Guide to Maraschino Liqueur & Top Cocktails

Here are the best Maraschino liqueur cocktails to make with a bottle! These classic cocktails look stunning and are full of flavor.

Maraschino liqueur

Got a bottle of Maraschino liqueur and not sure what to do with it? Or deciding whether to buy some? Either way, let’s be clear: this cherry-flavored liqueur is not the liquid in a jar of maraschino cherries! This clear liquor is an ingredient that features in a good handful of classic cocktails that originated in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. It’s full of great flavor and a lot of history!

What is Maraschino liqueur?

Maraschino liqueur is a clear, cherry-flavored liqueur that’s used in many classic cocktails. It’s made by distilling Marasca cherries, a variety that grows on the Dalmatian coast in Croatia. Large scale production of Maraschino started back in 1759 in Zadar, Croatia, where it’s still manufactured today. It’s also made elsewhere in Europe and the US.

Maraschino liqueur was the most popular cherry liqueur starting in the late 1800’s. It starred in many popular cocktails like the Martinez, the precursor to the Martini and Manhattan (see the recipe below). It’s generally used as a secondary flavor to back up primary liquors like gin, rum or whiskey.

What does Maraschino taste like?

The flavor is dry with a hint of sweet, with vanilla, sour cherry and almond notes. It adds an incredible complexity to cocktails because of its unexpected flavor. When you add it to cocktails, it adds a hint of brightness and roundness to the sip.

How much alcohol is in Maraschino? It is 32% ABV (alcohol by volume), so it’s mid-level alcohol. Compare this to 40% ABV for liquors like whiskeyrumvodka and gin.

Why we like it

Maraschino liqueur adds a unique layer of complexity to cocktails! It stars in several lesser known classic cocktails that we think deserve time in the spotlight, like the Martinez, Hemingway Daiquiri and Last Word. It’s absolutely worth a purchase for the budding home mixologist.

How much does it cost?

Compared to other liquors, Maraschino is mid-priced. It costs about $30 for a 750 ml bottle. There are several brands of maraschino liqueur. The most popular one is Luxardo Maraschino liqueur, which should be easy to find at your local liquor store. Other popular brands include Lazzaroni, Maraska, and Bols.

This liqueur is absolutely buying for the at-home home bartender! You can drink it straight as a digestif, but it really shines in cocktails. What drinks can you make with it? We’re glad you asked…

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Martinez cocktail

Maraschino Liqueur Cocktails: Martinez & More!


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (11 votes, average: 4.91 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

The Martinez cocktail is a true classic! A cousin to the Martini and Manhattan, it’s sophisticated and classy: perfect for slow sipping. 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) gin
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) sweet vermouth
  • 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) Maraschino liqueur
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • For the garnish: orange peel

Instructions

  1. Combine the gin, sweet vermouth, and Maraschino liqueur in a cocktail mixing glass (or any other type of glass). Fill the mixing glass with 1 handful ice and stir continuously for 30 seconds.
  2. Strain the drink into a cocktail glass.
  3. Use a knife to remove a strip of the orange peel. Squeeze the orange peel into the drink to release the oils. Gently run the peel around the edge of the glass. If desired, twist it, then place it in the glass and serve.
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Cocktails

Keywords: Maraschino Liqueur Cocktails

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Last updated: April 2021

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

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