The perfect garnish can truly make a cocktail in both the aesthetic and taste departments. We always try to use the freshest and highest quality ingredients we can find, so when we have a chance to enhance a staple ingredient and make it from scratch—we jump at it.
Here, we vamped up the classic Old Fashioned with some homemade maraschino cherries and served it in our Charleston Hometown Glasses (cause I'm getting excited to travel down to Charleston in a few weeks for Garden & Gun Magazine's Jubilee).
The beauty of this maraschino cherry recipe? You can play with the spices and liqueur that you use to best suit your favorite cocktail. Don't have maraschino on hand? Give brandy or aged rum a try. Not a big fan of nutmeg? Just stick with the cinnamon, and maybe some cloves. We happen to think they make an awesome gift, especially for an Old Fashioned or Manhattan lover.
recipe adapted from Serious Eats
1 lb pitted and stemmed cherries (we used frozen cherries)
1 cup Luxardo maraschino liqueur
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 stick cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
Combine water, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a saucepan, and bring to a simmer. Continue to stir as sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in brandy and cherries. Coat cherries in syrup. Once the cherries have cooled, store in the fridge in a tightly sealed jar.
Classic Old Fashioned
2 oz bourbon
1 tsp sugar
4 dashes Angostura bitters
1 1/2 orange wheels
splash club soda
Muddle sugar, one orange wheel, and a cherry in a lowball glass with bitters and a splash of club soda. Remove orange, add bourbon, fill with ice, and serve with an orange wheel and cherry garnish.