5 Maraschino Liqueur Cocktails You Should Know

It is not really used that often anymore, but Maraschino liqueur is among the best classic École du Bar de Montréal cocktail ingredients around.  And if you have a bar at home, this is a must-have for your cocktail parties.

While a clear liquid—as with most alcohols—maraschino liqueur is a surprisingly dry liqueur made from sour Marasca cherries, a fruit native to the coast of Croatia.   The liqueur is actually made not only from the sour pulp of the cherry fruit but also the crushed pits. The latter provides a subtly bitter hint of almond flavor.  Since the liqueur is distilled from cherries, it first resembles brandy in a way, but then cane syrup is added before the aging and filtering process. This cuts the alcohol content down and gives it a more liqueur-like characteristic.

Here are several classic cocktail recipes who benefit from the simply complex beauty of maraschino liqueur.

AVIATION

Dating back to before the Prohibition, this classic gin cocktail is as blue as the sky.  It was a staple libation at the time, noted for its subtly unique notes and equally unique color.  The Aviation consists of:

  • 2 oz Gin
  • ½ oz Maraschino liqueur
  • ¼ oz Creme de violette (or Creme Yvette)
  • ¾ oz lemon juice

BEACHCOMBER

Slightly more complex—and sweet—the Beachcomber is modern mixology at its finest. While early cocktails would have required as few ingredients as possible, this one takes several ingredients that might not seem to work together, at first, but combines them into something tropical and flavorful, but still as stiff as many of the classics:

  • 2 oz Light rum
  • 1 oz Cointreau
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • ¼ oz Maraschino Liqueur

CASINO

A classic, straightforward cocktail, the Casino tastes more complex than it actually is.  Layered with flavor, the Casino is an old-school concoction any gin or maraschino liqueur fan must try:

  • 2 oz [Old Tom] gin
  • ¼ oz Maraschino liqueur
  • ¼ oz fresh lemon juice
  • 2 dashes orange bitters

TUXEDO

Dating as far back as 1882, the Tuxedo is another classic, herbaceous gin cocktail with hints of far more complex sensibilities than its ingredients might allude.  Perhaps it is the addition of Absinthe?

  • 1 oz Gin
  • 1 oz Dry/White Vermouth
  • ¼ oz Maraschino liqueur
  • a splash of Absinthe
  • 3 dashes of orange bitters

MARTINEZ

Pre-dating even the Martini, the Martinez is about as old-school as they come.  It is simple and sweet without being cloying on the palate.  But while the flavor profile may be easy on the senses, the sipping beverage is not light on the alcohol content:

  • 2 oz Sweet/Red Vermouth
  • 1 oz [Old Tom] gin
  • ½ oz Maraschino Liqueur
  • a dash of bitters