Add A Tart Kick To Sweet Cocktails With The Help Of Luxardo Cherries

Luxardo maraschino cherries are nothing like the super-sweet, candy-apple red maraschinos we typically encounter. For one thing, they look very different: small, stemless, and so dark in color that they almost appear to be black. And there's a crispness to their bite, reminiscent of fresh fruit, that makes for an entirely different experience eating them than we get with the standard maraschinos. But it's the Luxardo's rich and complex flavor profile — tart and tangy, nuanced with sweetness from the thick sugar-and-juice syrup they're preserved in — that makes these cherries stand out. Made from the sour red Marasco cherry, a cultivated variety of the more common sour Morello cherry, this is a refined candied cherry for adult appetites. 

The tart, fresh taste of a Luxardo cherry will add a pleasant kick to sweet cocktails, balancing out the flavor profile. There's nothing inherently wrong with enjoying a sweet drink, but if the sweetness is too prominent, it will overpower the more subtle flavors in the cocktail. A Luxardo cherry garnish, or swapping in the cherry juice for simple syrup in sweet drinks such as the piña colada, can add just the right note of complexity and brightness to your drinks, and tip the balance toward a fully rounded-out flavor.

Elevate any drink with Luxardo maraschinos

An amaretto sour is usually crafted with almond-flavored amaretto liqueur, tart lemon juice, and sweet simple syrup, garnished with a standard maraschino cherry. But Amaretto is already a sweet liqueur, so making the drink with sugary syrup, and then topping it off with a sugary cherry, can take away from the balance of flavors and make the entire drink too sweet. Instead, try this recipe for a classic amaretto sour that swaps in 2 teaspoons of the cherry syrup from the jar of Luxardo cherries for the simple syrup. (The cherries are soaked in a thick syrupy blend of Marasca cherry juice and sugar, so you can eliminate the recommended granulated sugar, too, if you wish.) Garnish the drink with Luxardo cherries to top it off — plan on skewering them for easy access – and the sweetness of the cocktail will be tempered for a perfectly balanced sweet and tart flavor profile.

Luxardo maraschino cherries are not made with alcohol, so feel free to add them to a child's Shirley Temple for a sophisticated take on that classic, or make an elevated cherry Coke by muddling a few cherries before adding the soda, then topping it off with a splash of Luxardo cherry syrup from the jar. The syrup is also an excellent enhancement to seltzer water or sparkling wine.