9 Best Maraschino Liqueur Substitutes

Maraschino is one of the important ingredients used in cocktails like the Martinez. Due to the interesting flavor it possesses, it doesn’t seem easy to find a flavor that can replace it.

Although this cocktail is amazing, it is not readily available in many countries; hence the need for a substitute in several situations.

You can use a few substitutes in place of the maraschino liqueur, and we’re going to discuss all of them in this article.

Let’s get started!

Best Maraschino Liqueur Substitutes

Some of the very best substitutes you can find include;

1. Kirsch

Kitsch is a popular German drink that can serve as a perfect maraschino liqueur substitute because of the cherry it contains.

The major flavor for the maraschino liqueur is cherry. When cited from a glance, the kirsch has a similar outlook to the maraschino liqueur, which is a clear liquid.

The tangy taste of the kirsch is due to the fermentation of morello cherries through a whole fermentation process, and even with its tanginess, kirsch has an amazing taste that you can use in place of several maraschino dishes.

2. Cherry Heering

Another amazing substitute for maraschino liqueur is the cherry hearing that originally originates from Denmark. This liquor has a distinctive cherry taste that resembles that of the maraschino liquor due to the ingredients added to it.

To make this substitute, you would need a good amount of stevens cherries; ant cherries would do, but stevens cherries are very good, spices and neutral grain alcohol that would provide your drink with a sweet and somewhat bitter taste and a fresh flavor also.

If you need a substitute just because of its color, it wouldn’t be the best option because cherry hearing has a distinctive red color and doesn’t resemble the maraschino liqueur. Still, if its sweet flavor is what you seek, it would be the perfect substitute for you.

Due to its amazing taste, it is used in many famous cocktails like the “blood and sand Singapore sling,” and if you prefer a less sweet version, then you should go for a substitute that belongs to the true brandy line.

3. Cherry-Flavored Brandy (Sweetened)

The cherry-flavored is another great alternative that is suitable for cocktails and desserts. As its name implies, this option is brandy flavored with a few cherry notes that work well on a base spirit…

Although the cherry notes on this substitute are very obvious, the brandy flavor is also very well noticeable, making it an amazing mix of both flavors for you to enjoy. You can use this substitute with a mix of light alcohol ingredients and sweeteners like sugar for your cherry desserts.

See Also: 10 Best Substitutes for Challah Bread

4. Port Wine

Port wine can also be used in place of maraschino liqueur due to how similar its aroma is. Many people find this wine very similar to the maraschino wine in terms of looks also. This wine originates from Portugal, and since it has a sweet flavor, it is often considered a dessert drink.

Port wine is known to have a  woody and spicy aroma and taste, which is similar to the cherry hearing as it is also described as sweet with a few notes of bitterness.

There are two types of port wine- red and tawny-colored but whichever substitute you go for would do the trick. If it’s for cooking purposes, we advise you to go for the red port wine because it has a slightly lower taste.

5. Cherry-Flavored Vodka

If you are a lover of vodka, then this one is definitely for you, and what’s more, it is available in many liqueur stores. Vodka has an unsweetened cherry taste likened to that of the maraschino.

Since this substitute is not very sweet and you prefer a sweeter version, you should try out the pinnacle cherry substitute, which has a mild and tart flavor. You can use cherry-flavored vodka to substitute for maraschino in cocktails like Martinez and vodka.

6. Amaretto

Amaretto has a very similar taste to maraschino liqueur, but it seems to be underrated a lot due to its unpopularity.

This substitute is an Italian liqueur mixed with sour cherries to provide it with that tart and sweet taste. The dry taste of the liqueur and the cherries’ sweet taste combine to provide you with an amazing tasting drink.

7. Cherry Extracts

You are not a heavy drinker, but you love the maraschino liqueur for its amazing cherry taste. You can go directly and use the extracts from cherry as a substitute for maraschino liqueur. These extracts have a very strong cherry taste and a thick consistency.

Another amazing characteristic you would gain from using this substitute is that it does not possess the bitterness or dryness most liqueurs tend to come with.

When substituting, use just a few drops of cherry extract, and if it seems too strong, you can dilute it in water before using it.

8. Cherry Syrup

The cherry syrup is a non-alcoholic substitute for maraschino liqueur. If you want to prepare a dish for your friends or family during the holidays, this is the best substitute.

Cherry syrup is easy to get because it is mostly available in local supermarkets and sometimes in local stores.

The consistency of the cherry syrup is condensed and possesses a deep red color, and when it is tasted, it has a sweet and sharp taste of sourness.

When shopping for cherry syrup, you should check the bottle properly and ensure that there are no added preservatives before buying it.

See Also: 8 Best Coconut Vinegar Substitutes

9. Homemade Cherry Liqueur

So, what if you can’t get any maraschino substitutes out there? You can make your cherry liqueur from scratch. For this recipe, you’d need cherries, vodka, and sugar. For the recipe procedure;

  • Firstly, you have to prepare the cherries by using a cherry pitter to remove the cherry’s pit and take out the cherry liqueur in a glass jar.
  • After all your cherry have been contained in the jar, you can now add your vodka and sugar or whatever sweetener you want to make use of and shake the mixture.
  • After this has been done, you can tighten the lid and leave the mixture in a cool and dark place for about eight weeks.
  • After these eight weeks have gone by, you can now take it out; you’d see that your previous mixture has separated into solid paste-like and syrup-like parts.
  • You can now leave the sugar syrup and let it age for about eight weeks more and use the paste-like part.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Maraschino Liqueur?

Maraschino liqueur is a liqueur that is made from the best cherries you can get. It originated from the coast of Croatia and has a clear color when seen from the outside. It tends to be a bit dry and bitter, but that is just a characteristic that is common to most liqueurs.

Is Maraschino Liqueur the Same as Cherry Liqueur?

While these two liqueurs are very similar, they are not the same but can be used as substitutes for each other. The major difference between these two is their appearance; the maraschino liqueur is a clear liquor, while the cherry liqueur has a tint of redness.

Is Cherry Liqueur the Same as Cherry Brandy?

Although the cherry liqueur is also called the cherry brandy in some places, there is a very slight difference between these two. You can sweeten Cherry liqueur while the three are not most likely to be sweetened.

What Can Be Substituted for Kirsch?

Amazing kirsch substitutes include apple cider, apple juice, or even lemon juice.

Is Amaretto A Liqueur?

Yes, amaretto is a very sweet liqueur that is said to have originated in Italy.


Maraschino liqueur is an amazing drink that you can add to your classical cocktail, and even if sometimes getting to it might seem hard, you shouldn’t be bothered because there are a lot of amazing substitutes that can work in place.

I hope you have found an amazing maraschino liqueur substitute that you can use in your cocktails and dishes on our list, enjoy!