Long before Maraschino cherries became an unnatural chemistry experiment they were a delicacy.
Made in northern Italy since the early 1800s, they arrived in America in the late 19th century and quickly became a fixture in better bars. Luxardo was among the original exporters.
These are the original Maraschino cherries. Instead of glowing red, Luxardo’s cherries are deep purple and burgundy. They’re suspended in thick cherry syrup. When you bite, they have a small pop. After, there's a lingering sweet cherry flavor with absolutely none of the formaldehyde burn that mars the atomic grocery store versions.
Use them whenever your cocktail book calls for a cherry garnish. In a Tom Collins, a Singapore Sling, a Saskatchewan Paralyzer, a Witch's Tit. All drinks will improve with a real maraschino cherry. Once opened, they last for ages in the refrigerator. Don't throw the syrup away, either—it's excellent in cocktails or on ice cream.
At Zingerman's Roadhouse, the cocktail menu is full of Luxardo cherries. They show up in the Manhattans, the Old Fashioneds, and notably, in a bartender favorite—the Corpse Reviver #2.
Corpse Reviver #2
.75 oz Plymouth Gin
.75 oz Cointreau
.75 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
.75 oz Lillet Blanc
Shake all ingredients together, then strain into a Martini glass. Garnish with a Luxardo cherry.