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What are Italian cherries?

Like all Italian produce, cherries are imbued with the special qualities of soil, rain, and sunshine that can be found only in Italy. Unfortunately, the delicate cherry cannot be easily transported when fresh and typically doesn’t last long after being picked. With their usual ingenuity with food preparation, Italians devised a way of preserving the delicate cherry and turned it into something else altogether–the cocktail cherry preserved in syrup or a sweet liqueur. A tradition that started in the 1800s, cherry preserving techniques in Italy have a unique history and background. Read More

How are Italian cherries different?

Acting as an exclamation point for fancy cocktails and world-class desserts, Italian cherries are the result of a preservation process that begins with harvesting fresh fruit and then, through traditional preservation techniques, transforming them into a sweet candied treat that can be eaten alone or used as an elegant dessert topper or cocktail garnish. With the special flavors of ripe fruit grown in Italy, Italian cherries are considered a premium cocktail cherry thanks to their meaty, tender texture and a deep red color. Whether they’re preserved in syrup or liquor, the delicious cherry flavor shines through and makes these a special Made-in-Italy treat.

What are popular brands of Italian cherries?

Like many iconic foods of Old World cuisine, Amarena cherries have an impressive lineage that can be traced back to the 19th century. The story begins with Gennaro Fabbri, who cultivated this sour black cherry variety. With the help of his wife, he cooked them in syrup in copper pots and then preserved them in distinctive blue and white labeled containers. These containers would soon become easily recognized all over Italy. Today, Amarena Fabbri Wild Cherries in Heavy Syrup are still sold in the original decorative jars, the trademark of the company founded by the Italian husband-and-wife team.

For the perfect garnish for your Manhattan cocktail, try Lazzaroni Amaretto Italian Cocktail Cherries. They are soaked in amaretto liqueur, which helps temper the bite of whiskey while giving your drink a touch of sophistication.

Known as the “original” maraschino cherry, Luxardo Maraschino Cherries come in jars or cans. Unlike the bright red orbs you’re used to seeing in cocktails, these are all natural, and not artificially colored or flavored.

Another brand is Toschi, makers of the Amarena Sour Black Cherries in Syrup, the classic maraschino cocktail cherry, as well as Italian vignola cherries preserved in a special liqueur.