5 Best Cocktail Cherries That Will Enhance Your Drinks

Published November 1, 2021
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Sweet Red Maraschino Cherries in Sticky Syrup

Cocktail cherries are one, if not the best, garnish available when you're looking for a simple and elegant way to finish your mixed drinks. These lush garnishes are great for snacking, albeit in very small increments, but are an exceptional treat while stirring up a cocktail. These are especially a delight after it's been soaking in the spirits, such as a Manhattan or old-fashioned. However, not all cocktail cherries are made the same: some are a bit firmer, others sweeter, a few have a tart taste. So if you're looking to step up your cocktail cherry game or want to find out what's worth trying, we made up a list of the best cocktail cherries for any cocktail.

Best Cocktail Cherries for Cocktails


Best All Around:
Luxardo Original Maraschino Cherries

The classic holds its own and withstands time for a reason.
Read more.

Best for a Sweet Tooth:
Traverse City Whiskey Co. Premium Cocktail Cherries

Best for when you want a sweeter cocktail.
Read more.

Best Utility Cocktail Cherry:
Fabbri Amarena Cherries

Not just for cocktails, these cherries work well in food too.
Read more.

Most Unique:
Woodford Reserve Bourbon Cherries

For those who want their cocktail cherries with a boozy bite.
Read more.

Best for Vibrant Flavor:
Tillen Farms Bada Bing Cherries

For those looking for the boldest cherry flavor
Read more.
Luxardo Original Maraschino Cherries

Luxardo Original Maraschino Cherries

Luxardo Original Maraschino Cherries

Luxardo Original Maraschino Cherries

Luxardo Maraschino Cherries are the original decadent cocktail cherry. They're the most commonly used brand for a reason: they don't overpower the drink, but they're more than capable tof holding their own even with the boldest of spirits.

They have the perfect amount of sweetness, and their syrup is a great addition to a cocktail as a colorful syrup, especially to any cocktail that calls for a cocktail cherry garnish. Their firmness is similar to that of a grape, making them an irresistible treat as you shake up a drink.

Luxardo Maraschino Cherries are the original decadent cocktail cherry. They're the most commonly used brand for a reason: they don't overpower the drink, but they're more than capable tof holding their own even with the boldest of spirits.

They have the perfect amount of sweetness, and their syrup is a great addition to a cocktail as a colorful syrup, especially to any cocktail that calls for a cocktail cherry garnish. Their firmness is similar to that of a grape, making them an irresistible treat as you shake up a drink.

What We Like
Perfect level of sweetness
Firm
Hold their shape in drinks
What We Don't
Some cherries are crushed or torn
Syrup could be too thick for some
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Traverse City Whiskey Co. Premium Cocktail Cherries

Traverse City Whiskey Co. Premium Cocktail Cherries

Traverse City Whiskey Co. Premium Cocktail Cherries

Traverse City Whiskey Co. Premium Cocktail Cherries

A little bit sweeter than other cocktail cherries, Traverse City cocktail cherries still help in creating a well-balanced cocktail. To counter the additional sweetness, consider a dash less of any sweetener in the cocktail.

What sets them apart from other cocktail cherries is their cooking process. To finish off the cherries, Traverse adds their own whiskey to impart an extra kick of subtle flavor without tasting too boozy.

A little bit sweeter than other cocktail cherries, Traverse City cocktail cherries still help in creating a well-balanced cocktail. To counter the additional sweetness, consider a dash less of any sweetener in the cocktail.

What sets them apart from other cocktail cherries is their cooking process. To finish off the cherries, Traverse adds their own whiskey to impart an extra kick of subtle flavor without tasting too boozy.

