Hello, I am Matteo Luxardo. For the last 16 years I have been the export director of the Luxardo Company and have been proud to travel the world sharing 200 years of Luxardo history and presenting our great range of high quality classic Italian liqueurs and cherries; (no Manhattan would be complete without a Luxardo cherry). The Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur is an essential ingredient in many classic cocktails including The Hemingway Daiquiri, The Martinez, The Last Word, and The Aviation to name a few.

I’m here to answer your questions, including, but not limited to the use of our liqueurs, the production and distillation process, and our company’s history. Ask away!

Proof: http://imgur.com/vMTvHBK

Additional Proof: https://twitter.com/LUXARDOUSA/status/756508850086219776

EDIT: Thanks for all the questions everyone. I have to log off now but I will try to answer more questions later if I have time. You all have been so great.

Comments: 1067 • Responses: 51  • Date: 

LumancerErrant772 karma

So American mangling of Italian words being what it is: "maraSHEEno", or "maraSKEEno"?

MatteoLuxardo1074 karma

It's MaraSKEEno!

rootyb472 karma

I had Luxardo cherries for the first time a couple of years ago, and it has completely ruined other maraschino cherries for me. Those fluorescent pink ... THINGS in a jar? Garbage. Now, if I want maraschino cherries, I have to pay twenty freaking dollars for a jar of your amazing cherries.

My only question is: how do you sleep at night?

MatteoLuxardo961 karma

Very well because I know that you will buy our cherries and because I give you quality and love in each jar.

KittyNouveau149 karma

Now I need to find a jar full of love cherries

MatteoLuxardo232 karma

you will be surprised on the quality, quality is not only given by the price but by the work is behind and the people

studioidefix453 karma

What is the maximum number of cherries you've eaten at once ? I ask as a person who may or may not have eaten a whole jar of Luxardo cherries at one point.

MatteoLuxardo605 karma

A whole jar...and like a kilo of ice cream.

studioidefix175 karma

What flavour do you think goes best ?

MatteoLuxardo417 karma

Vanilla for sure. Dark chocolate is good too.

_floyd307 karma

How hard has it been to maintain family control over the business for the last 200 years? Does nepotism create any issues?

MatteoLuxardo560 karma

The hard part was not maintaining control - but it was starting over again after WW2 where we lost everything due to Allied bombs.

We haven't had any issues with nepotism. We all respect each other.

Balthanos249 karma

How many cherries, would you say, you pop on average per day?

MatteoLuxardo704 karma

Depends on how much I drink :)

zimpleandoak219 karma

Are you in New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail?

MatteoLuxardo207 karma

Yes!

math-yoo211 karma

Luxardo cherries are delicious, after a long day I like a Rye Manhattan with a Luxardo cherry. Is there a drink you especially like with your cherries?

MatteoLuxardo300 karma

Yes, I love an Aviation with no creme de violette. I use luxardo cherry syrup instead and a cherry inside.

MaoBaby153 karma

My two favorite cocktails are an Aviation (with the Violette) and a Hemingway Daiquiri. Luxardo is such an important part of both, thank you for maintaining that high standard. :-)

MatteoLuxardo135 karma

Thank you for being a fan.

shaker_not_shaken176 karma

Is there still equipment or buildings left from your relatives that started the business?

MatteoLuxardo582 karma

When our company was first started, it was based in Zara (now Croatia). Due to WW2 we left and our master distiller at the time was able to bring to Italy a sapling cherry tree and a recipe book. That sapling became a base for all of the cherries we use because they are all cloned from that first tree. The original building is still there with another name on the roof.

LumancerErrant172 karma

What's your favorite spirit not produced by your company?

MatteoLuxardo329 karma

Jack Daniels. And rum diplomatico.

americanfish136 karma

What was it like growing up in the Luxardo family? Did you always plan on working for the family business?

MatteoLuxardo272 karma

No I didn't always plan on working in the business. My father never pushed me, he said to find your way. He also told me everyday that I was too hotheaded to work in the company lol. Then I spent 3 years abroad and the end of the 3rd year my father called me and asked if I was ready to go work in the company and I felt I was ready. This was 18 years ago at age 24.

