20 Best Kirsch Liqueur Substitutes for Baking & Cooking

Kirsch is favored for its unique tart-like taste that goes well with delicious baking, cocktails like Ladyfinger, Florida, and Rose, and most important, Fondue.

If you don’t have Kirschwasser in hand; or trying to cut alcohol from the dish, don’t worry about the recipe you will make. Whatever the reason is- try Kirsch Liqueur substitutes instead.

All alternatives are easily encountered and affordable; it also goes well with either Fondue or any chocolaty cake or the cocktail you try to form; also, you can enjoy it as a digestif. The best part is that I listed both alcoholic and non-alcoholic substitutes for kirsch.

You can make your own, from fresh cherry juice to cognac, fruit brandy, and my secret recipe, so you never run out of Kirsh ever.

Let’s check all the kirschwasser alternatives and choose according to your taste.

See At A Glance

What can I use instead of kirsch? 

 When it comes to cherry flavor liqueur, there is an endless option you got. So for Kirsch, you can use any cherry liqueur for dessert, French Eau de vie, Fruit brandy, Champagne, Cognac, Cherry flavored vodka, Cherry brandy, Himbeeer geist, white wine, etc.

Come to non-alcoholic Kirsch substitutes are tart cherry juice, grape juice, cherry jam, My DIY tricks, and homemade version.

19 Best Kirsch Liqueur Substitutes

1. CHERRY LIQUEUR- Best Substitute for kirschwasser 

As you know, Kirsch is a type of cherry liqueur that is often used in recipes. If you do not have kirsch on hand, you can substitute cherry liqueur in its place. Just keep in mind that the flavor of the dish will be slightly different.

cherry liqueur is one of the best substitute for kirschwasser

Cherry liqueur is sweeter than kirsch, so that it will change the flavor profile of the dish slightly. Use a less amount of cherry liqueur as you would kirsch. Use 1/2 amount of cherry liqueur for every tablespoon of Kirsch.

2. EAU DE VIE – Similar profile to Kirsch.

Eau de Vie is a french colorless fruit brandy. It is available in different flavors. You can use it in traditional french recipes. An eau de vie is typically served cold as a digestif.

To make a substitution, use an equal amount of eau de vie. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 ounce of kirsch, use 1 ounce of eau de vie.

3. FRUIT BRANDY -Most Common Alternative to Kirsch in Baking

Fruit brandy is a type of spirit made by distilling fermented fruit juice. It can be made from any type of fruit but is most commonly made with grapes, apples, or plums.

Fruit brandies are typically sweeter and less alcoholic than other types of spirits like vodka or whiskey.

Fruit brandies can be used in a variety of ways. They make a great addition to cocktails or can be sipped independently. Fruit brandies can also be used in cooking to add flavor to dishes.

If you’re looking for a fruit brandy that is smooth and flavorful, try one of the many options from France. French fruit brandies are some of the best globally and offer a wide range of flavors to choose from.

For something a little different, try a fruit brandy from Germany or Austria. These brandies tend to be slightly dryer than their French counterparts and often have more complex flavor profiles.

In general, you can substitute any clear fruit brandy for kirsch. The one thing to remember is that the more expensive brandies are usually made from more expensive fruit, so you may not want to use a top-shelf brandy unless it’s for a special or more upscale dish.


Himbeergeist is a famous German and french fruit spirit made with raspberries which are similar to Kirsch. It has a high alcohol content and a strong, fruity flavor.

Himbeergeist is typically served as an after-dinner drink or as a digestif. It can be enjoyed on its own or mixed with other beverages to create cocktails. Himbeergeist can also be used in cooking and is often added to desserts or used as a flavoring for cakes and other baked goods.

Himbeergeist is a popular choice for those who enjoy fruit-flavored spirits, and it makes an excellent addition to any home bar. If you’re looking for a unique and delicious way to enjoy your favorite spirits, Himbeergeist is definitely worth trying.

5. Try CHERRY BRANDY instead of Kirsch for Dessert

Cherry brandy is a great alternative to kirsch because it has a similar flavor profile. Cherry brandy is made from fermented and distilled cherries, so it has a strong flavor that can be overwhelming if not used properly.

Cherry brandy is a delicious and refreshing drink that can be enjoyed on its own as an after-dinner drink or as an ingredient in cocktails.

It is made by infusing cherries in brandy, and the resulting liqueur is sweet and fruity with a distinct cherry flavor. 

Cherry brandy is a popular choice for making mixed drinks and desserts; If you are looking for a unique and flavorful liqueur, cherry brandy is a great option.

6.Kirsch Substitute CHAMBORD 

The Chambord is a French liqueur made with blackberries, raspberries, and vanilla. It is sweet and fruity, with a slightly tart finish. It can be enjoyed on its own or mixed into cocktails.

