Celebrate National Cocktail Day – March 24, 2021 – with fancy cherries and cherry liquors. Love cherries in your cocktails? Forget the bright red Maraschino cherry that sits on top of an ice cream sundae. The real deal Maraschino cherry is pure luxury on a stem.
Let’s start with where to find these flavorful cherries. Your local liquor store, grocery and gourmet store will have a nice selection and you can buy them on-line. Which cherry to buy? Luxardo is one of the most recognized brands. Made in Italy with Marasca cherries drenched in cherry syrup. Deep red color and rich nutty fruit flavor.
You’ll easily recognize Fabbri Amarena cherries in their pretty blue and white ceramic jars. Made in Bologna and Modena, Italy. Amarena Toschi cherries are packaged in a red and white ceramic jar. These are tart sour black cherries in syrup.
Tillen Farms Bada Bing Cherries – such a fun name! Enjoy their traditional cherries, Fire and Spiced Maraschino cherries (natural cinnamon and chili extract gives these cherries their zing), Rainier Reserve Cherries (golden yellow sweet cherries), and tiny Pearl Cherries (stemless).
Woodford Reserve Brandied Cherries – cherries soaked in Kentucky’s finest bourbon. Some food writers recommend using a little of the brandied cherry syrup that the cherries are soaked in to enhance the cherry flavor in cocktails.
If you are in adventurous mood, you can make your own Maraschino cherries. They are yummy and boozy, made with Maraschino cherry liqueur.
Speaking of cherry liqueur, did you know that it is an ingredient in many classic cocktails? One of my favorites is the Aviation cocktail: gin, crème de violette, Maraschino liqueur and lemon juice. The crème de violette is a slightly floral sweet taste and gives the cocktail it’s pretty lavender color.
This cocktail has been around since the early 1900’s, but it was all but forgotten when crème de violette was taken out of production in the 1960’s. According to Taste of Home, this lovely liqueur was reintroduced in the United States just a few years ago, so now we can enjoy mixing up our own Aviation cocktails at home on National Cocktail Day.
Which cocktail will you be mixing up on National Cocktail Day? Will you garnish your cocktail with a fire and spice cherry or a brandied cherry?