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Maraschino Liqueur


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114 replies to this topic

#1 viva

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Posted 11 January 2005 - 12:20 PM

One more question on the maraschino/cherry liqueur front... I have a bottle of "Creme de Cerise", which I've been using as a sub for anything calling for cherry or maraschino liqueurs. Am I doing it wrong?

Katie - you made me remember how much I like drinking a "Vanilla Coke" with vanilla stoli, Licor 43, and Coke. It's like being a kid at a soda shop, but with liquor! I need to pick up some 43.
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#2 slkinsey

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Posted 11 January 2005 - 01:19 PM

One more question on the maraschino/cherry liqueur front... I have a bottle of "Creme de Cerise", which I've been using as a sub for anything calling for cherry or maraschino liqueurs.  Am I doing it wrong?

Yes, I would say so.

Maraschino doesn't taste particularly strongly of cherry. It tastes like... well... maraschino. Kind of like a sweetened cherry grappa, if that makes any sense. I assume that the "grappa-like" quality comes from the fact that it is distilled not only from the cherry fruits but also the pits, stems, etc.

And for cherry brandy you really want something like Cherry Heering or Sangue Morlacco.

Both of the products above are likely to be somewhat less sweet compared to your bottle of crème de cerise. It's also less likely, in my experience, that you will find a cherry liqueur of equivalent quality that tastes as "natural" as, e.g., Luxardo Maraschino or Cherry Heering. In any event, regardless of any potential differences in quality, crème de cerise does not taste the same as maraschino or cherry brandy. So you might make a perfectly good drink with gin, lemon juice and crème de cerise... but it probably won't taste much like an Aviation (and, as someone who tried this drink substituting Cherry Heering for maraschino, I know whereof I speak! :smile:).

If you like drinks that call for maraschino or cherry brandy, you owe it to yourself to acquire some of the real stiff if you can. It's delicious, not that expensive, and it's used in small amounts so you won't run out any time soon.
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#3 viva

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Posted 11 January 2005 - 02:29 PM

Thanks for the input! I've seen a lot of drink recipes that call for maraschino liqueur, but for some reason, I had this preconception that any liqueur that was maraschino would be bright hot red/pink, incredibly sweet, and make my drinks into Shirley Temple look-alikes. Obviously, incorrect. I'll definitely pick up a bottle! :)
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#4 slkinsey

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Posted 11 January 2005 - 03:00 PM

Heh! No, maraschino is clear. It's a real must-have for the classic cocktail enthusiast.
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#5 birder53

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Posted 23 January 2005 - 05:49 PM

Enjoy your new found treasure! While I really like an Aviation, I've found many more reasons to like maraschino these days.

Try a Blue Devil -

1 oz gin ( I used Millers)
1/2 oz maraschino
1/2 oz lime juice
1 dash blue food coloring ( I passed on this)

Shake with ice and serve in a chilled cocktail glass

Last Word

1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz maraschino
1/2 oz chartreuse
1/2 oz lime juice

Shake with ice and serve in a chilled cocktail glass

Tennessee Cocktail
1/2 oz bourbon
1/2 oz maraschino
1/2 oz lemon juice

Shake with cracked ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass

Edited by birder53, 24 January 2005 - 11:58 AM.

KathyM

#6 slkinsey

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Posted 23 January 2005 - 06:02 PM

Last Word

1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz maraschino
1/2 oz chartreuse

Shake with ice and serve in a chilled cocktail glass

According to this, I think you forgot a half-ounce of lime juice, no? Great drink, btw, and I thank you for bring it to my attention.
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#7 birder53

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Posted 23 January 2005 - 06:21 PM

Oops! :wacko: Sorry about that! Thanks for catching my error.
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#8 Sazerac

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Posted 31 January 2005 - 05:30 PM

Other than the Aviation our favorite maraschino cocktail is probably this one:

Fancy-Free Cocktail

2 ounces Bourbon.
1/2 ounce maraschino.
1 dash Angostura bitters.
1 dash orange bitters.

Stir and strain, stemless cherry garnish.


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#9 plattetude

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Posted 03 February 2005 - 01:56 PM

Another splendid use of maraschino is this Gary & Mardee Regan revision of the Brandy Crusta:

Bourbon Crusta
2 ounces bourbon whiskey
1/2 ounce triple sec
1/2 ounce maraschino liqueur
1/2 ounce lemon juice
2 dashes orange bitters


Shake with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange peel.

