½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup water
2 tsp lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla bean, scraped (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
1 lb cherries, pitted and stemmed
You can use frozen or fresh cherries. I recommend that you look for sour cherries, but sweet ones work too. It’s super important to make sure all pits have been removed from the cherries. Breaking a tooth while enjoying cocktails is not sexy.
Combine all ingredients except the cherries and liqueur in a saucepan, and bring it to a rolling boil. Stir as the sugar dissolves.
Reduce the heat to medium-low (no longer rolling boil). Add the cherries. Stir to coat. Cook for 3-5 minutes to soften the cherries a bit.
Remove from heat, add the liqueur, and stir.
Let cool completely before transferring cherries and liquid to jars. Cover tightly and refrigerate. These make great host/hostess gifts and stay fresh for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Cherries taste best a few days after being jarred, when the liqueur has permeated the fruit more.
[Optional — use canning methods to preserve cherries in Mason jars to extend their shelf life, unrefrigerated].
Great in any cocktail that typically calls for a cherry garnish — especially the Old Fashioned and the Manhattan.
Pro-Tip 1 | The cherries and/or liquid is also fantastic as a topping for chocolate or vanilla ice cream! Or breasts. The liquid tastes especially delicious when licked off a nipple.
Pro-Tip 2 | What to do with the leftover Luxardo liqueur? Use it to make Aviation cocktails. And garnish with one of your homemade cherries.