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Bordeaux vs Maraschino Cherries: What’s the Difference?

Bordeaux cherries? Think fancy. Maraschino? More like the sundae topper we can’t resist.

Both are cherries, sure. Yet, worlds apart. We’re talking different leagues. One’s soaked in luxe, the other in syrupy sweetness.

Ever paused mid-bite, cherry in hand, pondering, “What on Earth is the difference?” We have. It’s why we’re here. To unpack this mystery together.

Our kitchen encounters? Hilarious. Bordeaux attempts ended with us looking like a crime scene. And Maraschinos? Ever tried fishing them out of the jar without a mess? Laughable.

Join the ride. It’s about to get juicy.

What are Bordeaux Cherries?

Bordeaux cherries are a type of candied cherry that is preserved in a sweet syrup made with Bordeaux wine.

These cherries have a deeper, richer flavor profile than traditional maraschino cherries, and their color is a deep dark red.

They are used as toppings for desserts like ice cream or cakes, but they can also be used to add depth to cocktails and other mixed drinks.

Additionally, Bordeaux cherries are typically less sweet than maraschino cherries, which are preserved in a mixture of sugar and brine.

The unique flavor profile of Bordeaux cherries comes from the addition of the rich wine syrup during the preserving process.

This results in a more complex taste that provides a contrast to sweeter desserts or cocktail ingredients.

It’s important to note that while both Bordeaux and maraschino cherries are often used interchangeably in recipes, they do have distinct differences that can affect the overall taste profile of a dish or drink.

Whether using them as an ingredient or garnish, choosing between these two types of cherries should be based on the desired final outcome you’re looking to achieve.

What are Maraschino Cherries?

Maraschino cherries are a popular garnish, but what distinguishes them from other types of cherries? Maraschino cherries are cherries that have been soaked in a sweet syrup and then dyed red.

This process gives them a distinctive bright red color.

Unlike fresh cherries, maraschino cherries have a firmer texture due to the preservation process.

Additionally, maraschino cherries can be made with both sour and sweet cherry varieties.

They are often used as an ingredient in cocktails, desserts, and as a topping on various baked goods.

The flavor is very sweet and may not be suitable for those with dietary restrictions since they contain high levels of sugar.

It’s important to note that maraschino cherries should not be confused with Bordeaux cherries or Luxardo cherries.

While all three types of cherries are preserved in some way, they each have unique differences in terms of flavor, texture, and preparation methods.

Bordeaux cherries are typically preserved in brandy whereas Luxardo cherries are soaked in Marasca syrup.

Differences Between Bordeaux Cherries and Maraschino Cherries

The variances between Bordeaux and Maraschino cherries lie in their preparation techniques, ingredients, and final taste.

Unlike Maraschino cherries, Bordeaux cherries are soaked in a sweet red wine syrup that infuses the fruit with a bittersweet flavor.

Additionally, compared to Maraschino cherries, Bordeaux fruits offer a more complex texture paired with an intense fruit density that results in a rich flavor profile.

1 – Cherry Variety Used

The type of cherries used in Bordeaux Cherries and Maraschino varies significantly.

While Bordeaux Cherries are made using dark, sweet cherries such as Morello or Bing cherries, Maraschino cherries are made using sour cherries, specifically the Royal Anne variety.

The difference in cherry varieties affects the overall flavor profile of the two products and also influences their preferred use in various culinary applications.

2 – Preparation Method

Cherry liqueurs are characterized by their preparation method and flavor.

Understanding the difference in these factors is crucial for discerning between Bordeaux cherries and Maraschino cherries.

The preparation method of each cherry type contributes significantly to their unique qualities.

A 4-step guide can help differentiate between the preparation methods of Bordeaux cherries and Maraschino cherries:

  • Start with freshly picked Bordeaux cherries.
  • Pit them and soak overnight in a mixture of sugar, water, and vinegar.
  • Simmer the mixture until it thickens, then add brandy and let cool.
  • Bottle the cooled mixture with additional brandy for preservation.

In contrast, Maraschino cherries undergo a different preparation method that involves washing, blanching, brining, coating with syrup or sugar before soaking in alcohol.

This process eliminates the natural sweetness of fresh sour cherries while preserving its color and texture.

The unique texture and flavor of both cherry types are dependent on their respective preparation methods.

Each method is designed to complement specific alcoholic beverages like the Bordeaux cherry complements cocktails, while Maraschino’s lighter style pairs better with light drinks like lemonade or iced tea.

Thus distinguishing between both methods can help customers choose which garnish cherry to use based on their drink preference.

3 – Flavor Profile

The flavor profile of Bordeaux cherries versus Maraschino is distinct.

Bordeaux cherries have a deep, sweet taste with an acidic tang.

They have a juicy texture and a slightly rough skin, making them perfect for baking and cocktails.

On the other hand, Maraschino cherries are preserved in syrup mixed with almond extract, giving them an artificial but distinctive sweet flavor.

Maraschino cherries are often used as cocktail garnishes or toppings on ice cream.

These differences make the choice between two depend entirely upon the need, recipe, or purpose.

4 – Sweetness Level

Cherries are known for their sweetness profile, and the varying types of cherries have different sweetness intensities.