Good stuff indeed!

Christopher

#10 birder53

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Posted 03 February 2005 - 03:49 PM

Bourbon Crustas are wonderful! We have served these to friends who swore they didn't like bourbon - they do now. :smile:

One of the things I like about the old Trader Vic Bartender Guide I have is the large number of recipes using maraschino.
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#11 ludja

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Posted 03 February 2005 - 04:15 PM

Other than the Aviation our favorite maraschino cocktail is probably this one:

Fancy-Free Cocktail

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Thanks, as a lover of manhattans this sounds very interesting. It seems like it would have some overlap with it in taste. Will be interesting to try out what the Maraschino and Orange Bitters contribute.
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#12 kvltrede

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 11:33 AM

There are a couple mentions of Stock brand Maraschino liqueur in the Aviation cocktail thread and neither dismisses Stock out of hand. Having just seen the Stock maraschino locally for the first time I'm curious if anyone's done a taste-off between Stock and Luxardo and/or Maraska maraschinos. The Stock version is $8 cheaper than the other two. I don't mind paying more for a better product but if I can get in the ballpark with the cheaper product I'm all for it.

Anyone familiar enough with two or three of these brands to offer a comparison? Here's what Dave Wondrich had to say:

If Luxardo's too funky (it's really quite pungent), another good brand that has decent distribution is Stock, which is cleaner-tasting but still quite flavorful. Personally, I prefer the Luxardo.

Thanks.

Kurt

Edited by kvltrede, 18 May 2005 - 11:50 AM.

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#13 slkinsey

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 12:12 PM

Both Maraska and Luxardo are significantly better than Stock. Stock is like the "triple sec" to Maraska/Luxardo's "Cointreau." Certainly worth at least 8 bucks more for a bottle, especially when you consider that you won't be using all that much of it. This isn't to say that Stock is bad, per se... just that it isn't in the same league as Luxardo and Maraska.

Between Maraska and Luxardo, both of which I have, I prefer Luxardo. It's considerably more complex, flavorful and funky than Maraska.
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#14 kvltrede

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 10:20 AM

Both Maraska and Luxardo are significantly better than Stock.  Stock is like the "triple sec" to Maraska/Luxardo's "Cointreau."...

Between Maraska and Luxardo, both of which I have, I prefer Luxardo.  It's considerably more complex, flavorful and funky than Maraska.

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Thanks, Sam, I might have guessed as much but I appreciate the confirmation. Also, as I haven't had the opportunity to try Maraska I appreciate your thoughts on the differences between the two "biggies".

I know there are at least a few folks here who prefer Maraska to Luxardo. Any of you mind sharing your thoughts as to why?

Thanks.

Kurt
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#15 slkinsey

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 10:25 AM

I'll try them side-by-side this evening and see if I can post something. My memory is that there is a certain background flavor in Maraska that wasn't quite to my liking.
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#16 lancastermike

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 05:53 AM

Another splendid use of maraschino is this Gary & Mardee Regan revision of the Brandy Crusta:

Bourbon Crusta 
2 ounces bourbon whiskey
1/2 ounce triple sec
1/2 ounce maraschino liqueur
1/2 ounce lemon juice
2 dashes orange bitters


Shake with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange peel. 

Good stuff indeed!

Christopher

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Made one of these for the first time last night. Indeed, good stuff. First taste was the bourbon, than the lemon, with the maraschino finishing. The maraschino makes wonderful cocktails. I tended bar for many years and never knew of it till I read this thread. Two bad that it seems to have disappeared from general use in bars.

#17 Nathan P.

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Posted 12 July 2005 - 09:46 PM

I wanted to add my thanks for the Fancy Free and Bourbon Crusta cocktails. After tracking down a bottle of Maraschino based upon the Aviation raves here I needed some new drinks. I am curious if people are sugar coating their rims for the crusta? I thought this was a great cocktail but a bit on the sweet side and not in need of more sugar. But doesn't a crusta need a sugared rim???

#18 slkinsey

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 05:35 AM

The thing about a Crusta or any sugared-rim drink (especially one including a liqueur) is that, if you don't want it to be too sweet, you need to choose a base spirit that isn't too sweet. That's not always so easy to do with bourbon, which tends to be an inherently sweet spirit. So, first you might ask around for a relatively dry bourbon. The other thing to do is switch to brandy and use something like Hennessy. As far as I know, the real classic you'll find in Jerry Thomas, etc. is a Brandy Crusta.

