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7 Maraschino Liqueur Cocktails Worth Sipping

Discover seven maraschino liqueur cocktails that you’ll love sipping at home. Each recipe includes maraschino liqueur in its ingredient list and all seven cocktails taste divine.

Diplomat Cocktail with Maraschino Cherry Garnish
Image: ©2foodtrippers

Anybody who loves cocktails and cherries will be delighted to discover maraschino liqueur. We say this from personal experience.

We became fans when we concocted our first maraschino liqueur cocktail, a Hemingway Daiquiri, and our appreciation grows with each and every cocktail we craft.

What Is Maraschino Liqueur?

Maraschino Liqueur Bottle and Mary Pickford Cocktail
Luxardo produces maraschino liqueur in Italy and sells it in tall green bottles with red caps. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Maraschino liqueur is a clear liqueur produced from maraschino cherries.

Far from a passing fancy, maraschino cherry liqueur has century long roots in Zadar, a Croatian city that was formerly an Italian city called Zara. These roots involve Marasca trees, botanists who cultivated the trees and royalty who fancied the fruit grown on those trees.

Luxardo, the world’s most famous maraschino liqueur producer, moved from Zadar to Padua, Italy in 1947. But Luxardo isn’t the only company producing maraschino liqueur today. One, Leopold Bros., is located in the US but imports Marasca cherries from Croatia. The cherries are that special.

Spoon in Luxardo Cherry Jar
You’re probably familiar with Luxardo’s maraschino cherries even if you never bought a jar. They’re the deep red cherries that garnish many classic cocktails. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

If you’re wondering if there’s a relationship between maraschino cherries and maraschino liqueur, the short answer is yes. But don’t confuse maraschino liqueur sold at liquor stores with the syrupy liquid in maraschino cherry jars.

Unlike that syrup, maraschino liqueur is clear and it isn’t sticky. Its complex flavor includes cherry but also has a nuttiness that comes from cherry pits.

You may want to sip maraschino liqueur as an apéritif or pour it over fresh fruit. However, the very best use for the sour cherry liqueur is in cocktails.

Maraschino Liqueur Cocktails

Measuring Maraschino Liqueur into Diplomat Cocktail
If you’re like us, your first maraschino liqueur cocktail you craft won’t be the last. | Image: ©2foodtrippers

Some of the most iconic cocktails contain maraschino liqueur. But maraschino liqueur isn’t the primary liquor in any of those drinks. That honor goes to liquors like gin, rum and rye.

However, a little bit of maraschino liqueur goes a long way. You’ll understand once you buy a bottle and start crafting maraschino liqueur cocktails at home. And, when you do, we recommend starting with the following cocktails:

7 Of The Best Maraschino Liqueur Cocktails

Aviation Cocktail Next to White Tiles
Aviation
Don't be confused by its deep blue color. The Aviation cocktail is a serious cocktail for serious drinkers. Read on to learn how to craft the classic gin cocktail at home in just five minutes.
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Martinez Cocktail Next to White Tiles
Martinez
You probably aren't familiar with the Martinez unless you're either a cocktail connoisseur or a history buff. But once you try this classic gin drink, you'll surely be a fan. Follow our easy Martinez cocktail recipe and craft one at home in just five minutes.
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Brooklyn Cocktail from Above with White Background
Brooklyn
Brooklyn isn't just the most populated borough in New York City. It's also a pre-prohibition cocktail that sips like a dream. When you follow our easy Brooklyn cocktail recipe, you'll forget about the other four boroughs before you get to the bottom of the glass.
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Mary Pickford Cocktail with Garnish
Mary Pickford
Inspired by one of Hollywood's top actresses during Prohibition, the Mary Pickford cocktail is a tasty tipple that has passed the test of time. It's also easy to craft with just a handful of ingredients.
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Hemingway Daiquiri Next to Blue Tiles
Hemingway Daiquiri
Also known as a Papa Doble, the Hemingway Daiquiri takes the simple Daiquiri to a new level with two simple additions. Discover how Ernest Hemingway got his name on the drink and learn how to make a Papa Doble at home.
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Diplomat Cocktail on White Marble
Diplomat
The Diplomat cocktail is ideal to imbibe during secret liaisons involving international negotiations and other clandestine affairs. It's also a tasty tipple that you can craft at home in just five minutes.
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Last Word Cocktail with White Background
Last Word
Don't underestimate the Last Word cocktail. Despite its short ingredient list and pale green hue, the Pre-Prohibition potable is a sophisticated sipper that deserves a seat at the table.
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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Maraschino Liqueur?

Maraschino liqueur is a clear liqueur produced with maraschino cherries.

What is the best way to drink Maraschino Liqueur?

While you can sip maraschino liqueur straight up or on the rocks, the best way to drink the sour cherry liqueur is in cocktails like the Aviation, Brooklyn, Diplomat, Hemingway Daiquiri, Last Word, Martinez and Mary Pickford

What is the most iconic Maraschino Liqueur cocktail?

The Aviation is the most iconic maraschino liqueur cocktail. The classic cocktail’s other ingredients include dry gin, crème de violette, lemon juice and a maraschino cherry

Video Recap

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About The Authors

About The Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website. Since launching the site in 2012, they’ve traveled to over 40 countries in their quest to bring readers their unique taste of the world.

Disclosures

Article Updates
We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

Funding
We purchased the ingredients and tools used to craft these cocktails.

Original Publication Date: May 7, 2023

Philip Greene

Monday 8th of May 2023

You should tell your readers that the original recipe called for sweet vermouth, not dry. I’ve always wondered why the recipe got changed over the years. Here is the 1910 copy of Grohusko’s book. https://euvs-vintage-cocktail-books.cld.bz/1910-Jack-s-manual-on-the-vintage-and-production-care-and-handling-of-wines-liquors-etc-1910/39/. I write about this drink in my book The Manhattan: The Story of the First Modern Cocktail. It’s funny, you wonder why dry vermouth replaced the sweet, the same thing happened to the Boulevardier. The 1927 recipe calls for sweet vermouth but by 1930 it was dry.

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