A non-alcoholic recipe for Maraschino Cherries to make at home. A simple recipe to make when fresh cherries are in season.
Why make Maraschino Cherries from scratch?
One of these is not like the other. As I’ve said before, I’m not hard-core about eating one way or another. I try for mostly real, whole food, but fast and convenience foods happen. I’m a little more stingy when it comes to high-fructose corn syrup. It’s pretty easy to avoid these days, so we do. Except in the case of maraschino cherries… until this week, that is. The store-bought variety were never something I would eat just because. They were simply the cherry on top of the sundae. The homemade ones, however, can and should be eaten unadorned and just because.
I’d never considered it was possible to make these neon red colored nostalgic treats myself. Turns out, there are numerous recipes floating around, some using amaretto or maraschino liquor. In theory these sounded fun, but I wanted my children to be able to eat them. So I went with the non-alcoholic recipe I found here.
What to make with your Maraschino Cherries
- Ice Cream Sundae – I love these cherries with Graeter’s Coconut Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
- Shirley Temple – Ginger Beer + Grenadine
- Cherry Bourbon Cocktail – Jim Beam Red Stag Black Cherry Bourbon + really good ginger beer, like Fever Tree
- Manhattan – Whiskey or Rye + Sweet Vermouth + Bitters
- A cherry pitter is a must when preparing fresh cherries
- Fever Tree Ginger Beer
- Lemon squeezer for juicing fresh lemons
- Whole Star Anise
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- 1 lb sweet cherries pitted and stemmed
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup cherry or grape juice make sure it is 100% juice
- 1 cup sugar
- juice from 3 lemons
- 1 whole star anise
- 1 tsp almond extract
- pinch of salt
- In a large nonreactive saucepan, add the water, cherry or grape juice, sugar, lemon juice, salt and star anise.
- Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the mixture until the sugar has dissolved.
- Add the cherries and almond extract. Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat, transfer the cherries and syrup to a bowl and let cool to room temperature.
- Transfer the cherries and syrup to an air-tight container and refrigerate. The longer the cherries steep, the more flavorful they will become.