Have you ever sipped a perfectly crafted cocktail and wondered why it tastes so divine? If your answer is yes, then this article is for you.
You're about to embark on a flavor adventure where a single cherry can make a world of difference. Yes, you read that right—a cherry.
Not just any cherry, though. We're talking about cocktail cherries. But with a wide array of options available, how do you choose the best one?
That's the problem most cocktail enthusiasts face. But don’t worry, we’ve got your back.
This article will guide you through the enchanting world of cocktail cherries.
History of Cherries
The cocktail cherry's journey is a fascinating tale that takes us back to the 19th century.
Initially, maraschino cherries (cherries preserved in maraschino liqueur) were a luxury used in fine dining and high-class cocktails.
However, over time, they became a common sight in every cocktail glass.
Best Cherries used in Cocktails
There's an entire universe of cocktail cherries out there. Here are the key players:
These are typically light-colored cherries like Royal Ann and Rainier, preserved in a flavored sugar syrup.
A high-end variety of maraschino cherries hailing from Italy, these dark, tart cherries are preserved in a rich syrup made from cherry juice and sugar.
Another Italian breed, these cherries are smaller and have a slightly bitter taste. They're preserved in a thick syrup that often contains almond flavoring.
These cherries are soaked in brandy and sugar, adding a robust, deep flavor that pairs well with whiskey-based cocktails.
Tasting and Ranking
So which cherry should grace your glass? Let’s take a deep dive in:
Luxardo Maraschino Cherries come out on top for their sweet and sour profile, deep color, and rich syrup.
Tillen Farms Bada Bing Cherries score high for their firm texture and really cherry taste.
Amaren Fabbri Wild Cherries stand out with their unique bitterness, thick syrup, and charming packaging.
Woodford Reserve Bourbon Cherries make a good impression with their bourbon-infused flavor.
Pairing Cocktails Cherries with Different Spirits
The types of cocktail cherry you choose can gently enhance the spirit you’re working with:
- Bourbon and rye pair well with brandied or bourbon-soaked cherries.
- Lighter spirits like vodka or gin match well with the lighter flavour or Maraschino cherries.
- Complex, herbal spirits like absinthe or chartreuse pair wonderfully with the sweet and sour profile of Luxardo cherries.
Homemade Cocktail Cherries
Feeling adventurous? Making your own cocktail cherries can be a fun project:
- Select your preferred variety of fresh cherries and thoroughly wash them.
- Pit the cherries and place them in a jar.
- Prepare a syrup using sugar and your choice of alcohol (brandy, bourbon, maraschino liqueur, etc.) and heat until the sugar dissolves.
- Pour the hot syrup over the cherries in the jar, ensuring they are fully submerged.
- Seal the jar and refrigerate for several weeks before use.
Never underestimate the power of a single cherry. Choose wisely, and your cocktails will thank you.
So, the next time you craft a cocktail, remember: a cherry isn't just a garnish—it's a game-changer. Happy experimenting!