10 Best Maraschino Liqueur Substitutes – Best

Maraschino is one of the most popular liqueurs in cocktails. People love this fresh and airy liqueur for its distinct and unique flavor. But unfortunately it is not available everywhere.

Great substitutes for maraschino liqueur include cherry liqueur, port, amaretto, cherry syrup, cherry extract, kirsch, brandy, vodka, and homemade maraschino liqueur.

That’s why we have a list of substitutes to consider if you want a similar taste. Let’s start!

What is Maraschino Liqueur?

One of the most popular cocktail flavors, maraschino liqueur is an absolute delight.

It is a cherry flavored liqueur that comes from Marasca cherries and is very famous in all the bars in Croatia where it comes from.

It comes from red cherries. However, it does not have a red color. In addition, it accompanies both drinks and cooked dishes such as pies, pies, cakes, etc.

What flavor is maraschino liqueur?

What’s interesting about maraschino liqueur is that even though it comes from cherries, it has nothing to do with its flavor. Instead, it has a distinctly sweet yet intense flavor.

The slightly sweet taste has undertones of spicy and nutty flavors. Moreover, it also has a bitter and dry taste which gives it the intensity of flavors.

Best Maraschino Liqueur Substitutes

Maraschino is a famous liqueur, but it is not readily available in most countries. That’s why we have a list of substitutes so you can enjoy the same flavor and taste.

1. Cherry Heering

Cherry Heering is one of the best maraschino liqueur substitutes on the market.

It has a sweet and bitter taste similar to maraschino liqueur. Cherry Heering is a very important part of the world famous Singapore Sling cocktail.

It has the color of cherry, which makes it red. It is also sweeter than maraschino. Therefore, look for “real brandy” on the bottle before you buy. Otherwise, it will be quite sweet.

2. Kirch

This German counterpart of maraschino, which means cherry, is the best substitute for this liqueur. The bitter taste with a slight hint of almond flavor is reminiscent of maraschino.

In addition, it has the same bright color as maraschino. Kirsch comes from sour cherries kept intact for fermentation. Therefore, the taste has a touch of acidity and sharpness that comes from the stones.

3. Port Wine


The intense aroma of maraschino blends perfectly with the sweet, nutty and spicy aroma of port. This Portuguese counterpart can take any dessert or cocktail to the next level.

It comes in several flavors. But if you want to substitute maraschino liqueur, we recommend using Rose or Ruby Port. It has the sweet flavors of strawberry, raspberry, chocolate, caramel and cinnamon.

Additionally, berries and chocolates have different flavor profiles, giving them a unique sweet, rich, and bitter taste. It looks like maraschino. So it’s a good substitute.

4. Amaretto


Amaretto is the golden liquor originating from Saronno, Italy.

It comes in a variety of flavors such as almonds, apricots and peaches with a consistent undertone of cherry and a distinct almond flavor similar to maraschino liqueur.

You can use this sweet liqueur in beverages, coffees, desserts and other culinary dishes. Additionally, it has a sweet, nutty flavor with slight bitter notes. It works well with cakes, icing and cookies. As for the drinks, they are delicious with an amaretto sour or an orange cocktail.

5. Cherry syrup

cherry juice

The taste that a liqueur gives to a dish is incomparable. But we also have a great non-alcoholic substitute. So you can enjoy your favorite dessert or drink with a hint of cherry flavor.

This syrup is sweeter, you may want to watch the amount. Plus, it gives the dish a red color, so don’t worry if your pies, parfaits, and cakes turn red.

Opt for organic cherry syrup because it contains no added preservatives. Keep in mind that it will be less sweet than traditional.

6. Cherry extract

Cherry extract is another great alternative for bringing that cherry flavor to your dishes. A few drops of cherry extract in your drinks can make a difference.

Cherry extract comes in different consistencies such as thick and thin cherry extract. The thick extract is tastier, so just a small amount can do wonders for your dish.

On the other hand, the fine cherry extract needs a few drops to give your dish the desired flavor and taste. They have no acidity or bitter, dry taste. However, they can definitely offset the sweetness of maraschino liqueur.

7. Cognac


Not many people know that brandy comes in a variety of flavors, and cherry flavored brandy is one of them. This brandy is a fusion of maraschino cherries and kirsch. It therefore has all the flavors of maraschino liqueur.

The bitter, dry, almondy taste of Kirsch, combined with the sweet and sour taste of cherries, is the perfect substitute for your drinks and some sweet winter desserts.

Overall, it has a sweet, woody, nutty note that pairs well with fall season drinks.

8. Vodka


Vodka comes in several flavors. And if you are a vodka lover, you know the different types of Absolut Vodka.

Absolut Cherry Flavored Vodka is one of the most popular flavors. OWith an alcohol content of 40%, it has a slight taste of cranberries and plums. I like it because it enhances the overall bland flavor of the cherry vodka and adds a bold, spicy flavor to the overall dish.

Cherry flavored vodka has a sweet, sour taste. It’s not too sweet either. It is therefore a good alternative to maraschino liqueur.

9. Other Fruity Liquor

Maraschino liqueur is unique. However, it is not readily available. In such a situation, you can opt for a more readily available fruit liqueur, such as an orange liqueur.

Orange liqueurs, like Cointreau or Grand Marnier, can add a zesty yet fruity flavor to anything. They may not be the same as the bitter almond aftertaste of maraschino, but they get the job done.

10. Homemade maraschino liqueur

If you’re in the mood to experiment a bit and make your own maraschino liqueur at home, we have the perfect recipe for you.


  • Marasca cherries – 700 grams
  • Vodka – 750ml
  • Sugar – 250 grams
  • Cinnamon sticks – 2


Use a pitter to extract the pits from the cherries to prepare them.

Put the cherries in a glass container and add the vodka, sugar and cinnamon. If you don’t want the drink to be too sweet, you can reduce the amount of sugar.

Shake the jar vigorously to dissolve the sugar.

Then, set the jar aside with an airtight lid and let it mature for about eight weeks. Finally, after 8 weeks, take out the cherries and cinnamon sticks and let them ripen for another 2-3 months.

Making an instant maraschino liqueur is not possible as it will not have the intense flavor of the liqueur.

The taste of homemade maraschino liqueur will be different from the original liqueur. But the oak, nutty and bitter undertones will definitely be present.

related questions

Is maraschino liqueur the same as Luxardo?

Luxardo is a brand that produces maraschino liqueur. It has been produced since 1821 by Girolamo Luxardo.

What can I substitute for the cherry liqueur?

Cherry liqueur includes all types of cherry flavored liqueurs from different parts of the world including Maraschino, Kirsch and Heering Cherry. So you can replace it with cherry flavored brandy, vodka, cherry extract, syrup and amaretto.

Is maraschino liqueur the same as cherry brandy?

They are not the same, but their basic flavors are the same. The bitter, dry, and nutty flavors of cherry brandy resemble those of maraschino liqueur. Additionally, maraschino liqueur retains the cherry pits with the fruit, unlike cherry brandy.