Maraschino liqueur (pronounced mar-uh-SKEE-noh) was a frequently used ingredient in cocktails dating back to the earliest days of mixology between the 1880s and 1920s. After the Repeal, maraschino—along with many other classic liqueurs—failed to regain its pre-prohibition prominence and all but disappeared from American backbars by the time of the Kennedy Administration. That is until the recent return of Imported Stock Maraschino Liqueur.
The luscious import hails from the century-old Stock Distillery in Trieste, Italy, producers of GranGala, Limoncé Limoncello and Stock barrel-aged brandies. Made according to a recipe dating from 1884, the liqueur is crafted by macerating premium grape spirits with almonds, honey, rose petals, orange zest, cherry pits, a bevy of spices and tart Marasca cherries from Italy's sun-drenched Dalmatian coast. Prior to being bottled at 60-proof, the liqueur is filtered repeatedly to attain ideal clarity.
Stock Maraschino is a welcome addition to any mixologist's palette of flavors. The liqueur has a shimmering, medium-weight body and a nutty, spiced fruit bouquet. Its palate expands quickly, filling the mouth with semisweet, exuberant flavors of citrus, sour cherries, almonds and spice. The lingering finish is flavorful and pleasantly warm.
The popular resurgence of the Aviation Cocktail has fueled the national demand for maraschino liqueur. The rediscovered classic is a light-bodied cocktail made with gin, maraschino liqueur and fresh lemon juice, as well as an occasional splash of crème de violette. The allure and romance surrounding this long-lost cocktail merits keeping a bottle of Stock Maraschino close at-hand.