Frajer102 karma

What inspired your ancestors to found the company ?

MatteoLuxardo274 karma

The founder of the company was actually never in the alcohol business, he started off selling ropes and coral to the navy. His wife at the time was making a cordial called Rosolio Maraschino, he saw that there could be a business by distilling and selling that product, and here we are after 195 years and 7 generations

911tim102 karma

I am a bartender looking into working for a distillery or become a distiller myself. Any advice for getting into the industry? I tried in the past, but found it be a very closed market.

MatteoLuxardo178 karma

Nowadays you have to go premium (spirits), it's a niche market but it's where you can succeed now. Premium meaning not only price, but quality of the product (and quality of raw materials you are using).

SaucyPots95 karma

Are there any new products in the pipeline or any liqueurs (or otherwise) that you don't make that you would like to?

MatteoLuxardo175 karma

Yeah we have Bitter Bianco coming out in September in the US that we're really excited about. With it you can create a "white Negroni". Any suggestions for new liqueurs??

LumancerErrant26 karma

Have you ever considered a nocino? I've only really seen one brand of the stuff in the US.

MatteoLuxardo59 karma

No we haven't, we have Angeletto though. It's a hazelnut liqueur.

notesandquids87 karma

Hi Matteo,

I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about the history of your Maraschino Liqueur. Was it originally designed to drink alone and if so, when/where did it start getting used in cocktails?

MatteoLuxardo153 karma

Yes, it was originally meant to be drank as a cordial by itself. Around mid to late 1800's, cocktails became huge in the US and around that time bartenders started experimenting with maraschino. We we're very lucky to be one of the first to be exported into the US at that time. Sugar was expensive and maraschino was used as a sweetener to cocktails.

alejo69970 karma

Also concerning brand history, what's the story behind the distinctive wrap on your bottles?

MatteoLuxardo168 karma

Great question! The straw wrap was originally used to avoid breakage of the glass when traveling on ships. We used to buy our bottles from Venice and there were no cartons/cardboard at the time - just wooden boxes. We still have it today just for tradition.

Somm_Guy74 karma

How common is the Luxardo name? My sister married one, I think you and I might be related now...

MatteoLuxardo106 karma

It's not so common but there is a town in Italy that is called Santa Margherita Ligure where the Luxardos come from, I knoe that they are in Argentina, Brazil and Chile

PmMeYoPantiesFemale65 karma

So is involves alcohol? In the cherry liquor, as Ive never seen cherry liquor here in Ireland,

Would love to try out one day, but sober for a while now :)

MatteoLuxardo122 karma

Not everything we make has alcohol! We make cherries, jams, fruit syrups ect.

jcarnegi51 karma

Can you make something like a luxardo lime? Cherries and alcohol are great but like if there were limes like that I'd be drinking right now.

MatteoLuxardo113 karma

We have limoncello - no limes :)

punkideas47 karma

What would your advice be to someone making their own DIY cocktail cherries? I like your product, but there's always the fun of making your own.

MatteoLuxardo84 karma

Take your cherries you want to use and experiment new flavors using different types of alcohol - brandy, cognac, ect. Make it your own until you find a flavor you like. Don't keep the cherries too long in alcohol though - they will melt.

lostarchitect95 karma

That's interesting, my cherries don't melt, I leave them in the alcohol for up to a year. Your Luxadro liqueur is the base of my recipe. It is as follows:

  • 1.25 cups Luxardo
  • .75 cups vodka
  • .5 cups lemon juice (or was it .25?)
  • 1 cup demerara sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Combine over low heat. Pour over approximately 2 lbs. pitted sour cherries in mason jars. Leave on the counter until the jar lids pop in, then store in fridge.

These last a year or so and are still good. I make them with fresh cherries every July--I am doing my yearly batch this weekend, actually. They're very different from the Luxardo cherries, they're softer and more tart. Delicious in a Manhattan!

What do you think? And thanks very much for your liqueur!

MatteoLuxardo62 karma

Sounds great!

