What Is A Substitute for Orange Curacao? (Easy Alternatives)

image of a good substitute orange curacao

Like other orange liqueurs, orange curacao has become an integral part of menus in bars and restaurants. (*)

It’s also a staple in a few homes because of how good it tastes when mixed into cocktails!

Unfortunately, we can’t always purchase orange curacao, as it’s either difficult to find in grocery stores or more expensive than expected.

Not to worry, as you can always find and replace it with something elses.

If you’re wondering what to use, then read on for our extensive list of Orange Curacao substitutes to try!

What’s Orange Curacao?

Orange Curacao is a sweet digestive liqueur derivative of the curacao triple sec, this time with a deep orange color.

It originates from the Dutch, on Curacao Island!

You can usually find orange Curaçao in the liquor store or purchase it online. But if you don’t, there are other ingredients to use, such as:

What Is A Substitute for Orange Curacao?

SubstituteFlavor ProfileBase SpiritNotable Features
Grand MarnierUnique orange flavor with oaky brandy notesBrandyPremium liqueur, distinct flavor, good for cocktails
Triple SecStrong orange flavor with French liqueur notesNeutral SpiritClear liqueur, versatile in cocktails
AurumOrange scent and flavor with saffron undertonesBrandyAged liqueur, smooth and sweet, great for desserts

1. Grand Marnier

Grand Marnier is known for its unique orange flavor.

It’s one of the more famous orange liqueurs created with a premium brandy base. Meaning there are no neutral spirits but instead possess the aged, intense, and oaky characteristics brandy offers.

Moreover, manufacturers use bitter orange peels to flavor the fruit liqueur, giving it a deep and distinct flavor and a lovely golden appearance.

While Grand Marnier is typically used in cocktails, it’s also a great addition to baking recipes! Because of its ingredient list and distinct flavor, you can use Grand Marnier instead of orange curacao.

Though orange-flavored, Grand Marnier and Orange Curacao still taste different but serve a similar purpose.

They are different because orange curacao is made from sugar cane alcohol, while Grand Marnier uses brandy rather than rum.

Fun Fact:

Grand Marnier gets its orange notes from Caribbean-grown Citrus Bigaradia, which we know as Seville or bitter oranges.

2. Triple Sec

Triple sec is a clear orange liqueur carrying a citrus flavor. This orange liqueur is made from a neutral spirit and a macerate of dried orange peels.

Triple sec is a French liqueur in various colors, with the high-end versions having a strong orange flavor as it’s made with orange bloom and bitter oranges.

That way, you get a deep flavor from the French beverage.

You can use this French beverage in various cocktails, though you can also serve and enjoy triple sec neat or on the rocks.

The alcohol content can range from 20-42%, depending on the brand and price.

Triple sec is different from orange curacao because the former is usually made with a neutral spirit, whereas orange curacao has a brandy base.

That said, you can find many bartenders using triple sec and orange curacao interchangeably.

Learn more: The Complete Triple Sec Substitutes Guide

Fun Fact:

Orange Curacao isn’t a protected brand compared to cognac or champagne, protected by law, and must be produced in its region of origin.

3. Aurum

Aurum, a brandy-based liqueur known for its orange scent and flavor, is another specialty drink from Pescara. It is made by combining aged brandy with an orange tint and flavor.

The drinkmakers use saffron as an ingredient to enhance its orange color. Additionally, they age the drink before bottling it, which gives it a deep flavor.

Expect a smooth and sweet flavor with the orange scent dominating the aroma.

We love using aurum in desserts like ice creams, but you can also drink it with cocktails or on its own.

Add a splash of it in ice creams, and you get an interesting orange flavor with a kick!

Other Substitutes For Orange Curacao You Can Try

4. Gran Gala

Another orange-flavored liqueur with a rich flavor is Gran Gala. This Italian beverage is made from brandy, which originates from Trieste.

It has an amber color and candied orange or fresh orange smell with a warming and long finish.

Expect a smooth and velvety texture, with many considering this one of the finest brandies around.

Besides oranges, it has other flavor notes like caramel, cocoa, vanilla, and certain spices!

We appreciate its fresh orange infusion, making it an excellent orange curacao alternative.

The smooth and sweet flavor isn’t only used in cocktails but in cooking recipes as well!

5. Blue Curacao

Blue curaçao is actually a kind of Curacao liqueur with a colorless appearance.

The flavor is very similar to the Laraha citrus grown from Curacao.

Like orange curacao, blue curaçao has an orange flavor with a fine taste profile.

Used in cocktails, expect only a slightly different flavor but a major change in appearance because of the blue color.

6. Picon

Picon is a type of drink from France that tastes like oranges and has a bitter taste. It can be mixed with beer to make a special drink.

To make Picon, they use ingredients like caramel, different herbs, spices, and a type of alcohol that doesn’t have much taste.

Some specific ingredients they use are the outside part of oranges, a plant called gentian root, and the bark of a tree called cinchona.

Picon’s unique flavor makes it a popular choice for making cocktails, which are fancy mixed drinks.

7. Other Orange Liqueurs

You can also find other liqueurs made of orange peels, orange zest, or bitter oranges with neutral spirits to nail that citrusy flavor.

For example, there is the Cointreau or even basic orange-flavored vodka,

Fun Fact:

The orange peels used to make orange curacao comes from the Laraha citrus grown on Curacao island, hence the name!

8. Orange Juice (Non Alcohol)

If you’re looking for a non-alcoholic substitute, we recommend orange juice.

Orange juice is readily available and contains no alcohol content at all.

Orange juice is the way to go if you’re making mocktails or don’t want alcohol in cooking recipes.

We recommend using the orange extract for those who don’t want to add too much liquid but want more of the orange flavor.

Just a few drops of this ingredient will give you so much of the flavor you seek!

Learn more:

Fun Fact:

Traditional Curacao is made from brandy and dried Curaçao orange peels. The modern orange Curaçao isn’t usually made this way.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you want to continue learning more about orange curacao or the substitutes we listed? Here are frequently asked questions our readers have wanted to know about:

Wrapping It Up

Let us know what you thought of our list of orange curacao substitutes and the individual ingredients we mentioned!

If you’d like to learn more about ingredient substitution, food shelf lives, and other informative facts on the world of cooking & drinking check out the rest of our blog.

Happy Time!

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