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How to Use Cherries in an Old Fashioned Cocktail


An old-fashioned cherry garnish can make or break a drink, so select ones without artificial flavors to bring out its authentic flavors.

Consider whether your cherries have been preserved with alcohol or syrup; this can impact their flavor.

Sour or Tart Cherries

Sour cherries offer a delightful tartness and depth of flavor that their sweet counterparts can’t match, making them essential ingredients in classic pie recipes that provide the ideal balance between fruity and tartness. Unfortunately, their short season means they only remain available during a limited window each summer, so make the most of this unique fruit before it’s too late!

Soaking cherries in bourbon is an easy and delicious way to enjoy them at their peak; just be sure to use a quality spirit you enjoy drinking. This method also serves to preserve sour cherries for future use – they can be used as cocktail garnishes, served over ice cream, or baked into desserts.

Start by gathering several sour or tart cherries that are vibrant, scarlet in color, and complete. Avoid ones that have been bruised, as their flesh will quickly begin to discolor once plucked from their tree. Farmer’s markets or local growers might offer such fruits; otherwise, try ordering online or finding you-pick locations near where these fruits can be purchased.

Once you’ve collected the cherries, make sure they’re pitted either using a cherry pitter or by hand – although using a cherry pitter will usually be faster and easier. Fill a jar with enough bourbon to completely cover your cherries before sweetening, if desired, with sugar. Store these sealed containers somewhere cool and dark for at least a week so the cherries can take on their flavors before enjoying them!

Once your cherries are ready, remove them from the jars and enjoy as desired. They can be stored for several months in the fridge, if not longer. Simply add one or more to a chilled cocktail for an alcoholic snack!

Sweet Cherries

Sweet cherries stand out among other fruit varieties with their signature taste, texture, and juicy sweetness that make them standouts. Cherries make an ideal ingredient to add in desserts like pies and cobblers and zesty tart flavorings for savory dishes like salads. However, cherry season is short, so be sure to stock up while they can – visit local farmers’ markets or produce stands to find these precious gems before they disappear forever!

Jarred varieties can make an acceptable alternative for those unable to locate fresh cherries. But making your old-fashioned cherries is much more delicious, and you have complete control over which type of cherry you use – Bing or Chelan varieties produce deep-hued fruits in bright red syrup, creating more authentic results than those bought in stores that contain corn syrup and red dye 40.

Cocktail cherries are a timeless accent to Manhattans and other alcoholic beverages, but you can easily recreate this treat at home. Cherry cocktail garnishes can be created using either sweet or sour cherries; traditionally, brightly-colored acidic varieties have been the go-to choice as they hold up better against sugar syrup preservation processes, not to mention having originated in Italy!

To create your cocktail cherries, remove pits and stems from cherries with an electric cherry pitter (or freehand). Next, bring water and sugar to a soft boil while whisking to ensure all sugar has dissolved completely before stirring in cherries with the aid of a funnel; use this mix to fill jars about 1/2 inch from their respective top edges (Ball brand jars have specific lines to help).

Once your cherries are in jars, allow them to cool to room temperature before covering and refrigerating them for up to two months in your refrigerator. As an alternative, frozen cherries will work just as well but may lack some of their vibrant color and texture when frozen.

Luxardo Cherries

Luxardo cherries stand out from their grocery store counterparts as dark and crisp with jammy interiors, making them bartender favorites and perfect garnishes for coke floats, ice cream sundaes, and Daiquiri variations. Though more costly than their grocery store counterparts, Luxardos make up for it in luxurious richness and toothsome texture; I keep a jar on hand and have even given away pro-size cans of them to close friends as unique presents!

To create your Luxardo cherries, you will need a jar (about one cup worth), some pounds of cherries, and sugar. The next step will be removing the pits with an effective cherry pitter; chopsticks and wine glasses will only make this messier and ineffective; cut your cherries in half and use your teeth to chew through its center for optimal results!

In a medium-sized saucepan, combine water, sugar, lemon peels, cinnamon sticks, star anise seeds, and nutmeg. Bring to below boiling, reducing to simmer until your cherries have tender yet crisped edges. Remove from the heat and stir in Luxardo; allow cooling before transferring your cherries into four pint-sized jars.

The remaining thick syrup is an ideal topping for cocktails or can even make cherry pie filling. I even added one cup of these cherries to homemade strawberry jam for sweetness and texture!

Other Cherries

Experience an irresistibly rich flavor with this easy recipe for Bourbon Cherries. Combining sweet cherries, bourbon, and brown sugar creates an irresistible flavor! These versatile garnishes can be used in cocktails or as dessert toppings; their luxurious appearance adds elegance and sophistication to any beverage or dish. Unlike traditional maraschino cherries, which use pre-soaked maraschino cherries soaked in alcohol-infused syrup for their delicious cherry infusion!

Whether it’s for cocktails or sweet treats, this recipe will impress. Prepare a batch ahead of time and store it in the fridge as an easy and sophisticated garnish option for drinks or treats! This boozy cherry recipe also makes an ideal present idea at holiday parties or any special celebrations!

To make Bourbon Cherries, combine fresh cherries with a mixture of bourbon and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer while stirring frequently until all of the sugar dissolves; add cinnamon sticks, cloves, and nutmeg for warmth and depth of flavor as needed. When ready, remove from heat and cool before transferring into mason jars sealed tight for storage in your refrigerator.

When crafting authentic bourbon cherries, using only top-grade ingredients is critical. For best results, look for those soaked in an all-natural bourbon-based syrup rather than artificially flavored maraschino cherry varieties often seen at cocktail bars. Luxardo or Filthy Black Amarena cherries offer high-quality choices to experiment for optimal results.

If you prefer an economical alternative to high-end bourbon cherries, Egbert’s or Ole Smoky’s moonshine-infused cherries make an excellent garnish for cocktails. They feature larger-than-usual maraschino cherries soaked in 100-proof original moonshines for an added hint of sweetness in every sip!