20 Best Maraschino Liqueur Substitutes for the Discerning Drinker


It’s no secret that maraschino liqueur is a key ingredient in many classic cocktails. But what if you’re out of maraschino liqueur and can’t find it at your local liquor store?

Never fear, there are plenty of substitutes that will do the trick.

Here are our top picks for the best maraschino liqueur substitutes.

So, let’s discuss our first one.

20 Maraschino Liqueur Substitute

1. Cherry Heering

Having a deep red color, cherry heering has a sweet flavor with a hint of spiciness. 

It’s best known for being a major part of Singapore sling cocktails because of its significantly sweet taste.

You can also use it for preparing dessert dishes, including fruitcakes, chocolate candies, cakes, and sweet sauces. 

The only drawback is that its color isn’t as clear as Maraschino Liqueur which makes it unsuitable for preparing Maraschino cocktails.

Check out this video to know how you can make Singapore Sling using cherry hearing:

2. Kirsch

Kirsch has a similar clear appearance to Maraschino Liqueur and an almond taste that fits well into many cocktails and dessert dishes that call for Maraschino Liqueur. 

Its flavor has a subtle hint of bitterness paired with tangy and sour tastes.

You can use it for making cheesecakes, cherry lime macarons, tarts, sauces, glazes, chocolate candy fillings, and mixed drinks.

Here’s how you can prepare Cherry Liqueur Chocolate Cake using Kirsch:

3. Cherry-Flavored Brandy

Along with the cherry flavor, cherry-flavored brandy has a subtly sweet and mellow taste paired with oaky undertones that compliment many Maraschino cocktails.

While substituting it in desserts, you can add more sugar to create a cherry syrup that produces an excellent taste.

Some dishes that you can make using cherry brandy include black forest cake, tart cherry sauce, ice cream, fruitcakes, cherry Cinnamon cake, etc.

Watch this video to cook chicken liver with brandy:

4. Cherry-Flavored Vodka

Cherry-flavored vodka comes with an unsweetened cherry taste that makes it an ideal substitute for cocktails like Avion and Martinez.

Since it contains a combination of cranberry and plum flavor, it adds a nice bold plus tangy taste to your recipes with a bit of mild, tartness.

Try out this recipe for Cherry Vodka Limeade:

5. Amaretto

Since amaretto contains a distinct almond flavor very similar to Maraschino liqueur, it acts as a great alternative. Its sweet and nutty taste has a bit of bitterness.

Hence, it fits well into desserts, cakes, icing, cookies,  coffee, and many other drinks like amaretto sour and orange cocktails.

Watch this video to cook Tiramisu with amaretto:

6. Cherry Extract

If your dish requires particularly a sweet flavor, then the cherry extract is the right substitute, even though it lacks sourness and bitterness. 

It is available in two versions having thick and thin consistencies. Among these, the thick cherry extract contains more flavor and hence you must use only a small quantity of it.

Try this Cherry Cocktail Recipe:

7. Cherry Syrup

Cherry Syrup is a perfect alcohol-free alternative, especially when you’re making desserts for kids. It gives an excellent fruity taste and a dark red color that enhances the overall appearance of your dish.

Its flavor is sharply sour and intensely sweet, and the consistency is condensed. 

Sometimes, the cherry syrup might also contain additional preservatives and more sugar. So, it’s always better to opt for an organic version of it.

If you can’t find cherry syrup, then you the fluid inside canned cherries to make cakes and tarts.

Here are 3 delicious cherry cocktail recipes you can make using cherry syrup:

8. Port Wine

Since red port wine contains a less sweet flavor, it ideally substitutes Maraschino liqueur while cooking. 

Generally, port wine has cherry-like sweetness with bitter undertones and a spicy yet woody aroma. So, it fits perfectly well into dessert dishes due to its dominant sweet flavor. 

Other dishes that you can make using port wine include blueberry port sauce, cheese spread, beef tenderloin, beef stew, pork chops, chicken and mushrooms, and Parfaits.

Check out this video to make Thyme & Port Wine Sauce:

9. Homemade Maraschino Liqueur

A DIY substitute

You can make your own Homemade Maraschino Liqueur by combining 700 grams of Marasca Cherries, 750 ml of vodka, 2 cinnamon sticks, and 250 grams of sugar.

Remember that this method takes 2-3 months to give you the final results with the rich Liqueur taste and the flavor will be a little different. 

Still, the overall flavor profile will definitely have a similar oaky and nutty taste with subtle bitterness. 

Try this Homemade Sour Cherry Liqueur Recipe:

10. Glace Cherries

An ideal baking substitute

Glace cherries are a combination of cherries and sugar that together provide them an excellently sweet taste which goes well with baked dishes. 

Other dishes that you can prepare using glace cherries include glace cherry shortbread, pudding, mixed fruit loaf, fruitcakes, cookies, chocolate bars, pineapple upside-down cake, brownies, etc.

Here’s how you can make a glace cherry cake:

11. Grenadine Cocktail Syrup

A low-calorie substitute 

Grenadine Cocktail Syrup has a sweet taste along with slight tartness. Therefore, you can substitute it in cocktails like Tequila sunrise and Shirley temples.

