Neutral spirit steeped with marasca cherry pits and sweetened. Thrifty, thy name is Italy. Essentially this is the snout to tail of fruit: not just the flesh of the fruit, but the crushed pits as well are used in the mash bill. Pure cane sugar is added, transforming this brandy-esque spirit into a viscous funk-bomb. Once you’ve filed the flavor of this spirit away, it is instantly recognizable in just about any cocktail. Maraschino is not the celebration of the cherry flavor with which most of us have grown up (Jolly Rancher, anyone?). No, this is earthy and sweet and utterly unique. I have been known to dole out a cocktail’s allotment of maraschino using an old bitters bottle, its potency begging me to tiptoe up to the correct amount for a great drink. Famous cocktails in which Maraschino plays an essential element are legion, including such standards as the Martinez, Last Word, Brooklyn, Aviation, and Improved Whiskey Cocktail. A critical component in a next-level home bar.