Best Substitutes For Maraschino Liqueur

9 Best Substitutes For Maraschino Liqueur in 2022

Maraschino liqueur, with its subtle sweetness and subtle sourness, is an unusually flavored and pleasantly refreshing component. Since it has a neutral flavor, it can be used in savory and sweet dishes as well as cocktails.

Though, and there is a huge but, it is quite challenging to locate. Because of the limited supply, products sell out quickly in stores once they become available.

To that end, what are some good alternatives to maraschino liqueur? To begin, you must settle on a target for replacement. Does it have something to do with the taste, the function, or the booze? Then, choose a suitable alternative. Amaretto, Cherry Heering, Kirsch, and cherry syrup are a few of our favorites.

These are just some of the many possibilities we’ll explore today. We’ll talk about the criteria for selecting the ideal substitute for your recipe, as well as the specifics of when and how to utilize each one.

What Is Maraschino Liqueur?

Are you familiar with maraschino cherries? However, maraschino liqueur is an alcohol-based beverage with a similar flavor. Maraschino liqueur is made from Marasca cherries. These are distinct varieties of cherry that are petite, round, and juicy. When consumed raw, they have a distinctively sweet and somewhat tangy flavor profile.

As you may be aware, however, most maraschino products available today are quite sweet. This liquor likely originated in Croatia in the sixteenth century. Obviously, the method for producing maraschino liqueur has evolved significantly throughout the years. Currently, the method closely resembles brandy production.

The Marasca cherries, together with their pits and stalks, are pulverized. This combination is macerated in alcohol. The precise type of alcohol base relies on the preferences of the manufacturer.

Typically, the mixture is distilled in copper pot stills or oak barrels. After the process of distillation is complete, the mixture is combined with simple syrup and diluted to the proper bottling strength. The liquor may also be combined with honey, herbs, and spices, among other flavors.

What Does Maraschino Liqueur Taste Like?

This liqueur is truly one-of-a-kind. Today, there aren’t many makers of maraschino liqueur; the largest ones are likely Maraska and Luxardo. However, the only thing the many goods (although a few) share is a cherry flavor. This liqueur has a very broad flavor profile, however maraschino liqueur should have a strong cherry flavor. These liqueurs are all relatively sweet as well. The precise quantity of sweetness, however, varies widely.

Some taste more like syrup, while others have sweeter undertones. The majority of these liqueurs also have a sour flavor. This flavor is generated by the addition of pits and stems during the maceration process. Almonds, honey, and sweet herbs are among common flavors found in this liquor. Depending on the product, you may find more specific herbs and spices.

Where Can You Find Maraschino Liqueur?

The issue starts right here. It is difficult to find maraschino liqueur because there aren’t many producers of it, especially in places where cherry don’t grow. Therefore, searching online is always your best bet. Yet again, depending on where it originates, it might not arrive where you are. Then, you can also check your neighborhood bottle shop (liquor store). They could have some on hand, but it’s frequently rather expensive. So, as a result of all of these issues, more individuals are searching for alternatives. Fortunately, there are lots of them!

Choosing The Best Substitute For Maraschino Liqueur

Even if there are several Maraschino liqueur choices, not all of them are appropriate for all occasions. What if you want to turn a maraschino cocktail into a mocktail? It’s pointless to go with an alcoholic alternative.

Next, you might be surprised to learn that maraschino liqueur isn’t a bright crimson liquid – it’s actually transparent! So, if you’re baking a white maraschino liqueur cake, you can’t use a bright red replacement.

These are just a few instances of things to think about before picking something at random. So, let’s have a look at some other crucial elements to consider while looking for a maraschino liqueur substitute.


Flavor is likely the most crucial factor to consider when selecting a replacement. In any case, why use maraschino liqueur if you’re not looking for a cherry flavor?

So, for instance, you could change it with any other fruit liqueur, and it would work quite well. They include alcohol, likely have a similar consistency, and are available in transparent hues.

However, they will not possess the cherry flavor! In this situation, you should consider alternative cherry-flavored alcoholic beverages, such as Kirsch or Cherry Heering.

You must also examine additional considerations. Choose a maraschino cherry syrup or cherry-flavored cocktail syrup if you’re seeking for an alcohol-free cherry-flavored option.

In order to achieve the desired flavor, it may be necessary to make certain sacrifices (such as color and consistency). If you care less about an authentic maraschino flavor, any of the alternatives listed below will suffice.


Many individuals favor the clear maraschino liqueur over other cherry-flavored goods because of its lack of color. If this describes you, a maraschino cherry extract or similar product is the next best thing. If you want something a little different in flavor, try a clear liqueur. Cherry syrups are commonly red in hue. More possibilities will be available to you if you don’t mind if your recipe turns out a different shade.


This is not always applicable to all situations. But, let’s imagine you are mixing a cocktail. You add maraschino liqueur, which naturally increases the volume. If you replace it with an extract (for which you require only a couple drops), you will need to boost volume in another way.

Substituting a syrup for the liqueur’s watery consistency is a different way of looking at it. The syrup will not combine with the cocktail’s other ingredients. Thus, it cannot serve as a substitute. Consider the purposes of the maraschino liqueur in the recipe before selecting a replacement.

A syrup can be used in cakes and baked products if it is diluted. However, it will not work in cocktails or cold desserts, as it will not mix with the other ingredients.

Alcohol Level

Naturally, if you do not want the alternative to contain alcohol, select one that does not. There are numerous options available. One thing we must emphasize is that the alcohol content of extracts and essences must be considered. These are frequently manufactured with alcohol bases, which may be harmful to some persons.

