Cocktail cherry: a sophisticated accent to your drink

Cocktail cherry is not just one of many ingredients for drinks or desserts (ice cream, cakes, pies, cakes, muffins, cupcakes, etc.); it is an element that adds not only a taste accent but also a visual appeal to bar and confectionery products. This small red berry, which is salted or marinated in syrup with sugar, alcohol, flavorings and dyes, has become an integral part of confectionery and cocktail culture, giving drinks and sweets elegance and originality, reducing them to the category of works of art. Let’s take a look at why cocktail cherries are so popular, their history and some exciting cocktail recipes.
A bit of history
The cocktail cherry comes from the Maraska cherry variety, which grows in Croatia, Italy, Slovenia and Montenegro. It has a dark red skin, pulp and juice, as well as a faint bitterness in taste. This little beauty has been known since the days of the Roman Empire, where it was used as medicine and added to wine. In the Middle Ages, Marasca cherries were used to make Maraschino liqueur, which quickly gained popularity in Europe.
In the 19th century, American bartenders began adding Maraschino liqueur to their cocktails and using Marasca cherries, which they soaked in the liqueur, as a garnish. This is how the cocktail cherry appeared, which became an integral part of such classic recipes as Manhattan, Old Fashion, Aviation, and others. It is also a popular ingredient for many desserts, especially Black Forest – chocolate cake with cream and cherry.
Varieties of cocktail cherries
Now there are many types of cocktail cherries, which differ in the method of preparation, composition of syrup, taste and color. Here are some of them:
• Maraschino cherry is a cherry that is salted in a solution of quick lime, and then marinated in a syrup with sugar, citric acid, flavors and dyes. This cherry has a bright red color, sweet taste and soft texture. It is most common in the USA and Canada, where it is used to decorate ice cream, cakes, pies and cocktails.
• Alcoholic cherry – this type of berries that are salted and then marinated in sugar syrup and alcohol. Such a cherry has a dark red color, a sweetish taste with a slight bitterness, as well as a dense texture. It is very popular in Europe.
• Amarena cherry is a cherry that is marinated in sugar syrup and amaretto – almond liqueur. It has a dense texture, a dark purple color, a sweet taste with a nutty undertone. It is traditional for Italy, where bartenders and confectioners use it to decorate their products.
• Bourbon cherry – marinated in sugar syrup and bourbon – American “corn” whiskey. As a result, the berry gets a dark red color, a sweet taste with a smoky aftertaste. It is characteristic of the USA, where it is used to decorate desserts, cocktails and whiskey.

Recipes for cocktails with a cocktail cherry
Although cocktail cherries often play the role of an aesthetic element, decorating alcoholic and non-alcoholic mixes, desserts, they are also used as an important flavor ingredient. The preservation process gives the berries a special sweetness and color, that is, characteristics that complement various aromas, tastes and appearance of drinks and sweets.
Let’s consider a few examples of recipes where the cocktail cherry acts as a beautiful and tasty “raisin” and which, when prepared, will become a real wonder at a bright holiday party:
• Manhattan is a cocktail that consists of bourbon, red sweet vermouth, a few drops of Venezuelan concentrated Angostura and a cocktail cherry. It was invented at the end of the 19th century in the USA. To prepare, mix 60 ml of bourbon, 30 ml of vermouth, 2-3 drops of Angostura, and ice cubes in a shaker. Then strain the liquid into a cocktail glass and garnish with a dark Amarena CherryTwig cocktail cherry on a skewer. The taste of this drink is sweet, wine-honey. But herbal notes can be felt in the accord, and in the aftertaste – a slight bitterness.
• Old Fashioned (Old Fashioned) or Old Fashioned, because it is considered the oldest among its kind, is a cocktail that also includes bourbon, scotch and whiskey or Angostura bitters. To prepare, you need to mash sugar and bitters in a cocktail glass, add 60 ml of bourbon and ice cubes, stir, pour into a rocks glass and garnish with orange peel and a red CherryTwig cocktail cherry with a stem on a skewer. The taste of this mix is very mild, it is emphasized by a barely perceptible sourness, which the drink acquires due to the citrus peel.
• The Last Word is a cocktail consisting of gin, Maraschino liqueur, green chartreuse, lime juice and, accordingly, a cherryTwig yellow or green stemmed cocktail cherry. To prepare, mix 20 ml of gin, 20 ml of Maraschino liqueur, 20 ml of Chartreuse, 15 ml of lime juice and ice cubes in a shaker, strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a sunny or grass-colored cocktail cherry. This mix will definitely be appreciated by lovers of strong sour-bitter flavors.
• Aviation – a classic cocktail that mixes gin, Maraschino liqueur, violet liqueur, and lemon juice. To prepare, mix 50 ml of gin, 20 ml of Maraschino liqueur, 5 ml of violet liqueur, 15 ml of lemon juice and ice cubes in a shaker, strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a cocktail cherry. For the classic recipe, a cherry that is also classic, i.e. red, is ideal. And for those who prefer the exotic, berries of other colors are suitable.
What about syrups?
Yes, syrups and cocktail cherries go well with each other, and this usually enriches bouquets both aromatically and gustatory. Cherries have their own sweet taste, but in combination with syrups, they significantly expand the aroma-taste palette and give drinks an additional character. Here are some ideas how you can combine syrups with cocktail cherries:
• Cherry Mojito with Mint Syrup: A mix of cocktail cherries and Brandbar Green Mint syrup add freshness and flavor to this classic cocktail. Add fresh lime juice, rum and soda as well.
• Vanilla Cherry Cocktail: Add Madagascar Vanilla syrup to a cocktail cherry cocktail to create a sweet and aromatic drink. You can also use dark rum or bourbon to deepen the taste.
• Cherry Lavender Lemonade: Brandbar Lavender lavender syrup combined with a cocktail cherry will give the lemonade a floral aroma and subtle taste. Add ice, fresh lemon juice and tonic water to enhance the refreshing effect.
• Maraschino Orange Cocktail: Add Brandbar Orange Syrup to a Cocktail Cherry Cocktail for a more complex and deep flavor. Serve this drink in a stylish glassware for a magical moment.
• Cherry Coffee Cocktail with Caramel Syrup: Add Brandbar Caramel Syrup to your favorite coffee cocktail, then garnish with a cocktail cherry. This combination of sweetness and summer aroma will delight coffee lovers.
Experiment with different syrups and cocktail cherries to find the combination you like best. This can be a great way to create unique, delicious drinks and pleasantly surprise your guests.

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