Andrewmundy44 karma

Mr. Matteo, huge fan, love the stuff! How's your relationship with Anchor distilling and how often do you visit San Francisco? It would be an honor to have you at my bar.

MatteoLuxardo45 karma

Thanks for being a fan. I will be in San Francisco in September I will have to come by. Working with Anchor is great - the people are great and we have a good working relationship.

1esproc42 karma

I'm wondering what the process is like to achieve the dense, candy like consistency in the Luxardo cherry? When I've made them myself (using Luxardo Maraschino liquer ;)), the cherries are very good but the fruit "meat" is still quite...fluffy, I guess.

MatteoLuxardo72 karma

When we make our cherries we don't soak them in alcohol - just sugar and cherry juice. Our cherries are marasca cherries from Italy and they produce the perfect texture for our Luxardo cherries.

valkyriemissile39 karma

Was there ever a point where you didn't want to follow in your families footsteps and not work in the luxardo business?

MatteoLuxardo74 karma

I never thought about working in the family business till I was 24. It's very hard to work in a family owned business - especially when it's 195 years old.

MrsC790638 karma

Your cherries changed my life.

What is your favorite way to enjoy them?

MatteoLuxardo77 karma

On top of vanilla ice cream. Almost better than sex.

Empigee35 karma

How young were you when you started learning the business?

MatteoLuxardo68 karma

I was 24 when I started learning the business - but there so much to learn. I am 42 and still learning things everyday.

apollorockit31 karma

What's your favorite non-cocktail recipe involving your Maraschino liqueur? I'm sure there are loads of dessert recipes that call for it...

MatteoLuxardo85 karma

I like meat with marachino. You cook meat first on a pan and then you pour marachino over top and "flame it" so it caramelizes.

elh938 karma

I think I need to buy a bottle just to try this, it sounds like a delicious way to cook and season a steak.

MatteoLuxardo31 karma

yes, the good thing is that while you are cooking you can have a drink

meekaANDmochi27 karma

Luxardo cherries are life! If I go to a bar and they make their Old Fashioned with regular maraschino cherries, I never go back to the bar again.

Why so expensive though? My friend is a liquor rep and gave me a jar and I went through them in 2 weeks. So. good.

MatteoLuxardo22 karma

Haha thank you! Respect.

blindgoro25 karma

Hey I sell your stuff at my store in Little Italy the Bronx! What's the process in figuring out what new liquor/flavor you guys want to create? How do you determine what market you are looking to cater to?

MatteoLuxardo21 karma

I tend to look around me and see what's missing or what's needed before determining what to create. For example our new product Bitter Bianco was created for bartenders to create "White Negronis". It's out this September in the US!

BuzzLiteBeers24 karma

Do you ever think "If I have to look at one more cherry I'm going to flip the fuck out!" ?

MatteoLuxardo37 karma

no

unidentifiable21 karma

I've tried to find real luxardo maraschino cherries for forever, and have given up. No retailer seems to carry them sadly. The only "maraschino cherries" available are the nuclear-red blanched crap, and frankly I'd prefer the real thing.

To that end, what kind of cherries should I use in making my own Luxardo Cherries? Something sweet or a bit more sour? Then just soak them in some maraschino liqueur, a bit of spice, and some simple syrup?

MatteoLuxardo49 karma

Our cherries are usually always available online. They're up on Amazon right now. https://www.amazon.com/Luxardo-Gourmet-Maraschino-Cherries-400g/dp/B001CDOBCM

As for making your own, I would recommend the cherries from Washington they are nice.

ChiUnit4evr20 karma

Hello Matteo! First off I want to say that your family's cherries has forever ruined me for pretty much any other brand. How do you feel when you're out to a bar and you see they only have the nuclear red fake cherries at the bar? Do you keep a small jar of cherries with you at all times?

MatteoLuxardo33 karma

First of all thank you. When I see the red cherries at a bar I try to explain to the bartender that there are better cherries out there :). At home yes, I do always have cherries around.

HyperWindKun18 karma

What's your favourite drink?

