The Sweet Way To Use Up The Juice From Your Jar Of Maraschino Cherries

Deep in the recesses of your pantry, alongside unopened jars of flavored mustard and nearly-empty bags of rice, you just might also shelter a jar of maraschino cherries. Of course, if you're the type to often crave a Shirley Temple or Old Fashioned cocktail, that jar of bright red cherries might reside, opened, in your fridge, for easy access.

Originating in Europe as fruit picked at the height of its ripeness and then preserved in alcohol for later use (via Imbibe), the cherries later crossed the Atlantic, where they become a popular addition to cocktails, ice cream sundaes, and cavity-sweet ambrosia salad starting in the late 1800s. Alcohol-soaked maraschinos briefly disappeared from the food and drink scene during American Prohibition starting in 1919, according to the Library of Congress, then reappeared in 1931 after Oregon State University professor Ernest H. Wiegrand pioneered a way to preserve them in a sugary solution instead of alcohol (via Oregon Encyclopedia).

As anyone who's eaten maraschino cherries knows, that liquid — a mix of calcium salts, food coloring, sugar, and oil, according to Practical Cooks – often stays behind after the cherries are used up, begging to be used in something instead of going down the kitchen sink drain. But what to do with it?

Add some cherry zing to your hot chocolate

If you love maraschino cherries — either the sugary, bright-red ones or the more subtle, alcohol-preserved types typically used in cocktails — then you may have faced the dilemma of a jar that's empty of cherries, but still full of the flavorful liquid they're suspended in. Especially if you've paid for a jar of the pricier cherries, you might not want to simply pour the juice down the drain — yet you might not know how to use it up in the kitchen.

If you're also a fan of hot chocolate, then Start Cooking's practical suggestion just might be the one for you. The outlet suggests stirring just a few drops of the potent stuff into your favorite hot chocolate, leaving it tasting like a cherry cordial, those yummy, maraschino-filled sweets that typically come in a box of assorted chocolates. A rich, warming, (very) slightly boozy cherry hot chocolate? That sounds like just the thing to drive the winter blues away.