What Is Cherry Heering Liqueur?

What's the Difference Between Cherry Heering and Kirsch?

Cherry Heering Liqueur

Cherry Heering

Cherry Heering is a popular cherry-flavored liqueur produced in Denmark from Stevens cherries, spices, and neutral grain alcohol. Often classified as cherry brandy, it's an essential ingredient for many classic cocktails, including the famous Singapore sling and blood and sand. This royal red liqueur is one of the best tasting cherry spirits on the market, preferred by bartenders worldwide. It is often used in drink recipes that call for cherry brandy and is a good (though sweeter) substitute for maraschino as well.

Cherry Heering vs Kirsch

Cherry Heering is among the preferred cherry brandies for mixed drinks. Kirsch (or kirschwasser—German for "cherry water") is a common cherry brandy as well, though the difference is significant. Cherry Heering is decidedly sweeter and has a deeper red color. It also has a very distinct cherry taste and hints of almond. Kirsch, on the other hand, is clear, dry, and has a bitterness contributed by the cherry pits.

Substitutions

For the most part, cherry liqueur or brandy, kirsch, and maraschino can be used as substitutes for Cherry Heering, and vice versa. Like kirsch, maraschino liqueur is also clear and has a bitter aspect produced by cherry pits, though it has more of an underlying almond flavor. There are more herbal notes in maraschino and the cherry flavor is very light. It is sweeter than kirsch, but not as sweet as Cherry Heering. Since maraschino and kirsch are a little drier, you may need to add a little extra sweetener to the drink when using either as a Cherry Heering substitute.

Sweet cherry liqueurs can be a little more medicinal and syrupy than Cherry Heering. However, premium versions may be a good fit and will match its sweetness.

Fast Facts

  • Ingredients: Danish Stevens cherries, spices, neutral grain alcohol
  • Proof: 48 
  • ABV: 24%
  • Calories in a shot: 86
  • Origin: Denmark
  • Taste: Sweet, cherry
  • Aged: 3 to 5 years
  • Serve: On the rocks, cocktails

What Is Cherry Heering Made From?

Cherry Heering was created by Peter F. Heering in 1818. Founded in Denmark, this liqueur quickly gained global recognition and was noted as a favorite among many of the world's royal courts of that century. It is marketed as "the original cherry brandy" and is still produced in Copenhagen.

The ruby-red liqueur is unique among the modern offerings of cherry liqueurs. It is naturally flavored, made by lightly crushing Danish Stevens cherries and soaking those with a spice blend in neutral grain spirits. The mixture ages naturally in casks for three to five years and is circulated every few months. It is bottled at 24 percent alcohol by volume (ABV, 48 proof).

The Heering website states that Cherry Heering contains nuts. Thus, drinkers who are allergic to nuts should avoid drinks that contain this liqueur.

What Does Cherry Heering Taste Like?

Since Cherry Heering is naturally flavored, it lacks the medicinal cough syrup-like taste of many cherry-flavored distilled spirits. Instead, it is sweet and rich like cherry jam with a nice fruit tartness and hints of wood and almond.

How to Drink Cherry Heering

Cherry Heering can be too intense to drink on its own. When allowed to chill over ice for a bit, it does become more enjoyable. This liqueur is really best in mixed drinks and cocktails. Topping it with seltzer or tonic water in an ice-filled glass creates a refreshingly sweet spiked cherry soda. Its bold flavor also stands up to a variety of flavors in the most complex cocktails.

Cocktail Recipes

The Singapore sling is the most famous Cherry Heering cocktail and its popularity is followed closely by the blood and sand. Beyond those two classics, you'll find the liqueur in a number of impressive modern cocktail recipes. Cherry Heering is also an excellent choice for any recipe that calls for cherry brandy.

Cooking With Cherry Heering

Cherry brandy is used in a number of food recipes, particularly sweet desserts. Since it is a cherry brandy, Cherry Heering can certainly be used. You'll find cherry brandy in many cake recipes, including holiday fruitcakes and recipes from Eastern Europe. It can also be incorporated into cherry-infused chocolate candies and sweet dessert sauces.