Homemade Luxardo Maraschino Cherries

DIY, Drinks, Homemade

Homemade Luxardo Maraschino Cherries are a great additonal to your at-home bar. They also make an amazing gift; all you need is a bottle of luxardo liqueur.

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.

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.

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

What Makes Maraschino Cherries Different?

Maraschino cherries are different from regular, fresh cherries because marashino cherries are preserved in a sweet syrupy liquid. They’re also usually made of lighter-colored varietal of cherries like Royal Ann and Rainier.

What are the Best Cherries to Use?

The best cherries are on the thinner-skinned and lighter-colored side, like Royal Ann or Rainier. I used beautiful cherries from the farmer’s market and I’m going to be honest, I completely forgot the name of them and it worked out great!

Homemade Luxardo Maraschino Cherries

What is a Luxardo Cherry Made Of?

Homemade Luxardo Maraschino Cherries

Are Maraschino Cherries Bad for You?

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

Luxardo Cherries Recipe

4.58 from 7 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes
Serving Size: 4 (4-ounce) jars of maraschino cherries
Calories: 56kcal
Homemade Luxardo Maraschino Cherries. Step-by-step how-to on making Homemade Luxardo Maraschino Cherries. 


  • 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.


CuisineAmerican, Italian
KeywordCanning, Cocktail Cherries, Homemade Luxardo Cherries, Luxardo, Luxardo Cherries, Maraschino, Maraschino Cherries
Serving: 12g | Calories: 56kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g
Did you make this Recipe? Tag me Today!Tag @acozykitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #acozykitchen

Looking for more cherry recipes? Here are some of my favorites: 

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Leave a Reply

  • 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!

    • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

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

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

    • 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. :/

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

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

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

    These don’t look like Luxardo cherries

  • 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 Medeja July 24, 2015 at 8:32 pm

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

  • 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?

  • 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

  • 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?

    • 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?).

  • 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!

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