by Darcy O'Neil on December 2010
This is another quality liqueur from the house of Grand Marnier. Instead of their flagship product made from the distilled essence of wild oranges and fine cognac, or the vanilla infused cognac called Navan, Cherry Marnier is made from cherries and quality eau-de-vie. This cherry aroma and taste is amazing. Unlike cheap cherry brandy, Cherry marnier is made without any artificial colouring or flavours. You can sip Cherry Marnier straight, or use it in a good cocktail, like a Singapore Sling.
The quality of Cherry Marnier comes from how it is created. First, they use the best cherries they can find and then they crush and mixed with eau-de-vie and left to macerate for a period of time. The eau-de-vie that they use is not stated, but it is probably from grapes, since they are located in the Cognac region of France and most of their products are flavoured brandies.
After this maceration period, a portion of the product is distilled to create a cherry eau-de-vie. This is then mixed with some of the macerated cherries for colour and flavour and then sugar (simple syrup) is added to make the product a liqueur. This mixture is then allowed to mellow in vats to ensure a consistent product.
Cherry Marnier Tasting Notes
My first impression of Cherry Marnier was the noticeable lack of bite or sourness often associated with cherries. The bite from fresh cherries comes from malic and citric acid. Cherry Marnier is a pure, smooth cherry flavour. The only downside to this liqueur is that drinking it straight and warm, you might be reminded of cherry flavoured children's cough syrup. Adding an ice cube fixes this up. Maybe it's just me, but the combination of cherry and alcohol brings back those memories. Again, it's not a bad thing and the Cherry Marnier definitely does not have any medicinal taste, just a very strong cherry flavour.
Cherry Marnier is available in Canada, but it has been reported that it is very hard to find in the United States. Each year they produce limited amount of this product and it is usually distributed in the fall months. In Canada Cherry Marnier sells out very quickly.