13 Best Kirsch Substitutes You May Already Have

When I was in culinary school, one of my instructors gave me a Substitutes for Kirsch handout.

At the time, I didn’t know what kirsch was, but I was excited to learn about all of the amazing substitutes I could use in its place.

Since then, I’ve used substitutes for kirsch in a variety of recipes and they’ve all turned out great.

Are you looking for an alternative to kirsch when you’re in a bind? Check out my list of substitutes. I promise it will have your cocktails tasting just as good – if not better!

I’ll explain the differences and similarities between each substitute, and give you the exact ratios to use so your drinks turn out perfectly. Plus, I’ll provide examples of how I’ve used these substitutes in my own cocktails.

Let’s get into it.

Substitutes for Kirsch:

Here are some of the best replacements for kirsch that I’ve found:

  1. Cherry juice
  2. Grape Juice
  3. Kriek Lambic
  4. Liqueur de Mirabelle
  5. Vodka and cherries mix
  6. Champagne
  7. Schnapps
  8. Cherry Preserve
  9. Fruit brandy
  10. White wine
  11. Red Wine
  12. Cherry Jam
  13. Fruit Beer

Cherry juice

This is my go-to substitute for kirsch. Cherry juice is readily available and has a similar flavor profile to kirsch.

Since kirsch is made of cherries, replacing it with a juice rather than brandy or acerbity gives it a similar flavor without the alcohol and bitterness.

It’s also a fantastic choice for making your own mocktails at home and in baking.

You can make your cherry juice by simmering fresh or frozen cherries in water until they release their juices. You can also find cherry juice at most grocery stores, or online.

To substitute kirsch with cherry juice: use a ratio of one part cherry juice to three parts water, substitute equal parts cherry juice for kirsch

This guide just wouldn’t have been complete without mentioning cherry juice first!

Grape Juice

Grape juice is a popular drink all over the world, enjoyed by people of all ages. It can be used as a substitute for kirsch in many recipes.

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Kirsch is a clear, colorless alcohol that is made from distilled cherry juice. It is commonly used in cooking and baking, as well as in cocktails.

Grape juice is a good substitute for kirsch because it has a similar origin (both are made from fruit juices), and it can be used in the same way.

It is as healthy as they get, containing no cholesterol or fat. It is a good source of vitamins C and K, as well as several other essential nutrients.

Grape juice is also lower in calories, making it a good choice for those watching their weight.

Finally, it is available in both red and white varieties, so you can choose the one that best suits your recipe.

Kriek Lambic

Kriek lambic is a type of Belgian beer that is made with cherries. It has a tart, fruity flavor, and a slightly sweet finish.

This is a popular choice for cooking because it adds a unique flavor to dishes. It can be used as a substitute for kirsch in many recipes.

Kriek lambic is a good choice for cooking because it is lower in calories and fat than kirsch. It also has no added sugar. It is a good source of vitamins A and C, which are essential for good health.

Kriek lambic is also a good source of fiber. Kriek lambic and kirsch have similar nutritional values. However, it has more vitamins and minerals than kirsch.

Kriek lambic is available in most supermarkets. It is usually sold in 750 ml bottles.

Liqueur de Mirabelle

Liqueur de Mirabelle is a fruity liqueur made from mirabelle plums. It is similar to kirsch in both flavor and alcohol content, making it a good substitute for kirsch in many recipes.

It can be used in any recipe that calls for kirsch, including cocktails, desserts, and baked goods.

It is also a good choice for those looking for a health-conscious alternative to kirsch, as it is lower in sugar and calories.

When substituting Liqueur de Mirabelle for kirsch, be aware that the Liqueur de Mirabelle is slightly sweeter than kirsch. Therefore, you may need to adjust the amount of sugar called for in the recipe.

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Liqueur de Mirabelle is also available in small bottles, making it a convenient option for those who do not use kirsch often.

Vodka and cherries

If you are a vodka freak, this is the best way to replace kirsch in your cocktails or desserts. Simply take some pitted cherries and soak them overnight in vodka.

The next day, you’ll have a delicious cherry-flavored vodka that can be used as a substitute for kirsch.

This method also works well with other fruits, such as strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries.

Soaking the fruit in vodka for a longer period of time will result in a stronger flavor.

If you want to tone down the alcohol content, you can add water or juice to the mixture.

Champagne

Champagne is a sparkling wine that is made from grapes. It is available in both white and pink varieties.

It can be used as a substitute for kirsch in many recipes, including cocktails, desserts, and baked goods.

When substituting Champagne for kirsch, be aware that it has a higher alcohol content than kirsch.

Therefore, you may need to adjust the amount of Champagne called for in the recipe.

Champagne is also available in small bottles, making it a convenient option for those who do not use kirsch often.

Schnapps

Schnapps is a type of German liqueur that is made from fruits, herbs, and spices. It is available in many different flavors, including cherry, apple, raspberry, and peach.

Be wary that schnapps has a greater alcohol concentration than kirsch, so you might need to reduce the amount of schnapps used in the recipe.

Schnapps has a legal alcohol content of 20 percent and can exceed that amount depending on the producer. So, use this substitute wisely.

