As everyone already knows, I am a fan of a well made cocktail. I won't turn away a Manhattan made with a store bought (red dye #5) cherry but why not make it better and use a homemade maraschino cherry? Since cherries are in season right now I decided to try my hand at making maraschino cherries and brandied cherries.
For the maraschino I simply brought a bottle of Luxardo maraschino to a simmer and poured it over sour cherries (I wanted to leave the stems attached so I didn't pit them, we'll see if I regret it later). For the brandied cherries, I brought 3 cups of Armagnac and 1 1/2 cup sugar to a simmer, stirring until the sugar dissolved. I divided the cherries, half with a vanilla bean half without, and poured the warm liquid over them. Cooled them to room temp and into the fridge they went. Check back in a few weeks for an update on my little experiment. If they turn out well I will include a few recipes.