one for sweet.

I’m kind of surprised at (and don’t trust) that recipe from the Spruce Eats. For the brine, the author says use a tablespoon of pickling salt, but parenthetically indicates “(or brining or kosher salt)”.

These are not even close to equivalents. Pickling salt is finer even than table salt. I just tested my brand (Mrs. Wages) and it’s 22 g/tbs. Whereas my Morton’s kosher is about 15 g/tbs, and Diamond Crystal is reported to be closer to 10g/tbs.

So you can be brining in anything from a 0.53% salinity solution to a 1.2% solution. That’s a pretty large range.

I know, picky-picky-picky. But still, this is not a small variance.

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Agreed… most supermarket maraschinos are foul (corn syrup, all kinds of chemicals, dye, etc.), and the “highly praised” Luxardos are just overly sweet goop to me.

After hearing frozen would not be ideal, I just decided to purchase my fav Tillen Farms Merry Maraschinos, which have nothing but Cherries, Water, Sugar, Fruit and Vegetable Concentrate (Color), Natural Flavor.

They have a great flavor/texture, and while they’re not fluorescent red like supermarket brands, who cares.

But if you make some please let us know how they turn out!