July 18th, 2012
I never set out to make maraschino cherries, but fell into it when The Husband and I sat reading our “Raising the Bar” book and keenly observed that the cocktails I gravitated towards called for the little cherry buggers. If there’s anything I know about maraschino cherries, it’s that they are necessary when making Cherry Chew Bars (I’ll so post the recipe near Christmas, when I actually make them), and that the ingredients are revolting. Like most things in a jar in the supermarket. (Did you know that even pickles have sodium benzoate, my new “I refuse to eat anything with that in it” preservative of the moment?)
So the book extolled the virtues of homemade maraschino cherries, and while I’ll realistically have like 2 or 3 cocktails this whole summer that might actually require them, I was on a mission. (It totally helped that the recipe recommended serving the cherries with ice cream or toasted pound cake. Nice.)
These are better as they age, so don’t think you’ll make them today and serve them tonight over your vanilla Ben & Jerry’s (or you could, if you wanted, I don’t mean to boss you around). But the magic of the maraschino comes from patience, and more patience. You’re supposed to let them steep in their sugary goodness for at least 24 hours. So get cracking now, and you’ll have them for dessert tomorrow night (or for that drink, right?).