Maraschino is a liquor made from distilling Marasca cherries (and their pits) which are firm and bitter compared to the cherries we typically eat. They are native to the coasts of Croatia, where maraschino originated 100’s of years ago.
It was first mass produced in Zara Croatia and by the end of the 17th century had well established popularity throughout Europe. WWII brought devastation to Zara forcing the large producers of maraschino to move to Italy, one of those being Luxardo which we still use today.
The flavor of this liquor is NOT the same as the ridiculous sweetness that supermarket cherries have. It has a fairly intense green and herbal taste that lends itself nicely to cocktails when used as a modifying flavor.
FUN FACT: Luxardo Maraschino is still bottled using the Venetian “fiasco” technique of wrapping straw around the bottles for shipping to keep them from breaking on a Mediterranean voyage.
FLAVOR: Maraschino smells green and herbal with a bit of bitterness and slight, yet noticeable sweetness. The taste is much sweeter than the smell with stronger almond extract qualities. It has all of the green herbal notes from the smell just slightly more intense.
GOOD FOR: Adding herbal flavors and aromas to cocktails, or putting it on fruit as the back of the Luxardo label suggests. I wouldn’t drink it straight but if that’s your thing then go for it.
BRANDS: Luxardo from Italy, Maraska from Croatia.
PRICE: $30 for 750ml
USED IN: Last Word