The Chambord is named after the Château de Chambord in the Loire Valley, France. The liqueur was first produced in the early 1980s. It is now produced by the Brown-Forman Corporation.

The Chambord is available in a variety of sizes, including mini bottles and larger bottles for sharing. It can be purchased online or at select liquor stores.

The Chambord is an excellent option if you’re looking for a unique liqueur to add to your home bar. It’s perfect for sipping on its own or mixing into cocktails.

7. COGNAC – A Great Replacement for kirschwasser 

Cognac is a French brandy produced in the Cognac region of southwestern France. It is made from white wine that has been distilled twice and aged in oak barrels for at least two years.

Cognac is typically served as an after-dinner drink, but it can also be enjoyed on its own or mixed with other drinks.

When shopping for cognac, it is important to look for a reputable brand with a good reputation. There are numerous other brands of cognac, so it is essential to do some research before purchasing.

Cognac should be stored in a cool, dark place. It should not be exposed to sunlight or heat, as this can cause the cognac to lose its flavor.

Cognac is best enjoyed at room temperature or slightly chilled. It should not be served too cold, as this can mute the flavors of the cognac.

8. Substitute CHERRY VODKA for Kirsch

Cherry Vodka is one of my favorite substitutions for kirsch in baking and flavoring for desserts.

It has a similar intense flavor. I love to use it in cherry pies and tarts or even just to flavor some simple sugar cookies. It adds a lovely depth of savor to any baked good.

cherry vodka is a widely used cooking ingredient which is a better alternative for kirsch liqueur

Cherry vodka can be used to make a range of delicious cocktails, from the classic Cosmopolitan to the more unusual Cherry Sour. Simply mixed with soda water or lemonade is also great for a refreshing summer drink.

So if you are searching for a delicious way to add some cherry flavor to your life, then cherry vodka is the way to go!


Dry white wine is a type of wine with very little or no sugar. It is usually made from grapes that are not very sweet, such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Pinot Grigio.

Dry white wines are usually lighter in the body than other types of wine, and they can have a refreshing, acidic taste. Some people find that dry white wines are easier to drink than other types of wine because they do not have a sweet taste.

Dry white wines can be enjoyed on their own or with food. They pair well with light meals such as salads and fish dishes. If you are serving a dry white wine with a heavier meal, you may want to choose a wine with a higher alcohol content so that it will not be overwhelmed by the food.

If you are glancing for a dry white wine to drink on its own, you may want to try a Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay. If you are searching for a dry white wine to pair with food, you may want to try a Pinot Grigio.

Check More- Best Dry White Wine Substitutes


This liqueur is made with the yellow plums grown in Alsace, in the region around the city of Strasbourg. The fruit is harvested in early September and then macerated in alcohol for several weeks. This liqueur has a golden color and a delicate flavor that is both sweet and tart. It is typically served as an after-dinner drink or as an aperitif.

The Mirabelle plum is often used in jams and preserves, as well as in liqueurs and brandies. The highest quality Mirabelle plums are used for the production of this liqueur.

The alcohol content of this liqueur is typically between 20 and 30 percent ABV. It is generally served in a small glass and is often enjoyed after dinner as a digestif. This liqueur can also be used in cocktails or as an ingredient in baked goods.



  • -1 liter bottle of vodka
  • -1 quart of strawberries, hulled and halved
  • -1 quart of raspberries
  • -1 quart of blueberries
  • -1/2 cup of sugar


1. Combine the berries and sugar in a large bowl and mix well.

2. Pour the berries into a clean liter bottle of vodka.

3. Seal the bottle and store it in a cool, dark place for at least 2 weeks, shaking occasionally.

4. Taste the mixture after 2 weeks and add more sugar if desired.

5. Store the berry vodka mix for up to 6 months. Serve over ice or in cocktails.

12. CHAMPAGNE – A Decent Kirsch Liqueur Alternate in Savory dishes

Champagne is another good alternative to kirsch. It will go well with a variety of other dishes.

Champagne is a sparkling wine produced in the Champagne region of France. It is made from a blend of white grape varieties and is typically dry, with high acidity and a yeasty flavor.

You can add Champagne as an ingredient in sauces, soups, and even desserts. Champagne can also be used to deglaze a pan or to make a sparkling wine reduction. 

If you want to add a little bit of sweetness to your fondue, you can use Champagne alternatives also. It will also add a light and sparkling touch to your dish. Just be careful not to add too much, as it can make the fondue overly sweet.

Kirsch substitute non-alcoholic


Use preserved cherry instead of kirsch. It is a superb option for individuals looking for a non-alcoholic substitute.

14. CHERRY JUICE- Easy Accessible Non-Alcoholic Substitute for kirschwasser 

Kirsch is a cherry-flavored liqueur that is traditionally used in this recipe. If you want to make a recipe non-alcoholic, just omit the kirsch and substitute an equal amount of cherry juice.

