fact abou cherries

11 Interesting Facts About Cherries Cocktail

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Cherries are a delightful fruit that adds sweetness and color to many dishes and drinks. When used in cocktails, they impart a lovely flavor and aesthetic quality. Here are 11 fascinating facts about the history and health benefits of cherries in cocktails.

Facts About Cherries Cocktail

Facts About Cherries Cocktail

1. Cherries Have Been Used in Drinks for Centuries

The use of cherries in alcoholic drinks dates back centuries. In the 1600s, cherries were commonly soaked in brandy or rum to preserve them. These boozy cherries were considered a delicacy and used to top off drinks. Even early American presidents like George Washington enjoyed cherry Bounce, a whiskey-based drink featuring cherry juice.

The maraschino cherry, featuring a preserved and sweetened cherry, became popular in the 1800s for ornamenting cocktails. Bars started dropping them in drinks like the Manhattan and Old Fashioned to delight customers.

2. They Add Sweetness Without Lots of Sugar

While maraschino cherries have added sugar, fresh cherries offer natural sweetness. Their sugar content is about 13 grams per cup, less than many other fruits. This allows them to sweeten drinks without an overwhelming amount of added sugars. The touch of sweetness balances nicely with spirits without overpowering them.

3. Cherries Offer Important Nutrients

Cherries provide key nutrients for health. In just one cup, they contain vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, and iron. The anthocyanins that give them red color are antioxidants that fight inflammation. Some research also indicates cherries may help reduce arthritis pain, lower blood pressure, and improve sleep and memory.

4. Their Acid Helps Cut Booze Bite

Spirits can taste harsh on their own, but fruit helps mellow their bite. Cherries contain malic acid, an organic acid providing tartness. When used in cocktails with cherries, the acid interacts with the alcohol to smooth out some roughness. This gives a more balanced, fruity flavor.

5. They Pair Well with Brown Spirits

While cherries go well in many cocktails, they complement brown spirits especially nicely. Their sweet-tart taste forms an excellent flavor bridge with whiskey, rum, brandy, and the like. Even the subtle almond notes of amaretto liqueur marry beautifully with cherry. Some classic cherry cocktails include the Manhattan, Old Fashioned, and Jack Rose.

6. Cherry Juice Makes Stunning Cocktails

Cherry juice is a brilliant red that instantly elevates cocktails visually. Its bright hue looks gorgeous in drinks like Blood and Sand, Remember the Maine and Cherry Smash. The red juice also nicely mirrors the appearance of grenadine, making it a natural substitute.

7. Cherries Add Festive Flair

A cocktail garnished with a cherry immediately looks celebratory. The pop of red is eye-catching and vibrant. Bars often add maraschino cherries to tropical cocktails as a final festive touch. Their cheeriness makes them a perfect accent for fun gatherings with friends.

8. They Were Once Used as Medicine

Before cherries became a cocktail staple, they were consumed for health. Early Greek and Roman texts reference cherries as medicine. The tart cherry juice was believed to cure anything from gout to infertility. While such extreme claims are unfounded, science does indicate some wellness benefits of cherries.

9. Cherry Bark Was Used to Flavor Drinks

Cherry bark, from the Prunus serotina or black cherry tree, has an almond-like flavor. Historically, it was used to provide taste to beverages before hops. Colonists brewed cherry bark beer, and during Prohibition, cherry bark was an additive to homemade liquor to improve flavor. So cherries have influenced drinking culture since early times.

10. Almost All Cocktail Cherries Are Now Maraschino

At one time, cocktail cherries could be regular fresh cherries. But thanks to Prohibition, the now standard maraschino cherry was born. As bootleggers sweetened homebrews with maraschino syrup, the preserved cherries it contained became a makeshift garnish. Their popularity endured even after Prohibition ended.

11. Maraschino Cherries Originated in Croatia

Marasca cherries were first made into a liqueur in Zadar, Croatia in the 16th century. Marasca cherries were preserved in Maraschino liqueur, made from the cherries themselves. When this delicacy spread to America in the 1800s, local producers began preserving cherries in a similar sweet syrup, minus the liqueur. And thus, the maraschino cherry was born.


From ancient medicine to modern cocktail culture, cherries have long played an intriguing role in drink-making. Their sweet-tart flavor, festive color, and nutritional value make them a wonderful addition. A cherry garnish or splash of cherry juice offers both visual and taste appeal. So next time you enjoy a Manhattan or Mai Tai, savor the cherry accents that make the cocktail so delicious.

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