4 Classic Maraschino Liqueur Cocktails

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The recent resurgence of craft cocktails has helped introduce a new generation of sophisticated drinkers to recipes and ingredients of old.  While the classics never really die, the renewed interest in the more subtly complex and simply decadent drinks of the 19th century are making a comeback and that is no more apparent than in the re-introduction of maraschino liqueur.

Maraschino liqueur, of course, is a liquor made out of sour Marasca cherries. This is a fruit native only to the coast of Croatia—and, no, the liqueur does not taste like Maraschino cherries. While these are now a bar staple, the liqueur is actually made not only from the sour cherry fruit pulp but also the crushed pits of the Marasca cherry—and the liqueur is actually quite dry.  In many ways it actually more resembles a cherry brandy with a bitter almond essence too.

Knowing this, you are probably pretty interested to see what kinds of classic École du Bar de Montréal recipes included maraschino liqueur—so here you go:

AVIATION

A pre-Prohibition libation, this classic dry gin cocktail is blue, like the sky (hence its name).  At the time of its creation it was also one of the most popular drinks, sought for its subtly herbaceous notes and its unique color, of course.  To make an Aviation you need:

  • 2 oz gin
  • ½ oz Maraschino liqueur
  • ¼ oz Creme de violette
  • ¾ oz lemon juice

MARTINEZ
Perhaps regarded as one of the first true cocktails, the Martinez predates even the Martini.  Simple and sweet but also subtle at the same time, this cocktail is easy on the senses but on its intoxicants:

  • 1 oz [Old Tom] gin
  • 2 oz sweet vermouth
  • ½ oz Maraschino liqueur
  • a dash of Angostura bitters

TUXEDO

Also dating back to before the turn of the 20th century, the Tuxuedo is another herbaceous gin cocktail with yet more hints of complexity (that may not actually be there). It might be the absinthe:

  • 1 oz gin
  • 1 oz dry vermouth
  • ¼ oz maraschino liqueur
  • splash of Absinthe
  • a few dashes of orange bitters

CASINO

Another straightforward classic, the Casino’s complex taste pervades its actual simplicity:

  • 2 oz [Old Tom] gin
  • ¼ oz Maraschino liqueur
  • ¼ oz fresh lemon juice
  • couple dashes orange bitters

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