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What to Do with GREEN Maraschino Cherries?

Green maraschino cherries
Green maraschino cherries
Photo by Joanna O'Leary

Short, lazy answer: Stick them in your cupboard and wait for St. Patrick's Day.

Not good enough, and besides, I'm too impatient. I know there's a better way to use the 50-cent jar of green maraschino cherries I recently picked up at H-E-B, which like Randalls offers a hefty display of discounted products that are not all total crap.

My first thought, unsurprisingly, was cocktails. Why do red maraschino cherries get to have all the fun? Thank goodness, however, I did some cursory research about the green variety before just dumping them into a drink. A brief jaunt on the interwebs, despite yielding insufficient and unimpressive recipes for inspiration, did at least alert me to the fact that they have a different flavor: mint!

Fruitcake Cookies
Fruitcake Cookies
Photo by Julia Frost

Well, that provided some inspiration, so I mixed a mojito, muddling fresh mint leaves as well green cherries. I was fine with the result, a crisp cocktail punctuated by intensely (and unnaturally) bits of cherry, but I have a feeling this take on the "mojito" would probably make a Cuban projectile-vomit.

I had far better results when I used a few as topping for my rendition of a grasshopper sundae (mint chocolate chip ice cream, fudge, crushed mint oreos and whipped cream). A grasshopper sundae is all about mint-sugar overload and contrived verdant coloring, anyway, so the fact that I crowned my cloying confection with a few additional berries hopped up on sweeteners and laden with green dye was pretty appropriate and tasty.

A friend also reminded me that green cherries make frequent appearances in holiday baked goods, particularly fruitcakes and thumbprint cookies. This coming Christmas, perhaps I'll just kill two birds with one stone and make fruitcake cookies.

In the meantime, however, any ideas, readers, as to how I can use my green cherries?


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