Old Fashioned Cocktail

Oh, ridiculously expensive jar of fancy-pants Luxardo 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. Homemade cocktail cherries to the rescue. 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 Easy Homemade Cocktail Cherries. You’ll never go back to those imposters again.

stocked bar with cocktail cherries

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.

a coupe of cocktail cherries

3.19 from 16 votes

Easy 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.

Looking for other fabulous Christmas goodies? Try your hand at these Deep Dark Chocolate Crinkle Cookies, or bake a few loaves of this delicious Stollen to gift to friends and family.

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