This is the best “maraschino” cherry made. This is not your flavorless Royal Anne white cherry pitted and dyed red, but sour marasca cherries in thick syrup made of marasca cherry juice and sugar. Darker and more flavorful than maraschino cherries, the LUXARDO MARASCHE AL FRUTTO are probably similar to what the early 1900s had as “cherries in marasquin” from a French producer listed on the 1903 catalogue of Goldberg, Bowen of San Francisco, the then reigning fancy grocer on the West Coast. By 1909, they became known as cherries in maraschino; by 1912 there were also cherries in creme de menthe, obviously the forerunner of “green” maraschino cherries. Fruit preserved in alcohol was quite well liked then.
The Luxardo firm which produces the marasche al frutto, industrialized the sweet, clear cherry liqueur known as Maraschino in 1821 at Zara on the Dalmatian coast (now in Italy’s Veneto) and has been the major producer ever since. Maraschino cherries probably had nothing to do with mixed drinks until fairly recently. Maraschino was used in cocktails very early on and the name remains. There is no “maraschino” cherry mentioned in early cocktail or bar books, but there is Maraschino the liqueur. This is an ingredient every well stocked bar should have.
Eric Felten, in his weekly “How’s your drink?” column for The Wall Street Journal, writes informatively about maraschino cherries and especially the Luxardo marasche al frutto.
If you want to use a “maraschino” cherry in a drink, then use the grown up version, Luxardo MARASCHE AL FRUTTO. They can be used very nicely in dessert making or eaten by themselves as they were originally.