DIY Maraschino Cocktail Cherries Week 3: Let's Try These Cherries and See How They're Doing

Spring Projects from The Kitchn

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I embarked on a batch of homemade cocktail cherries as my spring project, using Maraschino liqueur and delicious sour cherries (frozen, from Michigan). Last week I showed you how I brined the cherries... and maybe screwed them up?

This week, let's just take a look at them, now that they've had a week to bathe in their juices. What's going on in there?

Unbrined cherries.
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Deliciousness, that's what's happening. They taste boozy and sweet with that wonderful rich cherry flavor.

My dreams of a crisp, Luxardo-esque cocktail cherry are not materializing, however. I think I would have needed to start with green cherries and undertake a longer process to get them that crunchy and jammy. But the cherries are plumping up nicely, and I'm curious to see what another week (or more) will do to them.

One thing I noticed is that the cherries I didn't brine first are plumper and hold their shape better. The brined cherries have plumped up quite a bit but they still look more like raisins than perfect rosy orbs. (Yes, I wrote that sentence as an excuse to use the word orbs.)

Brined cherries.
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Have you ever made cocktail cherries? Did you soak them in booze, or just in syrup? What were the keys to any success you had?

Next week: We'll try them again, after one more week in the fridge. (Easy project, eh?)

(Image credits: Faith Durand)