Jerry Thomas' formula for a Brandy Crusta also does not contain maraschino. It's more or less 2 ounces of brandy, 1 tsp of orange curaçao, 1/2 tsp of lemon juice and a dash of Boker's bitters.

My library is by no means exhaustive, but I don't find it with maraschino until the Savoy Cocktail book, by which time I imagine it was considered fairly old fashioned.
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#19 Lan4Dawg

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 07:51 AM

Help! as Dave the Cook & I have discovered the hard way no one in the Atlanta area is carrying Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur & my supply is running dangerously low. Due to a buy out of the distributor (apparently) the entire Luxardo line is being discontinued in the Atlanta area. We get blank stares when asking about Maraska and occasionally some one will carry Stock brands but only the vermouth (besides I know I would rather have the Luxardo). Does any one know where we can find it near Atlanta? (I will be road-tripping around the SEC come foot ball season so am willing to travel to certain cities but hopefully will not have to wait that long & hate to stop at every liquor store I see just to ask if they carry Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur). Georgia will not allow mail order so that option is out (& I would rather not test the laws, thank you). Any suggestions?

btw, what is the major difference between Maraschino liqueur and Kirshwasser--briefly please just so I can answer the same question intelligently.
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#20 Dave the Cook

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 08:03 AM

Also, I wonder if anyone has tried Bols Maraschino. Bols is pretty widely distributed in Atlanta, so this might be a possibility.

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#21 slkinsey

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 08:14 AM

btw, what is the major difference between Maraschino liqueur and Kirshwasser--briefly please just so I can answer the same question intelligently.

Maraschino is a liqueur (bittersweet) made from Maraska cherries and pits whereas kirschwasser is an eau de vie (dry) made from the juice of black cherries. Maraschino is usually around 30% abv whereas kirschwasser is often around 40%. IMO, kirschwasser has more of a recognizable cherry flavor than maraschino, and maraschino has a distinctive almond-like flavor component that derrives from the cherry pits.

Also, I wonder if anyone has tried Bols Maraschino. Bols is pretty widely distributed in Atlanta, so this might be a possibility.

IMO there is a notable drop in quality once you move away from Luxardo and Maraska.
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#22 Nathan P.

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 12:49 PM

Jerry Thomas' formula for a Brandy Crusta also does not contain maraschino.  It's more or less 2 ounces of brandy, 1 tsp of orange curaçao, 1/2 tsp of lemon juice and a dash of Boker's bitters.

I will have to try this variation as well. I quite liked the drink and while on the sweet side, I did not find it cloying. A sugar rim would have put it over the top but deGroffs book says the sugar rim is what gives the drink it's name. I may try a touch more lemon juice next time. The only bourbon I have is the Eagle Rare 10 yr which I just picked up based upon its popularity as good value in the bourbon thread.

Are these types of cherries grown in the US? I recently picked up The Great Italian Cookbook which has a recipe for Maraschino. They steep 4 cups of Morello cherry pits in 2 cups of 80* liquor for 2.5+ months and then add 2 cups of simple syrup. Is this oversimplified? I thought I read here that Maraschino included some fruit or leaves etc...

#23 slkinsey

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 01:54 PM

Jerry Thomas' formula for a Brandy Crusta also does not contain maraschino.  It's more or less 2 ounces of brandy, 1 tsp of orange curaçao, 1/2 tsp of lemon juice and a dash of Boker's bitters.

I will have to try this variation as well. I quite liked the drink and while on the sweet side, I did not find it cloying. A sugar rim would have put it over the top but deGroffs book says the sugar rim is what gives the drink it's name.

Yea, I think you do want to do a sugar rim. You also want to have an orange peel going all the way around the inside of the glass.

If you look on this page you can see the illustration of the Brandy Crusta from Jerry Thomas' book. Here is a more modern picture from our friends at the Museum of the American Cocktail.

Are these types of cherries grown in the US?  I recently picked up The Great Italian Cookbook which has a recipe for Maraschino.  They steep 4 cups of Morello cherry pits in 2 cups of 80* liquor for 2.5+ months and then add 2 cups of simple syrup.   Is this oversimplified?  I thought I read here that Maraschino included some fruit or leaves etc...

