What Is Cherry Heering?

The Natural Cherry Liqueur that is Essential for Cocktails

Cherry Heering Liqueur
One of the best cherry liqueurs you will find, Cherry Heering has a sweet, natural cherry flavor that is perfect in cocktails. Photo: © Cherry Heering

Cherry Heering is a popular cherry-flavored liqueur that is vital for many classic and modern cocktails such as the Singapore Sling and Blood and Sand. This royal red liqueur is one of the best tasting cherry spirits on the market and is often used in drink recipes that call for cherry brandy.

What Is Cherry Heering?

Cherry Heering was created by Peter 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.

Cherry Heering is unique among the modern offerings of cherry liqueurs. It is naturally flavored, made by lightly crushing Danish cherries and soaking those with a spice blend  in neutral grain spirits. The mixture ages naturally in casks for five years during which sugar is added.

Why Is Cherry Heering Better?

If you have tasted any number of cherry-flavored distilled spirits you will know that they often take on a medicinal aspect. The liqueurs, brandies, even the infused vodkas and whiskeys, end up tasting more like cough syrup than cherries. Cherry is a tricky flavor when it comes to alcohol and unless it is handled properly, the results can be (and often are) disastrous.

Many of these failures come from artificial ingredients. It is in natural cherry spirits like Cherry Heering and quality maraschino liqueurs where the tiny fruits are handled properly that a good cherry liquor is produced.

If you can enjoy it on its own without a flashback to your mother stuffing cough medicine down your throat as a kid, then you have a good cherry liqueur.

Cherry Heering vs Maraschino and Kirsch

Cherry Heering is among the preferred cherry liqueurs for mixing cocktails and it is best to know the difference between it and the other two popular choices, maraschino and kirsch.

  • Cherry Heering is sweeter than the other two and has a deeper red color. It also has a very distinct cherry taste.
  • Kirsch (or kirsschwasser - German for "cherry water") is a common cherry brandy that is clear in color and has a bitter cherry aspect that is primarily due to the inclusion of pits in production. It is has a drier profile than that of the other two.
  • Maraschino is also clear and has a bitter aspect though this is described as more of an 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.

Can the three liqueurs be interchanged? The answer to this really depends on the cocktail you are mixing up. Many recipes will specifically call for one of the three if that liqueur's flavor profile is crucial to finding balance in the drink.

In those cocktail recipes that call for cherry brandy, choose either kirsch or Cherry Heering and note the sweetness of the rest of the drink to determine whether a drier or sweeter liqueur should be used.

For those drinks that call for cherry liqueur, the same thought process should be applied. Ask yourself, "What can the cherry liqueur bring to this drink and how do I want it to play against the other ingredients?"

Cherry Heering Cocktail Recipes

About Cherry Heering Liqueur

  • Cherry-flavored liqueur made with natural cherry flavors in neutral grain spirits. Aged for five years.
  • Produced by Peter F. Heering, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • It should be noted that the Heering website states that Cherry Heering contains nuts.
  • 21.8% ABV (43.6 proof)
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