When it comes to Bordeaux Cherries and Maraschino Cherries, some key differences exist in terms of their sweetness intensity.

  • Bordeaux cherries vary in sweetness from semi-sweet to tart depending on how they’re prepared.
  • Maraschino cherries tend to be much sweeter than Bordeaux Cherries, as they are typically made with a sweet syrup.
  • Bordeaux cherries can be used in both sweet and savory preparations due to their adaptable sweetness.
  • Maraschino Cherries are usually reserved for cocktails and desserts due to their very sweet profile.
  • For those who prefer less sweet flavors, Bordeaux cherries may be more appealing because they offer a balance between tangy and sweet notes.
  • However, for those who love sugary desserts and drinks, Maraschino Cherries could be the perfect finishing touch.

Interestingly, the different use cases for these two types of cherries demonstrate how important sweetness intensity is when pairing ingredients in culinary creations.

While there is no clear winner between Bordeaux or Maraschino cherries regarding their flavor profile, taking into account the specific dishes or drinks being created can help determine which type will enhance the overall flavor experience.

Similarities Between Bordeaux Cherries and Maraschino Cherries

Both Bordeaux cherries and Maraschino cherries have a similar purpose as they are commonly used as cocktail garnishes or in food recipes.

They are both sweet, bright red and have a firm texture.

These two types of cherries are usually used interchangeably in recipes where sweetened cherries are needed.

However, the similarities end there.

The main difference between these two types of cherries lies in their preparation process.

While Maraschino cherries undergo a lengthy process that involves treating the fruit with chemicals and preservatives to create the signature taste, Bordeaux Cherries are preserved naturally in alcohol and have a subtle flavor that enhances their natural sweetness.

In addition to the differences in preparation, another notable difference between these two types of cherries is their cost.

Maraschino cherries are more easily accessible and often cheaper due to their mass production whereas Bordeaux Cherries require extended preservation time, making them a rarer and more costly option.

Culinary Uses of Bordeaux Cherries and Maraschino Cherries

Bordeaux Cherries and Maraschino Cherries have distinct culinary uses due to their unique taste and texture.

These cherries are versatile ingredients that add flavor and color to a variety of dishes.

When it comes to cocktail making, Bordeaux cherries are perfect for a classic whiskey sour or old-fashioned, whereas Maraschino cherries are ideal in sweet drinks like daiquiris or Shirley Temples.

In the world of baking, both cherries can be used to enhance pies, cakes, and brownies.

In terms of savory dishes, Bordeaux cherries add depth of flavor when paired with rich meats like duck or lamb, while Maraschino cherries work well in sauces for chicken or fish.

Furthermore, Bordeaux cherries also make a great addition to salads providing a fresh contrast and adding fruity fragrance.

Both varieties have unique details based on preference.

For example, if you want more sweetness and a lighter texture in your dish go for Maraschino Cherries while Bordeaux gets you a richer taste with its tangy notes.

Be cautious while using as both contain high levels of sugar and preservatives.

Popular Brands and Availability

Various brands offer both Bordeaux cherries and Maraschino cherries, making them widely available in markets worldwide.

Luxardo, Filthy Food, and Cherryman Farms are some popular brands for Maraschino cherries.

On the other hand, Amarena Fabbri, Bonne Maman, and Opies are some known brands for Bordeaux cherries.

Consumers can find both types of cherries in well-stocked grocery stores or online marketplaces.

When it comes to popularity and availability among consumers, Maraschino cherries take the lead.

They are frequently used as a garnish in cocktails or desserts due to their bright red color and sweet taste.

While Bordeaux cherries have less appeal in terms of appearance with their deep reddish-brown color, they have a distinctive complex flavor of tartness mixed with sweetness that makes them equally desirable to food enthusiasts.

While both types of cherries can add a unique twist to recipes, they cannot be substituted for one another because of their different flavor profiles.

So for those who enjoy experimenting with new flavors in cooking or bartending applications, having both varieties available in their kitchen cabinets would undoubtedly be valuable.


The nuances between Bordeaux cherries and Maraschino are significant, making them very different products despite their shared cherry origin.

While Bordeaux cherries are typically tart and soaked in red wine for a rich flavor, Maraschino cherries are sweetened with sugar solution and preserved with chemicals, such as calcium chloride, to maintain their texture.

Bordeaux vs Maraschino Cherries: What’s the Difference?

Andrew Gray
Explore the realm of culinary indulgence as we differentiate between Bordeaux wine and maraschino cherries, unraveling their distinct flavors, uses, and cultural significance to enhance your epicurean adventures.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course This vs That
Servings 1 Serving


  • Bordeaux Cherries
  • Maraschino Cherries


  • Choose between Bordeaux and Maraschino cherries based on your preference and the desired flavor profile.
  • Incorporate the selected cherries into your dish or drink, adjusting the amount to suit your taste.
  • Enjoy the unique taste experience provided by Bordeaux or Maraschino cherries, adding a delightful twist to your recipe.
  • Experiment with different recipes and beverages to explore the versatility and flavor impact of each cherry variety.
Keyword Bordeaux vs Maraschino Cherries
Did you make this recipe?Mention @AmericasRestaurant or tag #americasrestaurant!
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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