DIY Maraschino Cherries

Homemade Maraschino Cherries are so easy to make and taste way better than store-bought. Mix them into drinks, garnish your ice cream, or just eat them by the handful!

  • Yield: about 1 large mason jar 1x


  • 4 fluid ounces (1/2 cup) water
  • 4 fluid ounces (1/2 cup) cherry juice*
  • 3 1/2 ounces (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • small pinch salt
  • 1/2 pound sweet cherries**, pitted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract


  1. In a small, non-reactive saucepan, combine the water, cherry juice, sugar, lemon juice, and salt. Place over medium heat and bring to a low simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved.
  2. Lower the heat to a tad above it's lowest setting (I used level 2 on my stove) and add cherries. Allow to steep for 5 minutes, stirring a few times in the process. The idea is just for the cherries to soak up some of the flavors, so be careful not to really cook them, which will make them soft and wrinkly.
  3. Remove from heat and add almond extract. Transfer to a tightly-lidded jar and let cool before refrigerating.***


*I found 100% cherry juice at Trader Joe's.

**I used Rainier cherries; Bing or any other sweet kind should be perfect too.

***If you're a canning pro (unlike me), you can go ahead and can these for longer shelf-life. If you just put them in a jar like I did, they should last around a couple weeks to a month.

If your cherries get discolored after a few days, don't worry about it; that's normal.