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Low-Carb Sour Cherry Liqueur (Griotka)

4.7 stars, average of 46 ratings

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This low-carb, rum flavored liqueur is based on an old family recipe. Back at my parents house in Czechia we used to have a small morello cherry tree that always produced plenty of fruit. Every year my mom would bake the most delicious cherry clafoutis (similar to this Low-Carb Berry Clafoutis) and my dad would make a few bottles of Griotka, a traditional sour cherry liqueur which is common in the Czech Republic although it seems to have originated in France.

This liqueur is really easy to make. The only challenge will be for you to wait for four weeks before it's ready, and it's totally worth it!

And it's not just the liqueur! At the end of the four long weeks you'll have the most delicious rum-infused cherries that will taste like raisins. These boozy cherries are perfect for baking or making keto ice cream, and thanks to the alcohol, they will keep in the fridge in a sealed jar for several months. They will be the perfect alternative to cranberries in my No Churn Keto Rum & Raisin Ice Cream!

How To Make Sugar-Free Sour Cherry Liqueur (Griotka)

I slightly modified this family recipe by using a healthy low-carb sweetener instead of sugar, and frozen instead of fresh cherries. Fresh morello cherries aren't always available, and as I realized, it will actually speed up the process with all of the juices released after defrosting. Although you can keep them infusing for up to 8 weeks, you only need 4 weeks.

Compared to the traditional recipe, I used just about half of the required sweetener which I think is more than enough as it lets more of the tangy sour cherry to come through. Also, when you follow a low-carb diet, your palate will change and you won't need to use as much sweetener as you did before.

Making Low-Carb Sour Cherry Liqueur at home is easy and you will only need a few common ingredients (plus patience). Here's what you need:

  • Dark rum is the best, most flavorful option. However, if you want a more neutral taste, vodka is a good alternative. Finally, you can use brandy.
  • Sour cherries (morello cherries) are the best option which will add the perfect tang to this sweet liqueur. You can use fresh or frozen sour cherries. If you can't get sour cherries, use dark sweet cherries and add juice from 1 whole lemon.
  • Spices such as cinnamon, cloves and star anise for deliciously spiced flavor. You can you more but go easy on spices if you don't want the flavors too overpowering.
  • Low-carb sweetener, ideally Allulose. If you don't have Allulose, use Erythritol or Swerve. Allulose is the best option as it tastes just like sugar and doesn't crystallize once chilled.

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Where to Buy Allulose

There are a few options available on Amazon. The brand I use and like is RxSugar. If you live in the US you can get RxSugar 20% off by using this link (affiliate link) or by using the code KETODIET20 at checkout.

How To Serve Sugar-Free Sour Cherry Liqueur

There are no rules because we Czechs serve this Griotka in many different ways. You can serve at room temperature just like whiskey or keep it refrigerated and serve chilled, or simply add 2 to 3 ice cubes. Finally, you can serve it hot just like hot toddy. To do that, pour a shot of Griotka into a heatproof glass and add hot water, plus a slice of lemon. You can even mix it with Prosecco or Cava for a tasty bubbly drink!

More Low-Carb Drinks & Liqueur Recipes

Love making low-carb cocktails and DIY liqueurs? There are plenty of low-carb options below!

Make sure to check out our Guide to Low-Carb Alcohol for even more tips and healthier drink ideas!

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Hands-on Overall

Serving size 45 ml/ 1.5 fl oz

Allergy information for Low-Carb Sour Cherry Liqueur (Griotka)

✔  Gluten free
✔  Dairy free
✔  Egg free
✔  Nut free
✔  Nightshade free
✔  Pork free
✔  Avocado free
✔  Coconut free
✔  Fish free
✔  Shellfish free
✔  Beef free

Nutritional values (per serving, 45 ml/ 1.5 fl oz)

Net carbs1.6 grams
Protein0.1 grams
Fat0.1 grams
Calories56 kcal
Calories from carbs 85%, protein 7%, fat 8%
Total carbs1.8 gramsFiber0.3 gramsSugars0.9 gramsSaturated fat0 gramsSodium0 mg(0% RDA)Magnesium1 mg(0% RDA)Potassium16 mg(1% EMR)

Ingredients (makes about 1.5 L/ 50 fl oz)


  1. If using frozen sour (morello) cherries, let them defrost. If you're using fresh sour cherries, remove the stems (you don't have to remove the pits). You'll then need 1 cinnamon stick, 2 pieces of star anise and 4 cloves, plus fresh lemon slices. You can use more spices but go easy on them if you don't want the flavors to be overpowering.
    Note: You'll need 900 g (2 lb) of sour cherries to make this liqueur. We included 50% of the cherries in the calculation of the nutrition facts. Spices and lemon are fully included as the effect they have is negligible either way. Low-Carb Sour Cherry Liqueur (Griotka)
  2. Cut the cinnamon stick in half. Transfer the defrosted cherries (including any juices) into one sterilized large jar (at least 2 liters capacity), or two smaller jars (each at least 1 liter capacity). Pour half of the dark rum into each of the jars. Add the cinnamon, star anise and cloves. Low-Carb Sour Cherry Liqueur (Griotka)
  3. Add the lemon slices. Low-Carb Sour Cherry Liqueur (Griotka)
  4. Add the sweetener. Close with a lid. Let it infuse for at least 2 weeks but ideally for 3 to 4 weeks (if you're using frozen and defrosted cherries), or 6 to 8 weeks (if you're using whole fresh cherries).
    Note: Allulose is the best option as it tastes just like sugar and doesn't crystallize once chilled. Alternatively, you can use Erythritol or Swerve. Low-Carb Sour Cherry Liqueur (Griotka)
  5. When ready, pour the content through a strainer. (Although it's not necessary, you can line the strainer with a muslin cloth and pour through.) Low-Carb Sour Cherry Liqueur (Griotka)
  6. Use a funnel to pour in two large sterilized bottles or more smaller bottles. Store in a sealed container in a dark, cool place, or in the fridge. Low-Carb Sour Cherry Liqueur (Griotka)
  7. Serve at room temperature, refrigerated, with ice, or you can even serve it hot. To do that, pour a shot of Griotka into a heatproof glass and add hot water, plus a slice of lemon. Low-Carb Sour Cherry Liqueur (Griotka)

Ingredient nutritional breakdown (per serving, 45 ml/ 1.5 fl oz)

Net carbsProteinFatCalories
Cherries, sour, red, frozen, unsweetened
0.9 g0.1 g0 g5 kcal
Rum, distilled alcoholic beverage (~40% vol)
0 g0 g0 g48 kcal
Cinnamon, spices
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Star anise, spices
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Cloves, spices
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Lemon (whole), fresh
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Allulose, natural low-carb sweetener
0.5 g0 g0 g2 kcal
Total per serving, 45 ml/ 1.5 fl oz
1.6 g0.1 g0.1 g56 kcal

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Martina Slajerova
Creator of

Martina Slajerova

I changed the way I ate in 2011, when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. I had no energy, and I found it more and more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.

That’s when I decided to quit sugar, grains, and processed foods, and to start following a whole-foods-based ketogenic approach to food.

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Comments (4)

Does this need to be refrigerated while steeping for the 4 weeks?

No need for refrigeration while steeping, I just kept it in a sealed fido jar at room temperature.

This looks yummy! I’ve been serving limoncello over ice topped with San pelligrino, bet this would work just as well.

Oh yes, it's great with sparkling water and ice too!