Cherry juice can be used in a variety of recipes, including:

-Cooking: Cherry juice can be used as a natural sweetener in many recipes. It can also be used to add flavor and color to dishes.

-Baking: Cherry juice can be used in place of water or milk in many baking recipes. It can also be used to moisten cakes or add flavor to pies.

-Dessert: Cherry juice can be used to make a variety of desserts, including cherry sauce, cherry pie, and cherry ice cream.

-Cocktail: Cherry juice can be used to make various cocktails, including the classic Shirley Temple.

Just add a little bit of cherry juice to the recipe until you reach the desired flavor.

15. DIY Non Alcoholic kirschwasser Replacement for Dessert

Substitute 1/2 tsp almond extract + 1/4 tsp vanilla extract for every tablespoon of kirsch called for in your recipe.

· This substitution works best with chocolate-based desserts like brownies or chocolate cake because it adds depth and richness without being too sweet.

If you want something more tart, try using 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice instead of the kirsch liqueur called for in your recipe (this substitution works best with fruit-based desserts).

If you’re looking to add some sweetness without adding much flavor at all, simply replace the liquid portion of your recipe with water or milk – this will make sure that whatever you end up making doesn’t taste watered down!

16. Use GRAPE JUICE Replace Kirsch

To make a Kirsch substitute using grape juice, mix together one part grape juice and one part vodka. If you want a sweeter Kirsch, add a little sugar to taste. For a more tart Kirsch, add a little lemon juice.

Enjoy your Kirsch substitute in any drink recipe that calls for the real thing!


To make a cherry brandy filling, substitute cherry jam for a kirschwasser. Cook the cherries and sugar together until the mixture thickens, then add a little bit of cornstarch to help it set.

Once it’s cooled, spread it into the tart shell before adding the whipped cream topping.

Read More- Best substitutes for Rum Extract

How to make kirsch at home

Kirsch is a type of fruit brandy that is made from cherries. It tastes sweet and tangy and is frequently used in cocktails or as a dessert wine.

You can make kirsch at home by following these steps:


  • 1. Cherries (washed and stems removed) – 4 Lbs
  • 2. Water – 4 L
  • 3. Sugar – 2 Lbs (for every 4 lbs of cherries used)
  • 4. Pot
  • 5. Blender
  • 6. Strainer or Cheese Cloth
  • 7. Pot
  • 8. Base Alcohol – 1 L (80 proof/40 abv)
  • 9. Distillation Column with Head, Liebig Condenser
  • 10. Aging – 6+ Months
  • 11. Bottle


1. Start by selecting fresh, ripe cherries.

2. Wash the cherries and remove the stems.

3. Place the cherries in a large pot and cover them with water.

4. Bring the pot to a boil and then simmer for about 30 minutes.

5. Remove the pot from heat and let it cool slightly.

6. Pour the cherries and their juice into a blender and blend until smooth.

7. Strain the juice through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth to remove the solids.

8. Use an equal amount of sugar in place of the cherry juice, and follow the same steps to create a syrup.

9. Use this syrup in place of the cherry juice when you add it to your base alcohol for fermentation.

10. Let the mixture ferment until it has finished, then follow the steps for distillation to create your homemade kirsch.

11. Bottle and store your kirsch in a cool, dark place. Give it at least six months to ferment and mature before using it or give it as a gift.

12. Repeat the process with other fruits to create your own fruit brandies and liqueurs, or use this same process with commercial fruit juices to create your flavored liqueurs.

To make kirsch at home without alcohol, you will need:

1) Kirschwasser or other brandy-based eau de vie

2) Cherries, preferably sour Morello cherries

3) Sugar

4) Lemon juice

5) A large jar or container with a lid

The steps are as follows:

1) Pour the kirsch and cherries into the jar or container. The jar should be at least half full. If you are using a container without a lid, make sure to use a plate or some other weight to keep the fruit submerged.

2) Add sugar to taste. Begin with 1/2 cup and count more if needed. Stir until the sugar dissolves.

3) Add lemon juice to taste, approximately 1 tablespoon. 4) Seal the jar or container and store for at least one month before using.

During fermentation, the cherries will gradually turn from red to a deep burgundy color. After fermentation is complete, strain out the cherries using a sieve. The resultant mixture should have the consistency of syrup.

5) Enjoy over ice cream, in punches or other drinks, or as a sweet dessert sauce, e.g., on top of chocolate cake or pancakes.

What is kirsch liquor? What does kirsch liqueur taste like?

Kirsch is a colorless clear sour cherry brandy-based liquor. In Germany, kirschwasser usually refers to pure distilled spirits containing only water and ethanol. However, in the US, it is usually referred to as a cherry-flavored liqueur.