It is a non-alcoholic substitute with a bright red color

that gives an excellent appearance to beverages and dishes like fruitcakes and mimosa. 

How to Substitute

You can take a 1:2 ratio.

Try this recipe for Grenadine Mojito:

12. Maraschino Cherry Juice

Maraschino cherry juice is another great alternative that you can use to make dishes like 

Cherry-limeade popsicles, cherry cupcakes, fruit dip, loaf cake, bread, cream cheese frosting, cherry mash chocolates, etc.

Try out this Homemade diet coke recipe made using leftover Maraschino cherry juice:

13. Maraschino Cherry Syrup

Maraschino cherry syrup has a tangy and fruity flavor. 

Hence, it goes well with lemon drinks, sodas, iced teas, and cocktails, and you can also use it for making savory marinades, and sauces and even prepare ice cream toppings with it. 

Here’s how you can make a Maraschino Cherry Margarita using Maraschino Cherry Syrup:

14. Homemade Cherry Liqueur

You can make your cherry liqueur by combining six cups of pitted bing cherries, half a cup of vodka, one cup of sugar, one cup of water, one cup of brandy, and 1 full broken cinnamon stick. 

However, you can also add some other variety of cherries if you want and adjust the sweetness level as per your taste.

Note that this method will take 3 months to complete.

Check out this video know how you can make a homemade cherry liqueur:

15. Raspberry Syrup 

Even though the raspberry syrup doesn’t taste like cherries, its sweet, sour, and fruity flavor make it a good substitute that pairs well with bitter ingredients like gin.

Its taste matches the intensity of Maraschino Liqueur, and you can take a 1:1 ratio while substituting.

Besides, you can also add it to dishes like milkshakes, ice teas, ice creams, and soft drinks, and it also works as a flavourful topping for waffles and pancakes.

Try this recipe of vegan chocolate pancakes with raspberry syrup:

16. Strawberry Daiquiri Syrup 

Strawberry daiquiri syrup has a high sugar content and thus, provides you the sweet taste of maraschino cherries.

It is also high in calories but lacks the sour flavor of maraschino liqueur. However, you can add a few lemon drops to it to make up for the tartness level if required.

You can use it in a 1:1 ratio, and it fits especially well into rum-containing cocktails and mocktails.

Here’s how you can make a Wet Passion Cocktail with Strawberry Syrup:

17. Cranberry Syrup 

If you’re making sweet mocktails and cocktails like those containing brandy or rum, then you can use Cranberry syrup because it has a tangy tart flavor and a high level of bitterness along with a cherry-like taste.

You can also add it to muffins, scones, and cakes. 

Check out this video to make a Cranberry Vodka Cocktail:

18. Amarena Cherries 

Amarena Cherries, unlike Maraschino cherries, have a sour taste and contain a lesser level of sweetness. But you can add your desired quantity of sugar if your recipe calls for a sweeter taste. 

It’s a good baking substitute that fits well into chocolate desserts, especially black forest cake, and you can also use it for garnishing a cheesecake.

Watch this video to make 

Chocolate cupcakes using walnuts and Amarena cherries:

19. Fresh Cherries 

A great dessert substitute

Nothing works better than fresh cherries as a dessert alternative for Maraschino Liqueur. They are not only healthy but also extremely sweet and contain fewer calories. 

You can use it as a garnishing element on top of desserts and mix some added sugar to enhance its taste. 

How to Substitute

For every half a cup of maraschino liqueur, use one cup of fresh cherries.

Try this 3-Ingredient Cherry Ice Cream Recipe:

20. Maraschino Cherries

A great substitute for garnishing 

Maraschino cherries have a high sugar content, and their taste is more similar to candy than cherries. Still, they have the right level of tartness and work great as a garnishing element for cakes, ice creams, and even cocktails.

How to Substitute

For every 4 cups of maraschino liqueur, take 1 cup of maraschino cherries.

Check out this video to make a Maraschino Cherry Cake:


Q1. What flavor is maraschino liqueur?

Ans. Maraschino Liqueur has a transparent color with a cherry flavor.

Q2. What is a good maraschino liqueur substitute for Aviation?

Ans. While making aviation, you can use cherry brandy if you don’t have Maraschino liqueur.

Q3. Is maraschino liqueur the same as cherry liqueur?

Ans. Cherry liqueur, also called Cherry Heering, has a deep red color whereas Maraschino Liqueur has a transparent color. Hence, they both are not the same.

Bottom Line 

That was all about Maraschino liqueur substitution ideas. I hope you could clearly identify from the above list which replacement option you should use!

Any alternatives I missed? then drop a line below.

Don’t forget to share this guide with your friends and family!

Show Some Love by Sharing!

About Linda Walker

Linda loves anything creative, whether it be arts and crafts or cooking for her friends and family. She loves nothing more than a good netflix binge, especially thriller ones. She's a bit of a night owl, and is usually up until the early hours of the morning working on her craft projects. She lives with six pets who are all her furry children.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.