Luxardo-Style Cherries

Move over maraschino cherries, there's a serious new upgrade in town—and with this recipe, you can save money by making your own instead of buying the pricey ones from the store. Cook a batch when cherries are in season, or any time of year; frozen cherries work well here. Be sure to cook the cherries for only 2 minutes; it's just enough to infuse them yet keep them firm and whole instead of turning them to jam. These cherries are the perfect garnish for your next Manhattan, a bowl of vanilla ice cream, or a cake. Or keep a few jars on-hand for an elegant hostess gift.

Luxardo Cherries
Photo: Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn / Prop Styling by Christina Daley
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 20 mins
4 pints


  • 3 cups granulated sugar

  • 3 cups water

  • 2 pounds fresh or frozen, thawed pitted red cherries

  • 2 (3-x 1-inch) lemon peel strips (yellow part only)

  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 to 2 lemons)

  • Pinch of kosher salt


  1. Bring sugar and water to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high, stirring occasionally. Boil, undisturbed, for 5 minutes. Stir in cherries, lemon peel strips, lemon juice, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Transfer to 4 pint-sized sterilized jars, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 days or up to 2 months.

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