What does kirsch liqueur taste like?

Kirsch tastes like a cross between real cherries and cherry liqueurs with a touch of almond and vanilla. Its flavor completely depends on which type of cherry is used.

Morello cherries give a tangy, sour taste, while the sweeter morello cherry liqueurs such as the famous Hungarian “Szilvásgombóc” can also be called kirsch.

Some recipes use sweet cherries and almonds to make a kirsch-like liqueur that is not actually made from the fruit of the plant.

What is similar to kirsch? 

Kirschwasser is a clear, colorless fruit brandy made from fermented sour cherries. Elderberries are closely related in terms of their flavor to kirsch. Also, Red Amarelle cherry is similar to the taste.

Substitute for Kirsch for baking

There are plenty of substitutes that can use in baking

  • · Cherry Vodka
  • · Cherry Juice
  • · Fruit Brandy
  • · Himbeergeist
  • · My DIY Recipe

What can I use instead of cherry liqueur for Black Forest Cake?

One possible substitution for cherry liqueur in Black Forest Cake is Kirschwasser, a cherry brandy.

Why is Kirsch used in fondue?

The most likely reason is that Kirsch is used in fondue because it has a high alcohol content which makes the cheese pottery more durable (due to alcohol’s low boiling point).

Best kirsch for fondue

In the case of chocolate fondue, the best kirsch is definitely dark Kirsch. This has an intense flavor that perfectly complements the chocolate as well as the cream.

Dark kirsch will not only enhance the taste of chocolate fondue but also does not contain any alcohol, which means that it will not curdle milk even if water is added.

Wrap Up On Substitution for Kirsch Liqueur for Cooking

You know how Kirsch gives a deep cherry flavor and is high in alcohol content. To make a substitution-black forest cake, uses cognac and cherry brandy and non-alcoholic DIY and Cherry Juice instead of the Kirschwasser.

For fondue, try using Champagne and Cherry Vodka as an alternative. For Cocktails, you can use any of these.

FAQs Related To Kirsch Liqueur & Its Alternatives 

Q1. Is cherry liqueur the same as kirsch?

The two beverages are pretty similar, but there are a few key distinctions. Cherry liqueur is typically made with a blend of sweet and sour cherries, while kirsch is made with tart cherries.

Additionally, kirsch is often distilled twice while cherry liqueur is not. This gives kirsch a more potent flavor and aroma.

Generally, the cherry liqueur is served as a cordial. It’s often used in mixed drinks and desserts. Kirsch can be enjoyed as a cordial, but it is also frequently sipped neat. Nonetheless, kirsch can be used in mixed drinks and desserts as well.

Q2. Is maraschino liqueur the same as Kirsch?

It is not the same. Maraschino liqueur is one of those spirits made to taste the same all year. It is not made with wine or fruit that vary from harvest to harvest.

Instead, it is created by infusing neutral spirits with a complex mix of ingredients that includes sugar, caramel coloring, and small amounts of juniper berries and other spices. It is sweet but not cloying.

In terms of taste, maraschino liqueur is closer to cherry-flavored vodka than the fruitier Kirschwasser.

On the other hand, Kirsch is made from tart black cherries and fermented cherry juice. While it is not a liqueur because it contains less sugar, kirschwasser does share maraschino’s cherry-brandy base. But, it is not as sweet and has a more intense flavor. Try best Maraschino substitutes

Q3. Is cherry brandy a good substitute for kirsch?

Kirschwasser is not made from cherries but rather the fermented juice of morello cherries. It is clear in texture and has a strong bitter-almond flavor which makes it an excellent digestif.

The name kirschwasser, which means “cherry water,” comes from the fact that this brandy was originally made by soaking morello cherries in water.

Cherry brandy is a liqueur made from either black or sweet (also known as “bitter”) cherries. It is brown in color and has a sweet flavor with obvious cherry notes. Cherry brandy does not have the same bitter almond flavor that kirschwasser does.

So, in conclusion, cherry brandy is a good substitute for kirsch as it does have the same flavor.

Q4. Can you make a black forest cake without Kirsch?

The answer to both is yes! You can prepare a vegan version of this cake with aquafaba instead.

For the unfamiliar, aquafaba is the liquid produced when cooking legumes.

Q5. Can brandy be substituted for Kirsch?

Yes, brandy can be substituted for Kirsch. You can use brandy in the place of kirsch for making jelly if you like, no problem at all.

Q6. kirsch liqueur, where to buy?

Kirsch (also known as Kirschwasser and Kirsch) is a cherry brandy made from double distillation of the fermented juice of a sour morello cherry (also known as wild or pie cherry).

If you can’t find kirsch in the liquor store, kirschwasser is also available in most large grocery stores, in either the import beer section or near other cordials and liqueurs. You can also buy kirsch online.

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