What We Like
Slight bourbon flavor
Contains extra syrup, less likely for cherries to be crushed
What We Don't
Sweeter than other cocktail cherries
Fabbri Amarena Cherries

Fabbri Amarena Cherries

Fabbri Amarena Cherries

Fabbri Amarena Cherries

The blue and white ceramic jar will draw your eye, but the product inside is what will keep you coming back. An Italian-based company, Fabbri Amarena cocktail cherries vary from their counterparts by using smaller and slightly sour cherries. They're slow-cooked, following a century-old recipe that makes the cherries sweet with a tart aftertaste.

The price point could be offputting, however, but they're worth their price tag.

The blue and white ceramic jar will draw your eye, but the product inside is what will keep you coming back. An Italian-based company, Fabbri Amarena cocktail cherries vary from their counterparts by using smaller and slightly sour cherries. They're slow-cooked, following a century-old recipe that makes the cherries sweet with a tart aftertaste.

The price point could be offputting, however, but they're worth their price tag.

What We Like
Tart taste makes for a unique flavor
Not overly sweet
Rich
What We Don't
The tart taste isn't for everyone
Can be too rich or complex for some
More expensive than others
Woodford Reserve Bourbon Cherries

Woodford Reserve Bourbon Cherries

Woodford Reserve Bourbon Cherries

Woodford Reserve Bourbon Cherries

While bearing the same name as the distillery, these cocktail cherries are made by a separate company. They are flavored with the Woodford Reserve bourbon during the cooking process, giving them that signature taste.

The cherries are then jarred while remaining attached to their stems, offering a fancy and unique look to any cocktail. If you don't care for this, it's easy enough to remove while garnishing, or sampling.

As an added bonus, the syrup in which the cocktail cherries are stored can also be used as a simple syrup in cocktails, an intentional choice by the makers. You can use both garnish and syrup when building an old-fashioned, needing only your favorite bourbon and a few dashes of bitters.

While bearing the same name as the distillery, these cocktail cherries are made by a separate company. They are flavored with the Woodford Reserve bourbon during the cooking process, giving them that signature taste.

The cherries are then jarred while remaining attached to their stems, offering a fancy and unique look to any cocktail. If you don't care for this, it's easy enough to remove while garnishing, or sampling.

As an added bonus, the syrup in which the cocktail cherries are stored can also be used as a simple syrup in cocktails, an intentional choice by the makers. You can use both garnish and syrup when building an old-fashioned, needing only your favorite bourbon and a few dashes of bitters.

What We Like
Bourbon forward flavor
Can use the syrup in cocktails
What We Don't
May not like the stems still attached
Some may not want such a boozy or whiskey flavor
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Tillen Farms Bada Bing Cherries

Tillen Farms Bada Bing Cherries

Tillen Farms Bada Bing Cherries

Tillen Farms Bada Bing Cherries

Tillen Farms cocktail cherries are made using bing cherries, rather than the maraschino cherries most other cocktail cherries are made with. But they're just as good, if not more flavorful, with their juicy and sweet flavor profile shining through.

They're firm like maraschino cherries but pack additional flavors such as blueberry and apple thanks to the cooking process. As an added bonus, they're not as pricey as their cocktail cherry counterparts.

Tillen Farms cocktail cherries are made using bing cherries, rather than the maraschino cherries most other cocktail cherries are made with. But they're just as good, if not more flavorful, with their juicy and sweet flavor profile shining through.

They're firm like maraschino cherries but pack additional flavors such as blueberry and apple thanks to the cooking process. As an added bonus, they're not as pricey as their cocktail cherry counterparts.

What We Like
Packed with fruit flavor
Gently sweet
What We Don't
Not the traditional cocktail cherry
Lacks a singular cherry flavor

Garnishes are a fun way to add pizzazz and flavor to cocktails. Like much of the cocktail-making process, taste and preference are subjective, both in visuals and flavor. But with cocktail cherries costing a little more than the average garnish, you may not always want to gamble on a full jar if you're not sure if it's for you or if you'll manage to use all of them. The good news is, however, there's a cocktail cherry for everyone, every cocktail, and every budget.

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5 Best Cocktail Cherries That Will Enhance Your Drinks