DIY Maraschino Cocktail Cherries Week 5: Now Let’s Talk About All the Cocktails That Deserve a Really Good Cherry

updated May 2, 2019
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(Image credit: Faith Durand)

Well, my DIY cocktail cherries have been bobbing in their bath of concentrated cherry juice, sugar, and Luxardo Maraschino liqueur for several weeks now, and each week I find that the cherries get a little plumper and more saturated with booze.

They’re not quite as crisp or plump as I would like, although I plan to leave one jar in the back of the fridge for at least six months and see how they develop. But until then, let’s talk about all the cocktails that are made so much better with a cherry garnish.

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

I have been drinking a lot of bourbon and rye lately, and the drinks made with these brown spirits are often complemented by a sweet, boozy cherry.

Starting with the big old classics — the Manhattan and the Old-Fashioned — cherries are an essential touch. Personally I also like them in the cousins of the Manhattan, stiff drinks like the Brooklyn, Bronx, and Slope. I actually put in two cherries — one to munch on at the beginning, and one to save until the end.

Branching out from the old-school classics, the Mai Tai cocktail recipe I use also calls for a cherry garnish in addition to fresh mint and pineapple, and the summery Whiskey Sour also demands a maraschino or two.

I’m curious about your favorite cocktails to drink with a cherry on top — I’ll take any excuse to use these babies in cocktails right now!