Availability And Price

Last but not least, don’t spend a fortune on a substitute. There is really no reason to spend extra money on a substitute if the cost of the original ingredient is already high. The only exception is if you want to use it for a variety of purposes. If you use this liqueur to mix cocktails, it might be worthwhile to spend money on a high-quality, pleasant substitute. However, if it’s simply for baking and frying, choose a more reasonably priced alternative.

Best Substitutes For Maraschino Liqueur

Without further ado, here are our favorite maraschino liqueur substitutions. As always, we’ve included a variety of solutions to meet your every requirement!

1. Amoretti Premium Syrup, Amaretto

Due to its distinctive flavor, amaretto is a liqueur that deserves much more recognition. This Italian liqueur is created from tart cherries. Because of this, it is obviously much less sweet than the majority of maraschino liqueurs and has a primarily sour flavor. It also has that distinctive almond flavor though!

It’s simple to repair the lack of sweetness, and it’s worth the extra work to achieve the true cherry flavor. Simply add more sugar syrup to whatever recipe you use.

Amaretto is a fantastic alternative that is widely available and reasonably priced. It will perform similarly to maraschino liqueur and has a comparable consistency. The major drawback is that it has an amber color that will change how your finished product turns out.

2. Cherry Heering Liqueur

The only reason Cherry Heering isn’t our first choice is that it’s more difficult to find and often more expensive than Amaretto. However, if you can get your hands on any, it’s definitely worth the money. Cherry Heering has a significantly richer flavor profile than your typical maraschino liqueur, but it’s delicious. Sweet flavors dominate, with flowery and fruity overtones. There is also an almond flavor with traces of wood. This option has a wonderful deep red color, which some people dislike. However, it will function in the same way as Amaretto.

3. Torani Syrup, Cherry

Cherry syrup is readily accessible, affordable, and alcohol-free. This option has the disadvantage of usually always being red and having a thicker consistency. Now, there is little you can do about the color red. However, you can change the syrup’s consistency to incorporate it into your dishes! In most instances, you can heat the syrup slightly to make it more pourable.

It will ultimately thicken, but in recipes like as baked products, this is irrelevant. And with drinks — well, let’s be straightforward. You will likely complete it before it solidifies again! Cherry-flavored simple syrup, cherry-flavored cocktail syrup, or cherry syrup may also be used (which is concentrated cherries).

4. Opies Black Cherries & Kirsch

Germans use Morello cherries in place of Masacra to create Kirsch, their liquor of choice. This alternative shares the same clear appearance of maraschino liqueur. It shares a similar sweet-and-sour flavor profile with a hint of almond.

Kirsch’s acidic nuances are what set it apart from other wines. This occurs because of the natural fermentation of the cherries. When it comes to sour flavors, some people really dig them while others can’t stand them at all.

Those who are curious about Kirsch but unsure of what to anticipate should start with a modest bottle. It’s possible that you’ll like it even better than maraschino liqueur.

5. De Kuyper Cherry Brandy Liqueur

Cherry brandy is ineffective if you dislike the taste of brandy, whiskey, or bourbon. It is not quite as potent as the unflavored versions, but the brandy flavors are robust. If you enjoy these alcoholic beverages, you must try cherry-flavored brandy! It is particularly effective in desserts such as fruit cake.

Compared to even the least sweet maraschino liqueur, the sweetness of this alternative is incredibly subdued. However, you can change the amount of sugar in the recipe to compensate. Rich and slightly sweet, with cherry flavors that predominate.

6. Riedel Bar Vinum Crystal Port Wine Glass

Port wine may seem unusual to wine specialists since it tastes nothing like cherries. This is correct, however it is not the reason why this alternative works. First, even though you don’t always notice it, port wine contains quite strong cherry scents. Some port wines do have cherry undertones, but not all.

This wine works well as a substitute for cherry liqueur because it is equally sweet and has somewhat butter characteristics. It contains berry undertones, making it excellent as a substitute in baked goods. It provides volume, moisture, flavor, and alcohol, of course. Port wine is widely available and reasonably priced around the world.

7. Au Vodka Red Cherry

The idea behind cherry-flavored brandy and cherry-flavored vodka is identical. However, it is even simpler to locate and frequently more economical. Why then is it rated lower than cherry brandy?

We believe cherry brandy provides a flavor to your food that vodka simply cannot match. The greatest vodka alternative for drinks is cherry vodka.

This substitute is still quite cherry-flavored and frequently a little sweet. Even some types of vodka contain a small tartness, which can contribute to a more well-rounded flavor profile.

8. Cherry Extract

Cherry extract is an excellent way to add pure maraschino cherry flavour. The main disadvantage is that its form is absolutely different. Maraschino extract is a very concentrated mixture that requires only a drop or two. As a result, you lose the volume that is most likely required for the dish. So, how do you go about fixing this? Add more fluids in the most appropriate form.

Assume you’re baking a cake. Add 1-2 drops of cherry extract, as well as more milk, water, or unflavored vodka (or other liquid that won’t affect the structure of the cake). The cake would have gotten dense if you had added oil.

If you’re making cocktails, increase the amount of any other liquid that’s already in the recipe. If constructing a maraschino and gin drink, add more mixers in addition to the extract. This option is simple, but you will need to make changes to your recipe.

9. De Kuyper Cherry Brandy Liqueur

In conclusion, you need not go to the trouble of brewing your own cherry liqueur; it is entirely possible to manufacture your own in the comfort of your own house. The recipe calls for 24 ounces of pitted cherries, 3 cups of vodka, and 8 ounces of sugar. Put everything in a sealed glass jar and shake vigorously to dissolve the sugar. The jar should be stored in a cool, dark place for 8 weeks after being sealed.

This takes a considerable amount of time. But if you use maraschino liqueur for baking frequently, this is a fantastic low-cost option. There are also many detailed recipes available, each providing an explanation of the steps involved.

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