DIY · Homesteading · Preserving · Recipes

Handcrafted Maraschino Cherries

I came across the basis of this recipe for making these boozy cherries in Modern Pioneering.

I adapted the recipe by making my own grenadine syrup, so I could avoid artificial coloring and corn syrup. The original recipe called for almond extract, I used vanilla to get around the food allergy issue in our home (although Alistaire won’t be eating them, I don’t keep any nut products in our home). I also canned it in smaller jars. What I found is there was plenty of syrup and quickly packed a few more jars. The original recipe called for 2 cups cherries, I used 4 cups.  Delicious whether you use fresh or frozen cherries, it’s a fun treat to add as a topping, or to simply enjoy as a snack!

Btw, make sure you chill these before eating. The flavors become so intense.

Handcrafted Maraschino Cherries


  • 4 cups Bing cherries, fresh or frozen (thawed), pitted
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • Juice of 1 lemon (3 Tbsp)
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract (or almond extract)
  • 1¼ cups brandy
  • ¾ cup grenadine syrup


If using fresh cherries, wash, dry and pit. If using frozen, make sure they are thawed. They should come pitted.

In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, ½ cup filtered water, and the salt. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Stir until dissolved, then turn off the heat and add the lemon juice, vanilla extract, brandy, and grenadine and stir.

Take 4 6-ounce mason jars that have been sterilized, and pack the cherries into them. Pour the hot liquid over them, stirring gently with a new chopstick to release air bubbles, add more syrup as needed. Allow the jar to cool and cover with a lid.

Let sit for 24 hours before using. Chill before eating! Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

To can:

Bring a pot of water to boil that will fit a small canning rack.

Following the above, after you have added the hot syrup to the jars and releases air bubbles, leaving a ¼” headspace, take a damp new paper towel, and wipe the rims. Place on a new canning lid, and a canning ring, securing finger tip tight. Place the jar into the rack, lower into the water. Make sure the jars are fully covered by water. Return to a boil, process for 15 minutes. Remove from pot, let cool on counter on a dry towel. Once cool, check lids are flat and sealed. If not, store in refrigerator, use within 2 weeks.

Store in a cool, dry and dark area, use within a year for best results. Once opened, use up in 2 weeks time. Chill before eating!

Made 4 6-ounce jars.


Grenadine Syrup


  • 1 cup unsweetened 100% pomegranate juice
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • Juice of half a lemon (1½ Tbsp)


Combine the juice and sugar, in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. One boiling, cook for 5 minutes, until slightly thickened.

Let cool, and add in lemon juice.

Store in a clean glass jar, tightly sealed, in the refrigerator, for up to a month.

Makes about 1 cup.