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Review: Tillen Farms Garnishes

tillen farms Bada Bing cherries

At long last high-quality Grenadine is widely available. (If you’re buying Rose’s — which is just red corn syrup — you’re missing out.)

But who mourns the death of the Maraschino cherry? Once a reference to a Croatian marasca cherry preserved in maraschino liqueur, Maraschino cherries are now chemical-laden monstrosities that remain a staple of even high-end bars.

Hey, you don’t have to have loads of FD&C Red #40 in your Maraschinos. Check out Washington-based Tillen Farms’ no-dye, no-corn syrup cherries, which we consider here alongside three other garnishes from these artisan producers. All of these products are alcohol-free.

UPDATE: Tillen Farms is offering all Drinkhacker readers 25% off on all purchases. Just use promo code “DRINKHACKER” at checkout on the tillenfarms.com website.

Tillen Farms Merry Maraschino Cherries – It’s hard to believe that these bright red orbs contain no red dye. Sweetened only with cane sugar, these are traditional Maraschinos: Very sugary (and sticky as hell) with just a dusting of fruit flavor underneath. There’s more depth here, though, than in the the typical Maraschino, and more importantly, no nasty, chemical aftertaste. A- / $7 per 14 oz. jar [BUY IT NOW FROM AMAZON]

Tillen Farms Bada Bing Cherries – When you’re ready to upgrade your cherry, jump for these bad boys: Real (and large) Bing cherries in syrup. The effect is much like a brandied cherry, without the alcohol. Rich, earthy, and a bit sour, these cherries are still plenty sweet enough to give a Shirley Temple a bit more pop. Great for a Manhattan, even better for muddled cocktails when you really want to amp up the flavor. A / $7 per 13.5 oz. jar [BUY IT NOW FROM AMAZON]

Tillen Farms Hot & Spicy Crispy Beans – These pickled green beans are obviously of high quality, with nary a blemish. Long and authentic, these string beans are pickled with lots of dill, garlic, and red pepper flakes. They pack a spicy punch, but not overbearingly so. Decent green bean flavor, too, but there’s not too much of it — which is probably for the best. B+ / $7 per 12 oz. jar [BUY IT NOW FROM AMAZON]

Tillen Farms Crispy Asparagus – Again, very high-quality, thin, and crispy asparagus spears are pickled with plenty of garlic. These are mild, however — a spicy version is available, too — and there’s a good balance between the vegetal character and the pickling spices, but the overall results are distinctly asparagus. Not bad at all, assuming, as with the beans, you’re using these in a Bloody Mary. One of the company’s two original products, dating back to 1984. B+ / $7 per 12 oz. jar [BUY IT NOW FROM AMAZON]


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Tillen Farms Bada Bing Cherries



Christopher Null

Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content company.

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  1. OCDrinker February 27, 2012

    While Tillen has quality cherries they are only available seasonally (at least on the Atlantic side). If they are dried up you should check out they should prove to be a superb compliment to your drink and a wallet-tamer to boot.


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