1778, "cherry liqueur," especially a type originating around Zara in Dalmatia, distilled from or flavored with marasca cherries, from Italian maraschino "strong, sweet liqueur made from juice of the marasca" (a bitter black cherry), a shortening of amarasca, from amaro "bitter," from Latin amārus "sour," from PIE root *om- "raw, bitter" (source also of Sanskrit amla- "sour, acid;" Old Norse apr "sharp, cold," Old English ampre "sour one").
They however have excellent Marasche, a kind of cherry, the nut of which gives a particular flavour to the spirituous liquor known by the name of Maraschino, of which a great quantity is distilled in Dalmatia, and especially at Zara by the Signori Carseniga. [Alberto Fortis, "Travels into Dalmatia," London, 1778]
Maraschino cherry, one preserved in real or imitation maraschino, is attested by 1894.
updated on November 21, 2018