Homemade Luxardo Maraschino Cherries

DIY, Drinks, Homemade

Homemade Luxardo Maraschino Cherries

We’re gonna be psychos and make Christmas presents in July. Yes. This is happening. A good first step to getting in the mood for Christmas is open up your freezer and stick your head in it. It’ll rev up your wintery engines. Let’s make some Homemade Luxardo Maraschino Cherries!

Cherries are in full bloom right now. I was lucky enough to come across sour cherries and they are my absolute favorite. They require a bit of sugar to give them a nice balance, but not too much because I like to celebrate their tartness rather than just blast it out to oblivion.

Homemade Luxardo Maraschino Cherries

I’m sure you’ve had cheap, bright pink maraschino cherries. Perhaps you had them when your mom ordered you a shirley temple and you loved them. I was the same way.

But they have no place in my adult cocktails nor my adult banana splits. (Again, that sounds bad!)

It’s time for us to grow up and make fancy-ass maraschino cherries. This step in the right direction starts with a bottle of Luxardo liqueur.

Homemade Luxardo Maraschino Cherries

Homemade Luxardo Maraschino Cherries

Homemade Luxardo Maraschino Cherries

In a pot there is water, cinnamon sticks, a vanilla bean, some nutmeg and some sugar (not too much). That’s cooked down and steeped and then the luxardo and cherries are added.

And that’s sort of it. Add them to a series of jars and then can ‘em. I followed the directions given to me via The Weck Jar website.

Homemade Luxardo Maraschino Cherries

I’m gonna be honest: I don’t love canning in Weck Jars. The tops are sort of stressful. You don’t know exactly when they’re completely sealed. I mean, you do it’s just much easier to tell with tops that have the little pop center.

But they do look cute, don’t they? I made my own labels by cutting out pieces of stock paper, brushing it red with a watercolor, spraying it with spray adhesive (my favorite adhesive) and then sticking them on. Never buy another label again! Super easy!

That’s it. The mail man and a few other people are getting these Homemade Luxardo Maraschino Cherries in December.

And of course, here are some other A Cozy Kitchen cocktails!

Homemade Luxardo Maraschino Cherries

Homemade Luxardo Maraschino Cherries

4 from 1 vote
Homemade Luxardo Maraschino Cherries. Step-by-step how-to on making Homemade Luxardo Maraschino Cherries. 
CuisineAmerican, Italian
KeywordCanning, Cocktail Cherries, Homemade Luxardo Cherries, Luxardo, Luxardo Cherries, Maraschino, Maraschino Cherries
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes
Serving Size: 4 (4-ounce) jars of maraschino cherries
Calories: 56kcal


  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/4 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 pound regular cherries or sour cherries, stems removed and pitted
  • 1 cup luxardo liqueur


  • To a medium saucepan (don’t turn the heat on yet), combine the sugar and vanilla bean caviar. Rub the vanilla bean with the sugar until it’s evenly distributed throughout—don’t be shy to use your hands! Turn the flame to medium, add the cinnamon stick, pinch of nutmeg, juice from 1 lemon and water. Bring the mixture to a simmer, cover, and allow to cook for 5 minutes.
  • Turn the heat down to low and add the cherries. Cook the cherries at a simmer for about 3 minutes, until they’re slightly softened. Remove from the heat and stir in the luxardo liqueur. Allow the mixture to cool completely.
  • If you’re not canning, then feel free to fill up a few jars with the cherries and liquid. If you are canning them, then be sure to bring a large pot of water to a boil. Gently drop in the jars and boil for about 1 minute. I followed the rules off of Weck Jars’ website. Per their instruction, place on the tops, with the fastens and drop them into the boiling water. Bring the water back up to a boil and cook for at least 3 minutes. Carefully remove jars from the water and allow to cool completely. Remove the fastens.
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  • Avatar
    Reply Abby @ The Frosted Vegan July 24, 2015 at 7:17 am

    I have a biiiiig ol’ bottle of Luxardo on my bar cart, so totally making these like a psycho!

  • Avatar
    Reply Lisa July 24, 2015 at 9:51 am

    Love this idea, and being the crazy “prepper” that I am, this is on my weekend to do list.

    Question, do you have any guesses on how long they’ll last? I know jams and stuff are fine for quite some time, but do you anticipate any differences with whole fruit?

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme July 26, 2015 at 9:26 am

      If they’re canned, they’ll last about as long as jam will (about 2 years?).

  • Avatar
    Reply Sydney | Modern Granola July 24, 2015 at 9:51 am

    How fancy! I think preparing for Christmas in July sounds like fun- you’ve got a lucky mailman! (Loved your not-euphemisms LOL) And cool labeling idea, they look great!
    xx Sydney

  • Avatar
    Reply Becca July 24, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Thank you thank you thank you! I love this idea. I try to make Christmas gifts all year and it is getting harder to come up with things to make. I am making these cherries this weekend. Did I say thank you?

  • Avatar
    Reply Medeja July 24, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    My mom used to make similar cherries when I was a kid.. 🙂 yummy!

  • Avatar
    Reply Megan | Hint of Vanilla July 26, 2015 at 8:14 am

    I love your labels!! And I’m also kinda of excited for making Christmas present in July because a) I love Christmas so damn much and b) Sept-Dec is the busiest time of the year for my work, like 12 hour days every day so I don’t have time for anything but sleep during those months!