MatteoLuxardo43 karma

Luxardo Amaretto Sour - I like sour cocktails. I also really like The Last Word as well.

fido_mccokefiend16 karma

I'm going to need a recipe for this, sounds amazing

MatteoLuxardo46 karma

2 parts Luxardo Amaretto, 1 part fresh lemon juice and 1 egg white and a spoonful lemon sorbet. When you add the lemon sorbet it helps stick to your tongue so the flavor lasts longer.

troglodytes8218 karma

My favorite cocktail is a Last Word and my wife's is an Rye Old Fashioned with the simple sugar halved and replaced with Luxardo. Needless to say we go through a bit of your product and its wonderful.

How do you maintain that cherry flavor post fermentation distillation as opposed to something like Kirschwasser which is a cherry liquor that doesn't resemble its original fruits flavor?

MatteoLuxardo21 karma

it is a long process, it takes 4 years for the production of the Marashino, infusion, distillation and aeging

PRAISEninJAH11 karma

Hello Matteo, Thank you for coming here today.

Have you seen an rise in your American market business over the past decade?

I am closely tied with the high-end cocktail scene in our city, and your cherries and liqueurs are a staple inventory item at every bar. There has been a resurgence of classic cocktails (sometimes called pre-prohibition cocktails in America) in America over the past 10 years or so - many of which feature your products. I am curious if the resurgence of these bars and drinks has dramatically effected your business.

Additionally, what percentage of your business does the American market represent?

MatteoLuxardo21 karma

Yes we have definitely seen a rise in the American market over the past decade due to the resurgence of classic cocktails. The US market represents roughly 15% of our business.

BluEyedLass11 karma

I bought your cherries on a whim for Manhattans and I will never buy those bright red cherries ever again.

How does it feel to change the way people think about a simple cherry in their drinks?

MatteoLuxardo7 karma

we give people an healthy alternative.....

Monkey_Tamer9 karma

I use your cherries, maraschino liqueur, and triplum in cocktails; all of them are great. Do you have any other favorites I should add to my bar?

MatteoLuxardo17 karma

Sangue Morlacco - it's a cherry liqueur made with the juice of the marasca cherries which is fermented for 8 months.

Monkey_Tamer8 karma

Sangue Morlacco sounds great, any cocktails you would recommend with it?

MatteoLuxardo19 karma

The blood and sand is great. You can also pour a little of it in your favorite beer for a cherry shandy.

GKrollin8 karma

What are your thoughts on some of the other "name brand craft" cherries like Woodfords or Makers? What do you do that they don't or vice versa?

MatteoLuxardo24 karma

We are different from the other cherries, we are not better and not worse but we are different we are tastier and 100% nature, it is up to you to choose which you prefer.

Zohren7 karma

Though it may be hard to find, your amaretto is absolutely delicious and by far my favorite. Keep it up.

I just wanted to say thank you, but since this is an AMA and I have to ask a question, what is your favorite way to prepare amaretto?

MatteoLuxardo11 karma

two fingers of amaretto luxardo in a glass a ice cube and a quarter of a lemon squeeze inside

all_the_sex1 karma

Do you think you'll stay with the company until you retire?

MatteoLuxardo4 karma

Yes I will die in office haha.

bam7071 karma

How long, from start to finish, does it take to produce a jar of Luxardo cherries?

MatteoLuxardo1 karma

From start to finish it only takes a few weeks until it's ready to be packaged and sold.

_____FUCK_YOU_____1 karma

Do you grow your own cherries? How long is the process to go from normal cherry to maraschino cherry? Do you have a favorite non-alcoholic drink you can suggest?

MatteoLuxardo3 karma

We do grow our cherries. Once a cherry is picked, we take out the pit and we candy them for a few weeks before they're ready to be packaged.

I like sour cherry juice syrup and milk. It tastes like a smoothie.

lovethellama1 karma

Has the process changed over the years or it pretty much the same with updated equipment? Also is there a history of the company posted somewhere? I feel like it would be an interesting read.

MatteoLuxardo2 karma

It's the same process, really not much has changed. You can learn more about our history here: http://www.luxardo.it/company/history.html

iamkdot0 karma

how many one armed clapping push ups can you do?

MatteoLuxardo3 karma

Zero.