10 Best Substitutes for Kirsch


In some desserts and cocktails that we prepare for special occasions, one of the ingredients that it needs is a liqueur.

Just like kirsch, for example, this fruit liqueur is a mix of cherry and almond and is used in many desserts such as black forest, fondue, and tasty cocktails. It’s a good addition if you like alcohol in your food.

If you don’t like the alcohol addition like how kirsch functions or just looking for another flavor, you can find so many substitutes that you may use.

The best Substitutes for kirsch are grape juice, cherry juice, fruit brandy, vodka berry mix, white wine, red wine, champagne, fruit beer, schnapps, and cherry jam.

Kirsch Substitutes

With all the choices we’ve provided for you in this list, let’s see which fits best for your favorite desserts and cocktails.

1. Grape Juice

Grape Juice

Do you know how you played that game before when you were but just kids? You pretend that you drank real wine but actually it was just some grape juice.

Do it once again whether you’re expecting or just can’t have alcohol at the moment. It’s great to substitute especially on your favorite cocktails.

Instead of creating cocktails, you can make your own “mocktails”. You get to enjoy a tasty party drink without having to worry about any of that alcohol content. You may also include this as an ingredient in pies and other tart recipes.

2. Cherry Juice

Cherry Juice

To still get that kirsch flavor, all you need is good cherry juice. Kirsch after all is a mix of cherries, so substituting it with a juice instead gives it a close similarity with taste just without the alcohol and bitterness to it.

It’s also a great alternative for making your own mocktails at home and even baking that once in a blue moon black forest dessert.

You can either make cherry juice at home or purchase a ready-to-serve one at the store. I prefer a homemade juice, then store it for later use as it provides a fresher and vibrant taste. Still, using a ready-mixed one can do the trick with your cocktails and desserts.

3. Fruit Brandy


Then again, where’s the fun in the party without a little booze? If you’re not a fan of kirsch, you can use another fruit brandy. There’s a wide array of choices including peaches, raspberries, pears, cherries, strawberries, and more.

I also recommend pear and strawberry flavored brandy. If you can find this in your area, try visiting specialty shops near you for a better chance of finding this hidden treasure.

4. Vodka Berry Mix

Are you one of those folks that just can’t do without vodka? That’s totally understandable as vodka offers that sweet, smooth, and strong ending in every gulp. The best part of this liqueur is how it can complement other fruits and even vegetables on the side.

If you ran out of kirsch, take a shot of vodka and put some crushed cherries submerged in it. It’s like making a last-minute kirsch without having the trouble to grab another one at the store.

If you don’t have cherries on hand, you can use various kinds of berries like strawberries. There’s something about vodka and strawberries. They seem like the perfect match.

5. White Wine

Cooking White Wine

Let’s move on to the possibilities of using wine as a substitute for kirsch. First of, is the infamous white wine. Really, it’s up to you if you like it dry or light depending on your preference.

White wine may be a shocker since it’s suggested for savory dishes especially with seafood and meat. But when it comes to dessert, it’s not the best addition to make.

However, if you like making cheese fondue at home, an addition of white wine helps balance the saltiness and funkiness of the cheese. It actually improves the flavor profile of the dish.

6. Red Wine

Red Wine

Of course, we can’t skip our beloved red wine. Pretty sure most households stack up a bottle or two of red wine for that special occasion.

Without kirsch, you can actually use red wine for making desserts. It’s ideal for different cocktail recipes. Just replace your kirsch content with red wine and enjoy.

Your guests will love this combo since red wine is less overwhelming than kirsch. You can use dry red wine or whatever you have on hand.

7. Champagne


Have you ever tried the famous champagne cake yet? If you haven’t, now’s the time to make a go for it and impress your guests’ sweet tooth. Even if champagne is bubbly, you can use this as a perfect ingredient for baking desserts.

Pick concentrated champagne when trying to use it so the flavor will be retained once the baking process starts. It will lose flavor, so you won’t even notice that you put champagne in it.

Other than cakes, champagne also works for easy-to-make cocktails since the bubbles alone can already complement any liqueur or fruit pairing that you have in mind.

8. Fruit Beer

If you haven’t tried fruit beer just yet, you don’t know what you’re missing. One of my favorite ones that you should try is the cherry-flavored Belgian beer called kriek lambic.

However, if you have your own local version of cherry beer, it will do just well. You can also use other fruit variants if you’re willing to give up that cherry flavor. Like white wine, fruit beer is a better substitute to improve your cheese fondue recipe.

Instead of the bitter flavor from kirsch, you’ll get a rather sour take on your dish with of course a hint of sweetness to it.

9. Schnapps

If the high alcohol content doesn’t scare you, schnapps is the way to go. Schnapps can have a maximum of 20% alcohol content and even more depending on the manufacturer.

The great thing about this white liqueur is its diversified flavors. You have a lot to pick from when it comes to this drink. If you want to retain the flavors that you get from kirsch, stick to the cherry schnapps.

If you feel like trying something new, pick from coffee, lemon, butterscotch, mandarin orange, peppermint, peach, sour apple, etc. They’re great for desserts, fondue, and even for your favorite party cocktail mix.

10. Cherry Jam

Cherry Jam

Last but not the least, is a non-alcoholic substitute, the cherry jam or preserve.

If cherries are widely in season in your area, you can simply get this in a nearby farmer’s market. And if not, you can still get the canned ones for your recipe. Use this instead for your desserts and to totally avoid adding any alcohol to your dish.


Is Kirsch alcohol?

Kirsch is an alcoholic drink that has a fruity flavor from cherries fused with almonds. It’s a type of clear brandy that has roots in Germany.

How do you serve kirsch?

Kirsch is served as a drink top with ice in a small glass. It’s often served after dinner to help with digestion, especially after a heavy meal.

How much alcohol content does kirsch have?

It has a min of 37.5% of alcohol content and a max of 50%. Kirsch is a great drink. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not capable of handling substitutions.

Try to experiment with our list above and you’ll never have to deal with the kitchen issues anytime soon.

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