04/11/2012 09:22 am ET Updated Oct 18, 2013

Maraschino Liqueur Is A Secret Weapon For Your Liquor Cabinet


Even though many people haven't heard of Maraschino liqueur, a home bar just isn't complete without it. And trust us, you don't want your bar to be missing out on this incredible liqueur any longer. Maraschino liqueur is not made from the bright-red cherries we often times (regrettably) get served alongside our cocktails -- it contains none of the puckering-ly sweet, formaldehyde-soaked qualities.

Maraschino is a clear, relatively dry liqueur made from sour Marasca cherries; these cherries are found almost exclusively on the coast of Croatia. The liqueur is made with the sour fruit and the crushed cherry pits, which give it a subtle bitter almond flavor. The cherries are processed and distilled much like brandy, and later combined with a pure cane syrup before it's aged and filtered. It's one of the very few liqueurs in the world produced by distillation. And it can completely transform a mediocre cocktail.

Maraschino liqueur appears in many classic cocktails (though many of these cocktails are so classic, they're no longer ordered very often). You can find it in the Martinez, the Hemingway Daquiri, the Beachcomber and the Aviation. But it can work in -- and some would say improve upon -- so many other cocktails; it provides a complexity of flavor and a welcome pause from overly-sweet cocktails.

If you're interested in completing your bar, take a look at the sources below:
Maraska Maraschino Liqueur
Luxardo Maraschino 64 Liqueur
Luxardo Gourmet Maraschino Cherries

Now that your bar is well on its way to being properly stocked, you're ready for a drink. Below, you'll find some of our favorite ways to use maraschino.

Maraschino Liqueur Recipes