Old Fashioned Cocktail

Oh, ridiculously expensive jar of fancy-pants liqueur-soaked cherries, how I love you. I make Manhattans and Old Fashioneds (always with two cherries) almost just to have you; I spoon your syrup over vanilla ice cream and sigh with contentment. If you are still garnishing your sundaes and cocktails with a bright red abomination, please stop now. Head to the grocery store and buy a bag of frozen cherries. On the way home, stop at the package store for a bottle of Luxardo Maraschino liqueur (ahhh–the namesake of those abominations). At home, grab a clean, sterilized (aka washed in soap and super hot water) jar, and whip up a batch of these DIY Cocktail Cherries. You’ll never go back to those imposters again.

If you’ve never seen these cherries, you probably are thinking I’ve lost it. But I assure you, these cherries have a massive cult following of which I am a staunch member. The flavor is out of this world. Luxardo is an Italian liqueur made from cherry pits. I’ve provided two methods to use. One is incredibly simple: combine Luxardo liqueur and frozen cherries. You’ll lose out a bit on texture with this method, but they’re great in a pinch. The more involved method is to make a simple syrup and essentially candy the cherries in it, then jar them with the liqueur.

Homemade Cocktail Cherries

You'll gladly replace your jar of day-Glo red fruit with these delicious, sweet cocktail cherries.

Cuisine American
Keyword DIY luxardo cherries, homemade cocktail cherries
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 pint jars
Author Amanda


Easy Method

  • 1 bag frozen pitted cherries
  • 2 cups Luxardo Maraschino liqueur

Slightly Harder Method

  • 1 bag frozen pitted cherries
  • 1 cup Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar


Easy Method

  1. Pour frozen cherries into a sterilized jar and fill with liqueur. Store in the fridge for one to two weeks.

Slightly Harder Method

  1. Combine water and sugar in a medium saucepan.
  2. Simmer until the syrup thickens.
  3. Add thawed cherries and simmer just until the cherries harden a bit and the syrup is reduced by a third. Take off the heat and add 1 cup Luxardo liqueur. 

  4. Pour cherries and syrup in sterilized jars and store in the fridge for up to two to three months.

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