The Fancy Cherries You Should Be Picking Up At Costco

a large jar of Fabbri Amarena Wild Cherries
a large jar of Fabbri Amarena Wild Cherries - u/ShowerMartini/Reddit

Costco is one of the most beloved brands in the United States, and while there are lots of reasons why people are so crazy about the big box warehouse, ultimately, it comes down to low prices on high-quality items. From tires to toilet paper, the buyers at Costco choose their products carefully, and it's not unusual to find great prices on a variety of gourmet groceries. Recently, eagle-eyed shoppers on Reddit spotted 35-ounce jars of highly-rated Fabbri Amarena Wild Cherries for $18.99, and if you love a good bourbon drink, it's a deal you won't want to miss.

The American cocktail renaissance that took hold in the early 2000s has opened up the world of craft cocktails to everyone. And if you want to be a bit of an amateur mixologist, it's important to use the best ingredients. Top-shelf spirits are a given, but if you really want to make a bartender smile, you should spring for a jar of fancy cocktail cherries like Fabbri Amarena.

Normally, the specialty cherries, which come from Italy, cost around $25 for smaller jars at stores like Whole Foods. But at Costco, you can get the big jars for almost $10 less, so there's no excuse to settle for those artificially-colored bright pink maraschino cherries anymore as long as you have a membership that's in good standing.

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Good Cocktails Need Good Cherries

Manhattan with Italian Maraschino cherries
Manhattan with Italian Maraschino cherries - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

It wasn't that long ago that there was seemingly only one choice in cocktail cherries, at least in the U.S. — the ubiquitous bright red/pink maraschinos. While these pink, sugary cherries pack a sweet punch, they're much better suited to Shirley Temples than Manhattans. For true aficionados, there's actually a world of artisanal candied cherries that are perfect for pairing with barrel-aged spirits, including Fabbri Amarena Wild Cherries.

These small, dark fruits are one of the most sought-after cocktail garnishes at trendy watering holes and speakeasies because they bring flavor and texture to a well-made libation. They're made from cherries that are harvested in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, which is in the northern part of the country, and they're smaller than cultivated varieties you might find at American grocery stores like Bing or Rainier.

While the cocktail craze in this country that's driving demand for fancy cherries has only been around for about 20 years, these gourmet treats have been made in Italy since 1905 with a recipe from the company's founder, Gennaro Fabbri. They have a complex, tart, and bitter flavor when they're harvested, which is balanced out with sweetness, and an amaretto-like flavor when they're candied and then preserved in a syrup made from the same cherries.

Get A Deal, Save The Jar

dark Maraschino cherries
dark Maraschino cherries - Bhofack2/Getty Images

Handmade, artisanal cherries don't come cheap. If you like to mix up your own Rob Roys or aviation, you already know you'll be shelling out the better part of $20 for a jar of specialty cherries like Fabbri Amarenas. If you've got a Costco membership, however, not only can you get a stash of gourmet cherries for $19, you can get a lot of them. A regular-sized, 21-ounce jar that you can get at Whole Foods or Sur La Table for about $28 contains approximately 30 cherries, which works out to around 90 cents per cherry.

In the Costco jar, however, you get 35.2 ounces, which should work out to around 45 or 50 cherries when calculated by weight. At the Costco price, that works out to about 40 cents a cherry, which means you can have more than one in your cocktail and not feel guilty (or even go for an extra cocktail). You can even plop a few on top of some of Costco's super-premium ice cream as a grown-up dessert.

As a bonus, Fabbri Amarena cherries come in stylish painted porcelain containers that you'll want to keep once you eat all the cherries. After you've rinsed out the jar, try using it to hold pens, chopsticks, or even a small bouquet of flowers. All you have to do to get this fabulous, multipurpose jar — and the tasty cherries inside — is scour the shelves on your next Costco run.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.