Heering Cherry Liqueur is a famous cherry liqueur of 24% ABV produced in Copenhagen, Denmark. It is made from crushed ripe Stevens cherries, sugar, and a spice mix soaked in neutral grain spirit. Heering Cherry is a common substitute for cherry brandy and is a key ingredient in many classic cocktails like the Singapore Sling and Blood & Sand.
The rich and natural cherry flavor makes it one of the best cherry-flavored liqueurs on the market. That is also why it's the primary choice of bartenders to bring cherry flavor to cocktails.
You can substitute it with Maraschino liqueur or cherry brandy in cocktail recipes. But remember that Heering Cherry is a bit sweeter than those two.
Heering Cherry Quick Facts
- Produced in: Copenhagen, Denmark
- Since: 1818
- Ingredients: Crushed Stevens cherries, sugar, spices, neutral grain spirit
- Proof: 48
- ABV: 24%
- Calories in 1 ounce: 89
- Taste: Natural and sweet cherry flavor, almonds, plum
- Aged: Up to 5 years
- Best served: Straight up, with a mixer, or in cocktails
The taste of Cherry Heering
Heering cherry liqueur has an intense and natural cherry flavor comparable to stewed plum and cherry jam. Yet, it is more balanced due to the natural tartness. It's sweet and rich but without the artificial cough-syrup-like taste.
The aftertaste offers hints of almonds. That's mainly due to using whole crushed cherries, including the stones, during the soaking process. The cask-age maturation develops the flavor profile and leads to a complex and balanced cherry taste.
The best substitutes for Heering Cherry are cherry brandy, Maraschino liqueur, and Kirsch. These products are cherry-flavored liqueurs or spirits that work as an alternative in cocktail recipes.
Heering Cherry Liqueur vs. Kirsch
The main difference between Kirsch and Cherry Heering is that Kirsch is a clear, dry, and slightly bitter spirit usually bottled at 37% ABV (74 proof) to 43% ABV (86 proof). Cherry Heering, on the other hand, is significantly sweeter. It is of dark red color, is less alcoholic (24% ABV; 48 proof), and has a more pronounced cherry taste.
Kirsch is a short form for a German cherry Brandy variant. The full name for this product is Kirschwasser, which translates to cherry water. Both these products classify as Cherry Brandies. However, the term Brandy might be confusing as neither product is macerated in Brandy but neutral grain spirits like Vodka.
Heering Cherry Liqueur vs. Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
Both liqueurs are sweet and cherry-flavored, but with the Maraschino liqueur, the cherry flavors are less pronounced. On top, Maraschino adds a subtle herbal note and is far less sweet than Heering Cherry liqueur. It contains barely any sugar but a whopping 40% ABV instead. Maraschino is also clear in color - not red like Heering Cherry.
How to serve
The best way to experience the rich flavors of Heering Cherry is when served chilled in combination with a piece of chocolate. The flavor combination of chocolate and cherries works great and is a classic for a reason.
Serve the liqueur straight up in a chilled liqueur glass. Serve it with just one small piece of dark chocolate and slowly indulge in the rich bittersweet flavors.
Other ways you can serve the cherry-flavored liqueur include:
- Neat: You can serve it at room temperature but chilled is way better.
- With a mixer: Heering Cherry is great when paired with chilled soda water, Coke, Champagne, or Prosecco.
- In cocktails: It's great in classics like the Singapore Sling, but it's also an excellent choice in modern cocktails like a Cherry Thistle (a riff on the Whiskey Sour) or a cherry-flavored Old Fashioned variation.
If you look for a fitting garnish, you can go with lemon wheels or peels and a (Stevens) cherry.
In 1818, the Heering family created their very first cherry liqueur in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Heering family used slightly crushed ripe cherries -without removing the pits- and a spice blend soaked in a neutral spirit. The resulting liquid had to age in oak casks for up to five years.
During this time frame, the liqueur matured and added a level of complexity that's lacking in other products. The complex flavor makes it an excellent replacement for cherry Brandy. It's also the reason why the liqueur is not only the oldest but also the most-awarded cherry liqueur.
Heering Cherry Liqueur often refers to itself as the original cherry liqueur. Being the first and best-known of its kind, that claim seems justified. The old family recipe is all about maintaining that natural cherry flavor without an artificial aftertaste, making it a favorite choice of bartenders when it comes to bringing cherry into cocktails.
In 2017, the brand was sold to Dutch spirits brand De Kuyper for an undisclosed sum. De Kuyper is a well-known company selling all kinds of liqueurs and cream liqueurs.
The Singapore Sling is by far the most popular cocktail made with Heering Cherry liqueur. But you can also find cherry liqueur in many contemporary cocktail recipes. Of course, it's also a great substitute in drinks that ask for either Maraschino liqueur or cherry brandy.