Let me tell you about my first encounter with these spiked maraschino cherries…. One day last summer my parents decided to have a pool party as my Dad had just finished building a custom tiki bar on their back deck. So, friends and family congregated at happy hour to enjoy each others company with some drinks and snacks in the laid back summery atmosphere. The weather was warm, the pool was crisp, the smell of BBQ filled the air, and the relaxing melodies of Jimmy Buffet sounded throughout. A friend of the family, Joe, brought along a large glass jar full of spiked cherries. He makes them simply by marinating maraschino cherries in grain alcohol overnight. To give you an idea of just how FIERCE these cherries are let me show you a picture of him:
And yes, this is me braiding his fu manchu:
Anyway, Big Joe passed around the jar of cherries and they turned out to be a big hit. People were popping them left and right, shouting expressions like “Do a cherry with me!” and “Them things will make you grow hair on your chest!” They were fun and delicious, tasting like little red candied balls of fruit that are sweet going down but leave a sting of warmth in the pit of your stomach that makes you want to gasp for air. I must have put back about a dozen of them. The next thing I knew, Tide was licking my face and whimpering for his breakfast. It was morning. I woke up in my bed with unbrushed teeth, on top of a pair of crushed sunglasses, wearing my bathing suit. I reached over for Jim- he was still breathing. I glanced at my cell phone- 4 text messages, 3 were from friends reading something along the lines of *I’m so hungover* and 1 was from my Mom informing me *Dads mad. Somebody threw his radio in the pool* I felt like death and I blame it all on the cherries.
1 large jar of maraschino cherries, with stems
alcohol of your choice ( I used Bicardi but you could use any alcohol you like. I’ve had them marinated in Brandy once which were particularly good.)
Drain off about 3/4 of the cherry juice. Then, fill up the jar with alcohol, replacing the volume of liquid you just drained off. Refrigerate overnight.