Skip to Content

Delicious Shifts: 5 BEST Substitutes for Kirsch in Fondue

Who knew that adding Kirsch to the Fondue mix could make such a difference while enjoying this traditional Swiss dish?

Yes, it can be quite daunting to think of how best to incorporate this almond-flavored brandy into the Fondue, as you may not have any Kirsch on hand.

So what can you do if was looking for a Kirsch substitute in fondue?

In this article, we will go over some ideas for substituting for Kirsch in fondue – as well as list out the 5 best substitutes.

Read on to find out more.

What’s Kirsch?

whats kirsch

Kirsch is a clear, flavoured, sweet cherry brandy used in many traditional dishes — particularly in fondue.

It’s also known as Kirschwasseror Kirsch schnapps, and is made by distilling fermented cherry juice.

Kirsch makes a great addition to many recipes where it adds a unique flavour, and it’s often used in thick sauces or soups.

Even though it has alcohol content of over 40%, most of this will burn off during the cooking process so you don’t have to worry about that when using kirsch for fondue or other recipes.

The noticeable cherry flavor makes kirsch perfect for those looking to add a sweet note to their dishes.

It has the perfect balance between tartness and sweetness that can really take your dish up another level.

While Hirshworks beautifully with chocolate fondues, it can be used with savory dishes too making it incredibly versatile ingredient that every cook should master.

As with any liquor or alcohol, it’s important to note that kirsch can cause danger if consumed improperly — especially large quantities due its high alcohol content.

Please make sure you’re familiar with safety precautions before consuming any liquor products.

The 5 Best Kirsch Substitutes in Fondue

If you’re looking for the perfect way to give your fondue an extra kick of flavor, Kirsch is a great choice – but what if you cannot find it?

Fortunately, there are several alternatives that can provide similar results and can be used in place of kirsch when making fondue.

Here’s a detailed comparison of the 5 best substitutes for Kirsch in fondue, along with their key characteristics and proper ratios:

SubstituteKey CharacteristicsProper Ratio
Fruit BrandyFruity flavor that complements the fondueUse the same amount as Kirsch
Vodka and CherriesVodka provides the alcohol element, while cherries add some fruitiness and sweetnessUse the same amount as Kirsch
Liqueur de MirabelleMade from mirabelle plums, it offers a similar fruity and aromatic profile to KirschUse the same amount as Kirsch
GrappaDistilled grape pomace, provides a strong and distinct flavor that can enhance the fondueUse the same amount as Kirsch or adjust to taste
Red WineAdds depth and complexity to the fondue with its rich flavorsUse the same amount as Kirsch or adjust to taste

Now let’s explore each substitute in more detail:

1 – Fruit Brandy

fruit brandy

Fruit brandies, also known as eaux-de-vie or schnapps, are a type of distilled beverage made from fermented fruit juices or mash.

They can be used to make a variety of cocktails and desserts and even in fondue recipes as a substitute for kirsch.

Fruit brandies come in a wide range of flavors from peach and apricot to raspberry and blackberry.

Some popular brands of fruit brandy include Berentzen apfelkorn, Strega liqueur, Seagram’s 7 Crowns New England apple whiskey, Courvoisier VSOP cognac, E&J Apple Brandy, Schmidt’s cherry schnapps and many more.

The key to finding the best flavor for your fondue recipe is to experiment with different types until you find the perfect combination.

When substituting with fruit brandy in place of kirsch, it’s important to note that these spirits may have a sweeter taste compared to kirsch which can add additional sweetness or depth to your dish.

Try using less sugar in your recipe when using fruit brandy as this will help balance out the sugar levels without impacting the overall flavor too drastically.

2 – Vodka and Cherries

vodka and cherries

Vodka and cherries can make a suitable kirsch substitute when making fondue.

Vodka doesn’t have the same flavor as kirsch but it can serve as an adequate substitute if you’re in a pinch.

To mimic the flavor of kirsch, add in some freshly-chopped cherries to the vodka before adding it to your fondue.

If you don’t have fresh or frozen cherries, you can also mince up some maraschino cherries for this purpose.

Remember to taste your fondue mixture as you go and adjust accordingly if needed.

Keep in mind that vodka has a much more pronounced flavor than kirsch so use sparingly when swapping these two.

3 – Liqueur de Mirabelle

Liqueur de Mirabelle is a yellow fruit liqueur from the mirabelle plum, a yellow-fleshed variety of plum found in quantities throughout France and Germany.

It’s a popular spirit for fondue recipes but can also be used as an ingredient for cocktails, an addition to cake batters, or simply sipped by itself.

The flavor of liqueur de mirabelle is gentle, sweet and light with the taste and aroma of fresh mirabelle plums.

Its sweetness level is low so it won’t overpower other flavors used in the dish making it an excellent Kirsch substitute.

Just like Kirsch, this liqueur will add depth and complexity to your fondue recipes without adding any strong aromas or alcohol fumes.

4 – Grappa


Grappa is a brandy made from the pomace of wine grapes.

It has a strong flavor that is best appreciated when sipped neat or served as a digestif.

Though it’s not the most original choice for fondue, it can make for a very pleasing and flavorful experience.

Its delicate sweetness pairs well with the savory flavors of cheese, and its richness will give your fondue an extra creamy texture.

To avoid overpowering the cheese, use only a little bit at a time—no more than an ounce or two per person.

Be sure to use high-quality grappa for the best results.

5 – Red Wine

red wine 1

Red Wine – A classic substitute for Kirsch is dry, red wine and it’s already a common addition to fondue recipes.

Although they won’t provide the same intense flavor, red wines can often add a unique depth to the taste.

Choose a bold-flavored option like Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir for the best results.

If you decide on using red wine as your Kirsch substitute, start by adding half of what you would add with Kirsch and adding more if needed.


The alternatives to kirsch for fondue vary in flavor, alcohol content, and price.

Consider what’s available to you in terms of budget and taste preference when deciding which one is best for your fondue.

However, the best substitutes for kirsch are considered to be brandy, cognac, white wine, apple cider brandy, and cherry juice.

No matter which kirsch substitute you select, it’s important to remember that quality is always better than quantity.

When making fondue with a substitute liquor or fruit juice concentrate, use between two teaspoons to one tablespoon per pound of cheese you use as a base.

This will enhance the flavor of your fondue without overpowering it or altering the texture too much.

When in doubt about something such as measurements or proportions while cooking or baking with alcohol or kirsch substitutes like schnapps or white wine etc.

, consult a recipe book or even well-versed family members who have their own traditional ways around doing delicious dishes better.

Depending on your craving and preference there are many creative ways around enjoying your flavorful meal with unique twists thus adding more nourishment for every bite.

kirsch substitutes in fondue

The 5 Best Kirsch Substitutes in Fondue

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • 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.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @EatDelights or tag #eatdelights!

About The Author

Sharing is caring!

Recipe Rating