Cherry Heering is a Danish cherry-flavored liqueur or brandy made from Stevens cherries, neutral grain spirit, and spices.
Cherry Heering is deep-red, syrupy, and tastes of sweet cherries and bitter almond.
It’s loved by bartenders and chefs around the world as one of the best cherry spirits, either on its own or as an essential ingredient in cocktails, savory sauces, and baked sweets.
Cherry Heering can be substituted with Kirsch, cherry-flavored vodka, cherry extract, Amaretto, Port wine, and cherry brandy.
The best option depends on your preference of flavor notes and color.
The Best Substitute for Cherry Heering
The best Cherry Heering substitute is Luxardo Maraschino Originale because it tastes the most similar to Heering compared to other substitutes.
Luxardo Maraschino Originale matches Cherry Heering’s flavor profile. Both taste fruity and have a real-cherry flavor, and both liqueurs have a similar alcohol content (Cherry Heering is proof 48 and Luxardo is proof 64).
In place of Cherry Heering, serve Luxardo neat, in cocktails, as a wine- or cherry-based sauce to drizzle over pork, use in salad dressings, as an ice cream drizzle, or as a substitute for in a clafoutis de cerezas.
Luxardo and Cherry Heering have similar calorie counts, and similar prices.
Luxardo tastes slightly less of cherry, and has a bitterness that Cherry Heering lacks, so substitute using a ratio of 1:1 and don’t be shy with extra sweetener and fruits to accompany the Luxardo.
Other Cherry Heering Substitutes, Alternatives, and Replacements
There are several other Cherry Heering replacements or alternatives that are available in grocery stores and may already be in your kitchen cabinet.
Kirsch is a clear, dry Swiss spirit made from a distillation of sour cherries. Kirsch and Cherry
Heering have a nearly equal real-cherry flavor and almond aftertaste, though Kirsch is slightly more sour, and has a strong bitter aftertaste because it is made with cherry pits and Cherry Heering isn’t.
Chocolate baked recipes like Black Forest cake welcome the liqueur swap. Substitute Cherry Heering with Kirsch using a ratio of 1:1 if you don’t mind the bitter taste and lack of color. Or, use half Kirsch and half sweet cherry syrup instead of the same amount of Cherry Heering.
Depending on the brand, cherry-flavored vodka matches Cherry Heering’s sweet and tart cherry flavor with notes of vanilla.
Pinnacle Cherry is one brand of cherry-flavored vodka that offers a Maraschino flavor similar to Cherry Heering’s real-cherry taste.
Another popular option is Absolut Cherrys, for its sweet cherry flavor, slightly bitter floral notes, and zero sugar content.
Swap out Cherry Heering for a cherry-flavored vodka using a ratio of 1:1, and adding or substituting an extra splash of color and/or sweetness like cherry syrup.
If you’re looking for a Cherry Heering-like option with health benefits, cherry extract is a good choice. Cherry extract is similar to cherry-flavored vodka, but more natural.
Cherry extract is made by soaking cherries in alcohol to draw out their flavors. Some cherry extracts can be very bold, so use them sparingly.
Look for cherry extracts made with all-natural ingredients to get the truest cherry flavor, and nothing too artificial.
Look for an expiration date of within six months for the freshest aroma and flavor.
Besides achieving a close Cherry Heering-taste, ruby-red color, and similar alcohol content, cherry extracts offer health benefits including protecting your body from free radicals, and helping to prevent degenerative diseases like cataracts, Parkinson’s, and arteriosclerosis.
To substitute Cherry Heering with cherry extract, begin with a few drops and add more until you’ve reached the flavor you’re looking for.
Amaretto is a sweet and bitter Italian liqueur made from bitter almonds, or other fruit stones depending on the brand.
Amaretto’s bitter hint of almond and 21–28% alcohol by volume makes this liqueur a good substitute for Cherry Heering’s bitter almond flavor and 24% alcohol content.
Substitute Amaretto using a 1:1 ratio in recipes that call for Cherry Heering, especially as a compliment to chocolate in amber-colored mixed drinks, and pastries.
If Amaretto is too bitter for your taste and your recipe, balance it with an extra dash of sugar syrup, or combine with a splash of our recommended Luxardo Maraschino Originale.
Port wine is a fortified wine with a content of 17–20% alcohol, served as an aperitif and used in recipes for soups, desserts, and marinades.
The red, “Ruby” version of Port wine holds onto this wine’s woody, spicy aroma, with added flavors of chocolate and berry — a combination that subs in well for Cherry Heering’s earthy spice and tart cherry flavor, if you’re out.
Substitute Ruby Port wine for Cherry Heering at a 1:1 ratio in sauce recipes for roasted meats.
The term ‘brandy’ is often a catch-all term meaning ‘spirit made from distilled fruit,’ but in the US, cherry brandy is defined as a brandy sweetened with fruit, and must be ‘distilled solely from the fermented juice or mash of whole, sound, ripe fruit or from standard fruit wine.’
One of the best brands of cherry brandy is Bols, which of other cherry brandies, comes the closest to matching Cherry Heering’s slight almond flavor, and also matches in color and cherry taste. Other cherry brandies include DeKuyper’s and Seagram’s.
Cherry brandy isn’t always as sweet as Cherry Heering, so add some extra sugar syrup to your cocktails. Otherwise, substitute using a 1:1 ratio.