Homemade Maraschino Cherries are a Game Changer
If you are making fancy drinks at home, you might as well start by making the ingredients from scratch. And that includes the cherries! When cherries are in season, this is definitely a recipe that will change your mind about maraschino cherries.
Honestly, the store bought cherries are the furthest thing from actually tasting like a cherry. Yes, they have that perfect red color, but they lack flavor, complexity, and even most health benefits are gone since they are drowning in corn syrup. Of course, sometimes you just gotta go store bought, but it is nice to indulge sometimes and truly make them your own.
So we took on the challenge of making a better cherry to use in your tea drinks. And to do so, we infused them with tea, of course!
What Tea to use
This recipe works for any type of tea so you can really get creative. The two that we experimented with were Tiki Tea and Monorail Morning.
For the Tiki Tea, we used the lighter colored Rainer cherries and the coconut from the tea really made these a tropical treat perfect for tiki drinks.
And the Monorail Morning was perfect with the dark cherries giving them a sweet spice of cinnamon and clove that would do well in a bourbon drink.
If you want to experiment with other flavors, pretty much any fruit forward tea would work very well to bring out more of the cherry taste. Chai spiced teas with cinnamon, clove, and ginger are good options to contrast the sweetness of the cherries and go well with darker liqueurs. And floral teas would be a good option if you want to bring out more of a fresh taste for lighter drinks using clear liqueurs.
Tea Infused Cocktail Cherries Recipe
1 pound of fresh cherries
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
3 tsp of your choice of loose-leaf tea
Juice of ½ a lime or lemon
Pinch of salt
To make things simpler, after you pit your cherries, place them in the jar you plan to use to store them in so you have the exact amount you want.
- Remove the cherry pits. Keeping the stem on is optional
- Bring the water to a boil
- Then stir in your sugar, lime juice, salt, and your tea leaves (tied in a t-sac or tea ball)
- Reduce heat to medium and stir until the sugar has dissolved, couple minutes
- Add in the cherries and simmer on low for 10 minutes to infuse the syrup with the cherry flavor
- Remove the tea leaves and pour into a larger bowl to cool
- Store in a glass jar in the fridge
- Will keep for up to two weeks and the flavor will be best after a couple days
Ideas to use your Maraschino Cherries
These flavorful cherries will be a great addition to almost any of your traditional or tea cocktails. You can keep it simple with a classic Manhattan or use it to garnish your most elaborate tiki drinks. Alternatively, you can use them to top homemade cupcakes or an ice cream sundae.
And if you are getting close to the end of their shelf life and you need to use them quickly, you can always bake them up in a glass pan topped with a little oat crumble for a delicious dessert. You can even add in an extra cup of blueberries to help bulk it up.
And don’t forget the value of the syrup itself! Essentially, you have just made a cherry inside simple syrup that can also be used in your recipes.
Tag us on social media to share your tea creations @tradernickstea