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Savory Tweaks: 5 BEST Kirsch Substitutes in Fondue

Are you tired of the same old recipe for Fondue? Need something new to give your dish a little something extra? Look no further.

Kirsch is a great ingredient to add to Fondue, but if you can’t find it – don’t worry.

We’ve got you covered with five of the best Kirsch substitutes.

Now you can create the perfect Fondue with ease.

What’s Kirsch?

Kirsch, also sometimes called kirschwasser, is a clear, colorless brandy made from morello cherries.

It is an eau-de-vie and not actually a wine, but can serve many functions in the culinary world.

Though it’s extremely popular in Germany and Switzerland, the liqueur has proven difficult to obtain in some parts of the world.

Kirschwasser has a delicate flavor which often gives desserts such as fondue and cheesecake an intriguing character.

The alcohol content of kirsch can be either 40 or 80 proof, depending on where it is produced — though most producers opt for 80 proof varieties.

In addition to being used as an ingredient for baking and cooking—most famously for making cherry brandy cookies—kirsch can also be used in combination with other liquors to create cocktails or cordials or enjoyed unadulterated as an apéritif or digestif.

5 Best Kirsch Substitutes in Fondue

Kirsch has a long shelf-life and can be stored even without being refrigerated.

In fact, it makes a great substitution for higher alcohols like whiskey or rum which tend to evaporate quickly when cooked with other ingredients.

However, if you find yourself without Kirsch on hand or are not a fan of its taste, then there are several easy-to-find substitutions you can use in your next fondue adventure.

Here’s what we recommend:

1 – Fruit Brandy

Fruit brandy is a type of clear, strong spirit that is made by the fermentation and distillation of various fruits.

Commonly used fruits for this type of liquor include apples, cherries and plums.

When selecting a fruit brandy to be used in fondue, an ideal choice would be cherry brandy (also known as Kirsch) or plum brandy (perhaps called slivovitz).

These varieties will still provide a pleasant sweetness without as much alcohol strength when compared to other choices such as cognac.

It should be noted that you should use unsweetened fruit options in order to achieve the desired flavor.

2 – Vodka and Cherries

Vodka is the perfect substitute for kirsch in fondue because it has a strong alcoholic flavor and a high alcohol content.

To create your own vodka-cherry fondue, combine one cup of vodka with three-quarters cup of cherry liqueur and one teaspoon of fresh lemon juice.

For additional flavor, you can add a tablespoon of sugar and a pinch of cinnamon.

This combination is best used in fruit-based fondues where its intense sweetness will bring out the flavors of the fruit without overpowering them.

For added texture, add some diced fresh cherries to your fondue as well.

3 – Liqueur de Mirabelle

Liqueur de Mirabelle, also known as Plum Liqueur, is a type of brandy derived from the fruit of the mirabelle plum tree.

It has a sweet and slightly tart flavor with a hint of almond that gives it wonderfully unique notes not found in other fruit liqueurs.

In fondue recipes, it can be used to replace Kirsch while adding its own unique flavor profile.

Simply substitute the same amount of liqueur de Mirabelle for Kirsch in your favorite fondue recipes.

This can be great if you’re looking to add complexity and depth to your dish.

4 – Grappa

Grappa is a traditional Italian brandy, distilled from the fermented skins, pulp, seeds and stems left over from winemaking.

It has a very distinctive flavor that is both sweet and strong – making it one of the best substitutes for Kirsch when making fondue.

Grappa has an alcohol content of 35%-60%, so it has enough to fortify your cheese sauce without changing its flavor dramatically.

The best part about using grappa in your fondue is that it adds a unique aroma and flavor that pairs perfectly with melted cheese.

Many people find grappa to be the closest in taste to Kirsch but with a unique fruity note.

Since grappa is quite strong, use moderation when adding it to prevent overpowering other flavors in the dish.

5 – Red Wine

Red wine is a good substitute for Kirsch in fondue recipes.

It has similar flavor tones, but it does not possess the same level of sweetness or intensity that Kirsch offers.

When using red wine in place of Kirsch, make sure to chose a dry red wine to maintain the desired flavor balance.

Add about two tablespoons per person, and adjust the amount according to taste.

Red wine offers a subtle flavor boost that pairs well with cheese and other dippers such as vegetables and cooked meats.


In conclusion, kirsch is a clear, brandy-based cherry liquor that is often used in Swiss fondue.

However, there are alternatives that can be used for those who cannot or do not wish to use alcohol.

Substitutes for kirsch include fruit juice concentrate, wine, beer, cider vinegar or non-alcoholic vanilla extract.

When substituting an ingredient in a special recipe like fondue, it is best to adjust the amount of cheese and other ingredients accordingly to make sure the final dish tastes good.

With these suggestions, you can still enjoy a delicious and fun fondue experience without the use of alcohol.

5 Best Kirsch Substitutes in Fondue

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes


  • 1 – Fruit Brandy
  • 2 – Vodka and Cherries
  • 3 – Liqueur de Mirabelle
  • 4 – Grappa
  • 5 – Red Wine


  • Choose your preferred substitute from the list of options.
  • Organize all of your ingredients.
  • Use the proper substitute to cook your recipes.
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