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What is Special About Luxardo Cherries?

Posted by Colonel Bourbon on

What is Special About Luxardo Cherries?

Luxardo original Maraschino cherries are favored "in the worlds' best bars and by the most famous mixologists as a garnish... Candied cherries soaked in Luxardo maraschino cherry syrup. No preservatives are used and the dark red color is all natural."

While great for cocktails, like an Old-fashioned, we occasionally like to add one or two to a glass of bourbon whiskey, with maybe a dash of syrup 

Like this:

What is Special About Luxardo Cherries?

(Photo: Our jar is almost empty. A finger of bourbon with the classic cherry.)

The history 

As writes:  "Before it became known for its preserved cherries, Luxardo was a distillery on the coast of what was once an Italian province, but is now modern-day Croatia. Founded in 1821 by Girolamo Luxardo, an Italian consul in that region, the company made its name with a cherry liqueur called Maraschino, which Girolamo based on a medieval spirit."

The distillery started selling the delicious cherries in 1905.

"Out of the jar or tin, Luxardo cherries are nothing like the candy-apple red lumps bartenders plunk into kiddie cocktails. They are a touch of class, the dark, perfect capper to a stiff drink."


Where can I buy Luxardo cherries/who sells them?

Many liquor stores carry the jars. You can get them at Amazon here.

Can I buy Luxardo cherries in bulk.

We got you covered,  go here. You can never have enough in our humble opinion

Luxardo Cherries in bulk

(Photo: Here's 6.61 pounds of Luxardo cherries for you maniacs, and those who enjoy entertaining.)

Why are Luxardo cherries so expensive

They're not that expensive, considering they are the gourmet Maraschino, first offered in 1905. About $24 for a jar, $44 for a 2-pack. But if you are looking for something less expensive, see the end of this article, with a few options, as well as a competitive Italian option.

How many cherries in a standard jar?

About 50-55.

Where are Luxardo cherries made/where do they come from?

See above. What is now modern-day Croatia. Founded in 1821 by Girolamo Luxardo, an Italian consul in that region. After World War II, they rebuilt and relocated, see the story of the Luxardo family in the video below.

How are Luxardo cherries made/what are they soaked in?

They are candied cherries; soaked in  marasca cherry syrup. Ratio 50% cherries and 50% syrup. No thickening agents or preservatives. The dark red color is all natural.

Do Luxardo cherries/syrup have alcohol?

You're asking a  blog named Colonel Bourbon T-shirts if something has alcohol in it? LORDY. The answer, despite the myth is no, although alcohol is used in the process.

But, let us say, it's the perfect cherry for alcohol-- aka bourbon whiskey!

But for the record, they are good for Shirley Temples and you haven't lived if you haven't added the Luxardo cherry and syrup to an ice cream sundae. Yum! No match for those red cherries you see in the stores.

How long do Luxardo cherries last/do they go bad/how long do they last after opening.

Up to three years after opening. Don't refrigerate. Just keep them in a cool, dry place.

What cocktails/drinks do Luzardo cherries go good with?

We like dropping them into a tumbler of bourbon that is otherwise neat; any whiskey for that matter. It's perfect for an Old Fashioned. There are dozens of cocktail recipes online. Here's a classic Old Fashioned recipe

Ingredients for 1 serving

  • 1 sugar cube
  • 3 dashes bitters
  • ice
  • 2 oz bourbon whiskey
  • orange peel
  • 1 luxardo maraschino cherry

Or just add to a few fingers of your favorite whiskey or whisky.

What other cherries are comparable to Luxardo?

See the end of this article 

The story of Luxardo

An interesting short film about the Luxardo family, seven generations experiencing the ups and downs of the business that was founded in 1821 and was destroyed by world war. Originally based on the island of Zadar in the Adriatic Sea, in what is now Croatia, their distillery was bombed out of business during World War II. The family made the decision to rebuild in Torreglia, located about 30 miles west of Venice, Italy.

The latest generation of Luxardos is taking the company in new and exciting directions, reinvigorated by renewed interest in the classic cocktails.

Today, Luxardo produces not only their world famous cherries, but liqueurs (where the company began), baking products, fruit syrups, and jams. 

As per Wikipedia: "The company owns 22,000 marasca cherry trees in what is the largest cherry orchard in the European Union. It also holds the naming rights to its own marasca variety."

What are some good alternatives to Luxardo cherries?

Here are a few options; you can read the Amazon reviews for each

  • Fabbri Amarena Cherries Amarena cherries by the Italian company Fabbri, a small, sour dark-colored variety from Bologna/Modena, slow-cooked with a century-old process. A very distinctive blue and white jar.
  • Tillen Farms Bada Bing Cherries A good price at $8 a jar (as of this writing). Bing cherries from the Pacific Northwest, sweet and juicy, with a light tartness. The dark colors come from apple, blueberry, and hibiscus.

 (Published by Colonel Bourbon. Some posts may contain affiliate links.)

1 comment

  • I love Luxardo cherries. The best. Great history.

    Michael Frank on

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