As far as I know, Maraska cherries are only grown in Dalmatia. The process of making maraschino, at least as employed by Luxardo, is fairly complex. I'm going by memory here, so I may have the details wrong, but it goes something like this: The pits and fruit are separated. The pits (and stems?) are crushed and distilled into what is more or less cherry pit grappa. The fruit is crushed, fermented and distilled separately. The two distillates are later recombined, aged for two years in ash wood vats (which is considered a crucial step in the process) and dosed with cane sugar.

(I can't find the material I had on Luxardo's process, so I shot them an email. If they respond, I'll translate their response and post here.)
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#24 jparrott

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 02:10 PM

The thing about a Crusta or any sugared-rim drink (especially one including a liqueur) is that, if you don't want it to be too sweet, you need to choose a base spirit that isn't too sweet.  That's not always so easy to do with bourbon, which tends to be an inherently sweet spirit.

Rye, of course! I've basically stopped trying to make bourbon cocktails when Overholt, Beam Rye, and Pikesville Rye all are drier and more characterful than most cocktail bourbons and show the character of the spirit as well as the cocktail. I drink my bourbon alone or slightly bittered, or in the verrrrry occasional perfect manhattan.
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#25 Dave the Cook

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 02:18 PM

Are these types of cherries grown in the US?  I recently picked up The Great Italian Cookbook which has a recipe for Maraschino.  They steep 4 cups of Morello cherry pits in 2 cups of 80* liquor for 2.5+ months and then add 2 cups of simple syrup.  Is this oversimplified?  I thought I read here that Maraschino included some fruit or leaves etc...

As far as I know, Maraska cherries are only grown in Dalmatia . . .

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Preiss, who imports Luxardo products, says that Luxardo has approximately 22,000 maraska cherry trees in Italy.

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#26 slkinsey

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 02:29 PM

Ah, okay. They grow some across the other side of the Adriatic too.
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#27 Lan4Dawg

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 02:43 PM

Are these types of cherries grown in the US?  I recently picked up The Great Italian Cookbook which has a recipe for Maraschino.  They steep 4 cups of Morello cherry pits in 2 cups of 80* liquor for 2.5+ months and then add 2 cups of simple syrup.   Is this oversimplified?  I thought I read here that Maraschino included some fruit or leaves etc...

As far as I know, Maraska cherries are only grown in Dalmatia . . .

View Post

Preiss, who imports Luxardo products, says that Luxardo has approximately 22,000 maraska cherry trees in Italy.

View Post


did you happen to ask them about getting their stuff in Georgia?
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#28 limewine

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 02:46 PM

Yea, I think you do want to do a sugar rim.  You also want to have an orange peel going all the way around the inside of the glass.


Orange or lemon? I've made crustas both ways, and while the orange adds a pleasant fresh orange-y taste and smell to the drink, between the orange peel and the curacao (and orange bitters, if you use Gary Regan's recipe), that one flavor is too prominent, IMO. With a lemon peel, I think there's a better balance of flavor and aroma (I think Thomas calls for lemon peel in his recipe).

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#29 Nathan P.

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 04:09 PM

I used a lemon peel most of the way around the glass. (this means of course as long as I could cut it !) Did not have an orange and since I needed the lemon juice anyway....

The photo from the Museum of the Modern Cocktail is the same as used in DeGroff's 'Craft of the Cocktail'. Mine was not nearly as pretty. Have to pick up some rye to try as well.

#30 mrbigjas

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 05:34 PM

katie, there were two up until about a month ago, when i bought the second to last bottle up in chestnut hill. and i've been swilling it ever since (if you can call putting .5 oz into a drink that you have one of a couple times a week 'swilling').

the drink i've enjoyed the most was the fancy free cocktail, which i made in part because i picked up orange bitters at the new dibruno's at the same time. also aviations, which are great drinks. there was one i had (might have been the tennessee cocktail) which i didn't like at all.

the real problem is now i'm gonna have to go out and spend another $33 on a bottle of grand marnier or cointreau (i bought several airplane bottles of g.m. for cocktail tasting purposes).

slkinsey, that's pretty fascinating about their process. i love things like that--so much effort going into a liquor that is used in such small quantities and isn't very common at all. excellent.