I don’t care how gauche or tacky they are, I LOVE maraschino cherries. I love them so much that I even eat the stems, in fact, crunching through the woody stems may be my favorite part.
My love affair with maraschinos dates back to our first meeting — I was seven years old and my family had gone out for dinner to one of our favorite restaurants, The Little Bear, a then-newish Chinese restaurant perched on the side of a stream in Woodstock, NY. My parents let me order my first Shirley Temple.
I’ve always had a much larger than average sweet tooth so the pink-tinted beverage was like heaven in a glass… And the crowning glory was the big maraschino cherry perched daintily atop the ice, practically glowing an unnatural and alluring shade of red. I made short work of it, stem and all.
And I’ve never looked back since. But I have since become much more aware of all the yucky, no doubt noxious ingredients in most maraschino cherries – red dye number 5 million, high fructose corn syrup, etc., etc. And I have always wanted to try making maraschinos myself so when I saw this simple recipe on the blog In Jennie’s Kitchen, I knew the time had come.