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Swap Maraschinos With Brandied Cherries For More Robust Cocktails

brandied cherry in Manhattan coctail
brandied cherry in Manhattan coctail - SergeUWPhoto/Shutterstock

Although they may not get the attention of the booze, cocktail garnishes are important elements in mixed drinks. They come in an extensive array of possibilities, but there's a special appeal to marinated cherries. Whether it's on a Manhattan or a last word, a rich syrup-drenched maraschino cherry delivers a tasty sweet touch. But put aside your maraschino cherries for now, because a new trend is on the rise, and that's brandied cherries.

In fact, this isn't a new trend at all, but more of a revival. Before prohibition, cherries were typically preserved in alcohol and they're beginning to grow in popularity again. Doused in fruit-based brandy and often spices, the cherry takes on a more aromatic and decadent character than its maraschino cousin. It's less sweet and showcases more of the fruit's original flavor, augmented with a strong, alcohol-tinged note. Plus, it's usually processed without food coloring. As a result, the brandied cherry becomes the ideal garnish in flavor-forward cocktails, its decadent character aligning with stiffer drinks.

Read more: The 40 Absolute Best Cocktails That Feature Only 2 Ingredients

Brandied Cherry Garnishes Introduce A Boozy Boost

homemade brandied cherries
homemade brandied cherries - Pejft/Getty Images

The exact palate that brandy-marinated cherries introduce depends on their composition. There are esteemed industrially made examples that are worth a purchase. For example, French-made Griottine are crafted with tangy wild morello cherries marinated in a variety of brandies, including Kirsch cherry brandy.

However, for the most flavor malleability, you can make brandied cherries at home. These bright bites can take on many different seasonings, from nutmeg to cinnamon, orange peel, vanilla beans, and an endless selection of fruit-based liquors, too. As a result, there's plenty of potential to match with your favorite cocktail. You can also decide whether to use sweeter or sourer cherries to soak in alcohol.

To hold up with brandied cherries' bold character, a good starting point to pair them with is the Manhattan. The rye, vermouth, and bitters combo pairs especially well alongside the boozy garnish. Another delicious option is the Singapore sling, the cherries' finish aligning well with the drink's cherry brandy. For more creative options, garnish a brandied cherry atop strong cocktails that employ maraschino liquor, like a Hemingway daiquiri. Don't feel intimidated to experiment with possibilities; at least one combination with your brandied cherries is sure to stick.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.