It’s no secret that my husband and I enjoy a good cocktail on occassion. I’m lucky that Radd is quite a talented “mixologist”– though I don’t really like that term. Even so, it’s true. So since I have access to his skills, I’m planning to share a few of our absolute favorite summer cocktails in the coming weeks here on Relishing It. They’re mostly classics or variations of well-established cocktails– because, to be honest, those are the best ones. Today’s recipe (if you can even call it that) coincides with that.
Cocktail cherries are the perfect accompaniment to so many drinks, and making your own is simple. You can use whatever type of cherries you have. I used sweet cherries, because they are readily available here in Minnesota. When sour cherries eventually show up in the markets, I’ll definitely be making another batch using those. You can use a variety of different liqueurs to make a cocktail cherry. For instance, I recently asked a bartender that makes a brilliant margarita here in town what they use to make their cherries (brandy and simple syrup). For this recipe, I wanted something a little-less sweet. These soak in a maraschino cherry liqueur. The longer the cherries sit in it, the more developed the cherry becomes. Two weeks usually does it, though we definitely used them sooner. And don’t throw out the liqueur when the cherries are gone. You can use it along the way to add to other cocktails. Be creative! We love to put them atop this margarita, in particular. Enjoy!
The Recipe: Homemade Cocktail Cherries
(makes 1 quart)
About 1 1/4 pounds sweet cherries (sour cherries would be excellent, too)
2 1/2 cups Maraschino Liqueur (I used Luxardo)
*Pitting the cherries is totally optional
Fit the cherries snuggly into a clean quart jar. Bring the liqueur to a simmer in a saucepan and then pour it over the cherries. Let cool at room temperature. Then, put a lid on and refrigerate. They will taste the best if you are patient and let them marinate for about 2 weeks. I’m not nearly so patient and used them earlier.
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