  • Reply Currently Crushing On. | How Sweet It Is August 1, 2015 at 5:49 am

    […] you had luxardo cherries? these homemade ones are […]

  • Avatar
    Reply robWeeve April 19, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    These don’t look like Luxardo cherries

  • Avatar
    Reply Laurie May 26, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    So … I made your recipe and then as stated canned them. During the canning process they got bubbly and almost like they started fermenting super quickly. Lots of bubbles on the inside and jars almost burst open and began leaking a little. I can all the time and canned jam at the same time and those came out fine. Do you have any idea what went wrong?

  • Avatar
    Reply Mars July 8, 2017 at 7:07 am

    Laurie – I had a similar issue. My canning water turned a pinkish hue so some of the liquid definitely leaked out and the jars themselves – while now sealed properly – are short about an ounce of liquid. I don’t know what I did wrong either since my jars sealed.

  • Avatar
    Reply Mark July 21, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    I’ve made two batches now. One went to a self-described Old Fashioned expert. They were met his hearty approval. I had no problem with the canning process. The goal, of course, is to get the contents hot enough to kill any bacteria…the contents definitely needn’t boil. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Avatar
    Reply Dee December 3, 2017 at 11:44 am

    Now that it’s not cherry season… will frozen cherries work?

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme December 3, 2017 at 6:23 pm

      Eeesh. I kinda think they’ll be bland because of the added water in the frozen cherries. :/

    • Avatar
      Reply Brigitte April 15, 2018 at 5:12 pm

      Instead of water I use the accumulated cherry juice … very cherry and good!

  • Avatar
    Reply Doris Hantke March 31, 2018 at 9:45 am

    I’m trying Tart Montmorency Cherries and substituting Honey for the sugar in March…Using a little more water to compensate the for the dried cherries.

  • Avatar
    Reply Diana Fox June 13, 2018 at 10:33 am

    I am going to hot water bath the cherries, how long do I leave them in the water bath? 10 min?

  • Avatar
    Reply seth June 27, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    Am trying this recipe over the coming week. Having a good cherry season. Am considering partially dehydrating cherries then rehydrate in cooking liquid. Done that before with bourbon – gives cherries a little snap in the skin & bolder flavor.

  • Avatar
    Reply Allie Early August 4, 2018 at 9:19 am

    Thanks for the recipe! In the event it helps anyone: I doubled this recipe and used 2lbs of fresh cherries in six 8oz ball jars with an inch and a half of air space at the top of the jar. I kept the jars/lids/rings warm in one pot of water before filling them, and then brought a second large stock pot of water to a boil for the canning process (we boiled the filled 8oz jars for 10 minutes). We waited for the cherry mixture to cool to just-warm before filling the jars. All of the tops popped correctly. I will say that it’s important not to close the jars too tightly. Ball recommends that you close the tops “finger tight” which just means screwing the lids so they’re on snugly (so no liquid will come out) but not putting any serious muscle into it—the pressure really does the rest for you. We saved remaining cherry/luxardo liquid in the fridge for using in mixed drinks. Happy canning!

    • Avatar
      Reply Cindy June 15, 2019 at 9:06 pm

      After canning is the liquid in the jar syrupy like regular maraschino cherries or saucy like lux maraschino cherries?

  • Avatar
    Reply Steve Carlson June 16, 2019 at 9:41 pm

    5 stars
    Just made these cherries, they’re great! I am not canning, just jarring them and planning to make more cocktails! Nice spice on them.

  • Avatar
    Reply Jane June 29, 2019 at 4:54 am

    Can you leave these sit out on the cabinet like the jar of Luxardo cherries suggests or do they need to be refrigerated? Also, since you are making them in July for Christmas, do they need to sit and “brew” for that length of time or are they ready to use? Thank you!

    • Avatar
      Reply Alan Handel July 24, 2019 at 5:23 am

      If you properly canned them they do not need refrigeration unless opened.

  • Avatar
    Reply Mary S June 29, 2019 at 7:04 am

    5 stars
    Working on these but the cherries keep giving up their liquid and diluting the syrup — syrup and cherries taste delicious but the cherries are now pretty shriveled. I plan to reduce the liquid and add it back, but has anyone else had this experience? I was hoping the cherries would plump up but they seem to be doing the opposite.

  • Avatar
    Reply Katie July 13, 2019 at 5:23 pm

    4 stars
    I used sour cherries from my backyard and unfortunately I think they were too ripe. 2 minutes of simmering turned them to mush… delicious though!!

    Used store-bought sweet cherries and just added them to warm syrup and seemed to work.

    • Adrianna Adarme
      Reply Adrianna Adarme July 15, 2019 at 2:43 pm

      Oh no! Yeah, I feel like sour cherries are super soft compared to regular cherries. But how lucky you are to have sour cherries in your backyard!

  • Avatar
    Reply Stefan Schwartz August 9, 2019 at 8:21 am

    I’m new to canning but I know that this isn’t a “tested” canning recipe. For those with more experience, do you feel comfortable with the acidity levels here? I canned 3 jars and two sealed properly, but getting our acid just from “1 lemon” doesn’t really guarantee we are below a pH of 4.7. I’m not trying to be negative but I also know canning is serious business! I want to make sure this is safe for gifts!

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