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

Maraschino liqueur
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Got a bottle of Maraschino liqueur, or deciding whether it’s worth it to buy some? Despite the name, don’t confuse it with the liquid in a jar of maraschino cherries! This clear, cherry-flavored liqueur is a common ingredient in classic cocktails that originated in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Here A Couple Cooks, we’re cocktail experts with over 300 cocktail recipes under our belt: and Maraschino cocktails are some of our absolute favorites.

What is Maraschino liqueur?

Maraschino liqueur is a clear, cherry-flavored liqueur 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. It’s generally used as a secondary flavor to back up primary liquors like gin, rum or whiskey.

What does Maraschino taste like?

Maraschino liqueur tastes dry with a hint of sweet, with vanilla, sour cherry and almond notes on the finish. It brings a complexity to cocktails because of its unexpected flavor, adding 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?

More cocktails

Looking for more cocktail recipes? Here are some of our favorite collections for you to browse:

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Martinez cocktail

Maraschino Liqueur Cocktails: Martinez & More!


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

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
  • ½ 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
  • Diet: Vegan

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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3 Comments

  1. Heather Haven says:

    A wonderful place to learn about cocktails. Thanks so much.






  2. Kim says:

    Hi! What a wonderfully varied list! A gem of an article. One small thing: Perhaps if I imbibed all the drinks listed above during a single happy hour I might agree it was possible that a daiquiri was invented in the 1880s to honor Ernest Hemingway. The author, best known for the novels A Farewell to Arms (1929), For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940) and The Old Man and the Sea (1952), was born in 1899. Still, given how famous or infamous “Papa” was for his “tumultuous lifelong affair with alcohol,” I’d agree any cocktail would merit naming after him.

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      Thank you, that was a typo! 1880’s was when the Classic Daiquiri was invented. We revised to 1920’s, which is the correct era for the Hemingway Daiquiri. Thanks for catching it!