Wiśniówka (Polish Cherry Liqueur)

Wiśniówka is a Polish nalewka – an aged cordial. The most common types are made with fruit and either vodka or rectified spirits. My wiśniówka recipe is prepared with Morello cherries, a sour type of cherry. If Morello cherries aren’t available in your area, you can use other sour or sweet cherries instead.

Wiśniówka makes an excellent homemade gift. Make it well in advance, fill into small, decorative bottles, and give away as a Christmas gift.

Wiśniówka (Polish Cherry Liqueur)

Recipe by Anna BembryCourse: Homemade liqueursCuisine: PolishDifficulty: Medium


Prep time







Traditional Polish aged cordial, made from sour cherries.


  • 1 – 1.5 kg sour cherries

  • 500 ml 95% proof alcohol (e.g. Everclear or Golden Grain)

  • 200 ml water, boiled and cooled down

  • 500 g sugar


  • Rinse and pit the cherries. Discard the pits.
  • combine alcohol with water.
  • Place cherries in a large glass jar and pour over with the alcohol mixture. Seal the jar with a lid and set aside in a cool, dark area to macerate for 6 weeks. Occasionally flip and shake the jar.
  • After 6 weeks, pour the cherry-infused alcohol from the jar into a bottle. Add sugar to the fruit, seal the jar, and set aside again in a cool, dark place.
  • Over the next days and weeks, the sugar will slowly dissolve, forming a syrup – the second part of your liqueur. Shake the jar from time to time to stir the ingredients and facilitate the process. After 2 – 3 weeks, when the sugar is dissolved, combine the syrup with the cherry-infused alcohol.
  • Filter the liquid through a clean, dry cloth or wire mesh strainer. Pour the filtered liqueur into a clean bottle or carafe and set aside to age for at least 3 months.


  • Wiśniówka unfolds its full, lovely bouquet after 1 year of aging. However, you can, of course, enjoy it after the initial 3 months of aging.
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