You can certainly buy some Luxardo Maraschino cherries for your gin cocktail garnishes, but why do that when you can make your own with this Luxardo Cherry recipe. When cherries are in season, of course.
A few simple ingredients and a bit of time by the stove and you end up with decadent Luxardo cherries. This recipe is easy, and if you make a little more syrup than what the recipe calls for, you end up with some “bonus” Spicy Simple Syrup for use in other recipes that call for simple syrup.
What the heck are Luxardo Cherries anyway?
In the most simple of terms, Luxardo cherries are cherries that are simmered in syrup and drowned in Luxardo liquor.
The true, original Luxardo Maraschino Cherry is made in Italy. The maraschino cherries that many of us remember topping an ice cream treat are sugary, neon abominations that belong in the past.
Contrary to the hot pick non-Italian maraschino cherry, the Luxardo Cherry is lush, dark, rich, and adult. They make great additions to gin cocktails, and add flavor and color to the Gin Old Fashioned or the Aviation cocktail. Or any other gin cocktail where you want some intense flavor and a bit of decadent color.
Pro tip – Skip the “kitchen hack” of popping out the cherry pit by using a wine glass and a chopstick. Your hands and kitchen will look like a crime scene. Instead, cut the cherry in half like it was an avocado, use the half without the pit, and gnaw on the half with the pit. Pop the pit out and enjoy your snack as you cook.
Luxardo Maraschino Cherries
- 1 Lb. Cherries Use any variety, but the darker and richer varieties seem to fare better. Ditch the pits before making this recipe.
- .5 Cup Water
- .5 Cup Sugar
- Juice from 1 Lemon Go for fresh lemon
- 1 Stick Cinnamon
- 1 Pinch Nutmeg
- 1 Whole Vanilla bean Option to skip this, option to use a dash of extract.
- 1 Cup Luxardo Liquor
- After gathering your ingredients, head to the stove.
- Scrape out the vanilla bean and combine the insides with the sugar in your unheated saucepan. Or, just dash some vanilla extract on the sugar.
- Add the water, lemon juice, nutmeg, and cinnamon stick to the sugar and bring it all up to a boil, then back down to a simmer.
- Let this simmer for about 5 minutes with a cover.
- Add the cherries and let them steep in the spicy syrup for about 3 minutes.
- Remove everything from the heat and pour in your cup of Luxardo.
- Everything cools off, and then you can pour your cherries in a jar. This recipe will yield about one mason jar's worth of drunken cherries.
Expand on the Luxardo Cherry recipe and make some Spicy Simple Syrup while you’re at it.
Use more water, lemon juice, and sugar if you want to save some of the syrup you make in the first step for use in other cocktails. Make sure you use even parts of the water, lemon juice and sugar.
You can also add a bit of Luxardo to your extra Spicy Simple Syrup to add some deep cherry flavor.