What Is A Good Orange Liqueur Substitute? (Easy Alternatives)

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Are you searching for exciting ways to switch up your recipes without using orange liqueur?

Get ready to embark on a tasty adventure as we explore a variety of delicious substitutes that will awaken your taste buds!

From creamy coffee liqueur to the fruity goodness of apple brandy, we’ve gathered a collection of alternatives that will add a burst of flavor to your cooking.

Say goodbye to the ordinary and say hello to a world of delectable options.

Join us as we uncover the perfect substitutes for orange liqueur that will leave you craving more.

Let’s dive right in!

What’s Orange Liqueur Exactly?

Orange liqueur is basically a sweetened alcoholic beverage flavored with bitter orange peels. The alcohol used is usually a neutral spirit distilled in columns, like vodka.

Or, it can be a pot-distilled spirit, like grape brandy.

As the name suggests (and its ingredient list), expect orange liqueur to have a strong orange flavor, which tastes delightful with an almost syrupy texture. That said, some people say that orange liqueur has a drier mouthfeel.

Fun fact:

Orange liqueur is not just one type of liqueur, though. It’s a group of distilled spirits flavored with oranges. Most orange liqueurs taste sweet with a neutral grain base in some, while others use brandy.

Furthermore, orange liqueurs are produced worldwide and in various flavors, notable in France, Italy, the Caribbean, and the Netherlands.

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What Is Orange Liqueur Substitute?

Here are the 4 perfect orange liqueur substitutes for making your favorite recipes:

SubstituteFlavor ProfileUsage
Coffee LiqueurEspresso and roasted chocolate aromas, hint of sweetnessCocktails (e.g., White and Black Russian)
Apple BrandyAcidic yet sweet taste, notes of apple and vanillaVarious recipes, including drinks and desserts
CalvadosAromatic flavors of apples and pears, aged notesCocktails, aperitifs, digestifs, or with coffee
Orange JuiceCitrusy orange flavor, non-alcoholicMocktails, recipes for drinks, baked goods, and sauces

1. Coffee Liqueur

Interestingly enough, the coffee liqueur is an excellent substitute for orange liqueur.

You can use this ingredient in various cocktails, especially the White and Black Russian.

You can find numerous coffee liqueur options available, such as vintage bottles or those from artisan distilleries.

All these coffee liqueur brands have in common: they all have espresso and roasted chocolate aromas.

They also have a hint of sweetness, with some containing herbal overtones.

How to use:

For every two tablespoons of liqueur, use about one teaspoon of chocolate extract mixed with one teaspoon of instant coffee and two tablespoons of water. Alternatively, you can use espresso, coffee syrup, or a non-alcoholic coffee extract.

2. Apple Brandy

Apple brandy is made from distilling cider. (*) Its history is as long in America as it is in Europe.

Apples used to be processed through stills even before the 17th century, which made it America’s oldest distilled liquid.

You can use apple cider, apple juice, unsweetened apple juice concentrate, and even apple butter to make apple brandy!

This has a brandy base and will give an acidic yet sweet taste.

  • Fun fact: There’s an apple brandy suitable for everyone, whether you want the European style where it’s more elegant and complicated or a more approachable American style.

American apple brandy is sweeter and has more vanilla flavor notes since the fresh and charred American oak barrels will remove oak sugars quicker than European oak barrels. European oak barrels would have higher tannins and spice.

3. Calvados

Calvados is another good substitute for an orange liqueur, especially in cocktails.

You can enjoy this alcoholic beverage as an aperitif, digestif, between meals, in your cocktail, or even with coffee.

You can make calvados with various ingredients, such as apple juice, apple cider, unsweetened apple juice concentrate, or apple butter.

Calvados is inherently suggestive of apples and pears. (*)

It would also have aged flavors balancing in the beverage’s background.

In younger calvados, its crisp pear and apple aromas set them apart. But as it ages, it starts turning golden to darker brown, with more orange components and crimson mahogany.

You’ll find it smelling like old apples and dried apricots, which delicately harmonize with other flavor notes like chocolate, nut, and butterscotch!

4. Orange Juice

If you want the citrus flavor without the alcohol, we recommend using orange juice!

But can i substitute orange juice for orange liqueur? While it would have that intense flavor you get from liqueur, it would add a similar citrusy, orange flavor and scent to your recipes, may it be for drinks, baked goods, and sauces. Instead of a cocktail, you can make a mocktail!

To gain the citrus flavor, you may need more orange juice than what the recipe asks for. However, taste test and observe the consistency, as you may add too much juice to the point it ruins your dish.

Besides orange juice, you can use orange juice concentrate, which has a more intense flavor to use less of it than orange juice.

If you’re willing to experiment on flavors, you can use other fruit juices, such as apple or lemon juice.

They are not orange-flavored liquids, but they can do just the trick in adding a nice sweetness and flavor to your recipes.

Other Substitutes For Orange Liqueur You Can Try

5. Orange Extract

You can also use orange extract, which only requires a few drops. However, there are traces of alcohol here!

Another suitable substitute is orange zest from fresh or dried orange peels.

You only need a bit of orange zest to add a pleasant taste to your recipes.

It’s also suitable to use in your favorite orange-based cocktail!

Bottom Line: Can you substitute orange extract for orange liqueur?

Yes. But the substitution can vary depending on the recipe. In some cases, it might be possible to use an equal amount of orange extract. However, in other cases, you may need to use more or less extract, depending on the recipe. If you’re not sure how much to use, it’s best to start with a small amount and then add more as needed.

6. Homemade Orange Liqueur Substitute

Yes, you can make your orange-flavored liqueur to enhance the taste of your recipes! Whether you want it to have a vodka or brandy base, vanilla, or more orange notes, the choice is yours! Here’s a recipe you can follow.


  • 1/4 cup orange zest from three small oranges
  • One tablespoon of dried bitter orange peel
  • One cup of brandy
  • One cup of vodka
  • Four whole cloves
  • Two cups of sugar
  • 1.5 cups of water


  1. Combine the zest, dried orange peel, brandy, and vodka in a small, sealable container. Seal and shake well, allowing it to steep for up to 19 days at room temperature.
  2. Come day 20, add the cloves, sealing and shaking again. Let it steep for another 24 hours.
  3. Bring your sugar and water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Continue stirring until it completely dissolves. Turn off the heat and allow the simple syrup to cool to room temperature.
  4. Strain all the contents of the orange mixture using a fine-mesh strainer, then again to a coffee filter. Discard all the solids.
  5. Combine your strained orange mixture with the syrup in a new bottle or jar.
  6. Shake the mixture, then rest for another day before using.
  7. Store it in a sealed container at room temperature. This will last for up to one year, though this would taste its best for up to three months.

Get recipe: attainable-sustainable.net

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Wrapping It Up

Looking for creative and delicious orange liqueur substitutes? From zesty ingredients to refreshing alternatives, this article offers a variety of options to replace the unique flavor orange liqueur adds to recipes.

When you’re in the middle of a recipe that requires orange liqueur, and you run out, what do you do? 

Whether you’re in the middle of a recipe that requires orange liqueur, and you run out. Or you’re trying something new or just wanting to mix things up. These orange liqueur substitutions will add a special twist to your cooking.

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