Apart from that, this white liqueur is a great substitute for kirsch, as it comes in various flavors.

When it comes to this drink, you have a lot of options. If you want to keep the kirsch’s tastes, go with cherry schnapps.

Cherry Preserve

The cherry preserve can be used as a substitute for kirsch in many recipes, including cocktails and desserts. It especially suits situations where you don’t want to add any alcohol to your dish.

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It is made from cherries that have been cooked in sugar and water. The cherries are then preserved in jars or cans.

Substituting cherry preserve for kirsch is a little different since it’s sweeter. As a result, you may need to adjust the amount of sugar specified in the recipe.

Remember that you can add a small amount of boiling water to create a more kirsch-like consistency if required.

Kirsch is a type of cherry brandy that is made from fermented cherries, therefore, using a cherry preserve substitute will give you a similar flavor.

While kirsch is the traditional choice for many recipes, it is not always available. But when you find it, it is usually worth it.

Fruit brandy

Fruit brandy is made from fermented fruits, such as cherries, apples, pears, or plums. It has a higher alcohol content than kirsch and is available in many different flavors.

It is typically clear or golden in color and has a sweet, fruity flavor. It is often used in desserts, or to make liqueurs and cordials.

Fruit brandy can also be used in cooking, and when substituted for kirsch, it can add a similar depth of flavor to dishes.

In addition, fruit brandy is lower in calories and fat than kirsch and has fewer potential health risks. However, it is important to note that fruit brandy is also higher in sugar than kirsch, so it should be used in moderation.

When substituting fruit brandy for kirsch, it is important to keep the size of the bottle in mind. Fruit brandy is typically sold in smaller bottles than kirsch, so you may need to use more of it to achieve the same flavor profile.

Overall, fruit brandy is a good substitute for kirsch because it has a similar flavor and can be used in many of the same ways.

White wine

White wine is a versatile ingredient that can be used in place of kirsch in many recipes. When cooking with wine, it is important to choose a variety that will complement the flavors of the dish.

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For example, a richer white wine such as Chardonnay can be used in place of kirsch in cream-based sauces. On the other hand, a lighter white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc is a good choice for seafood or poultry dishes.

In addition to its flavor, white wine also has several health benefits. Studies have shown that moderate consumption of white wine can help to improve heart health and reduce the risk of stroke.

It is also lower in calories than kirsch, making it a healthy substitute for those watching their weight.

Finally, white wine is widely available and typically less expensive than kirsch, making it a convenient substitution in any recipe.

Red Wine

Red wine shares some similarities with kirsch in that it is made from red grapes and has a similar alcohol content.

It is also a suitable replacement in terms of its size; most recipes call for using one cup of kirsch, which is equivalent to approximately 250 milliliters.

Do you know that red wine can also offer some health benefits when used as a replacement for kirsch?

The health benefits of red wine are well known and include heart health and anti-aging properties. Red wine is also a good choice when trying to avoid sugar, as it is lower in sugar than kirsch.

However, keep in mind that red wine has calories, so if you are watching your weight you may want to choose another drink.

When choosing a red wine to use as a substitute for kirsch, look for a dry variety such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot. These wines will be less likely to alter the taste of your recipe and will provide the best results.

Cherry jam

Kirsch is a clear cherry brandy, and cherry jam has a similar flavor with the added benefits of being lower in alcohol and sugar.

Cherry jam can be used in Sauce Aigre-Doux, Cherry Clafoutis, and Cherry Pie. It is also a great glaze for ham or pork.

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The cooking process breaks down the pectin in the fruit and creates a lovely deep red color. This substitute does not need to be strained and will keep in the fridge for up to 3 months.

It is also a healthy alternative to other sweeteners because it is high in fiber and antioxidants. Fiber helps to regulate digestion and can reduce cholesterol levels.

Antioxidants are important for fighting inflammation and boosting the immune system. Cherry jam is also a good source of vitamins A and C. Vitamins A and C are important for vision, skin health, and immunity.

Fruit beer

Fruit beer is another good substitute for kirsch because it has a similar flavor profile and can be used in many of the same dishes.

Fruit beer is made by fermenting fruit juice with yeast, and the resulting drink is lower in alcohol than kirsch.

It is also a good source of vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants.

Fruit beer can be used in cocktails, sauces, or baked goods. It is also a good choice for those who are looking for a non-alcoholic alternative to kirsch.

When choosing a fruit beer to use as a substitute for kirsch, look for one that is made with cherries or other red fruits. These varieties will be the closest in flavor to kirsch.

FAQ

What does Kirsch taste like?

Kirsch has a clear, cherry flavor with hints of almond. It is not sweet, but bitter.

What is the alcohol content of Kirsch?

The alcohol content of kirsch is typically between 35% and 40%.

Where to buy kirsch?

Kirsch is available for purchase online or at specialty liquor stores.

In Summary

Kirsch is a clear cherry brandy that is used in many cocktails, sauces, or baked goods.

If you are looking for a substitute for kirsch, try one of the listed substitutes in this article.

Whether you are looking for a non-alcoholic alternative or just want to change things up, these substitutes will do the trick.

Just remember to choose wisely based on the flavors you are looking for in your dish, and what best fits your needs.