What happens when you have no orange liqueur, is your cocktail doomed?
No, it isn’t!
You can find an excellent substitute for orange liqueur easily.
Read on to find out what else you can use to replace this refreshing alcoholic beverage.
What Can You Substitute For Orange Liqueur in Recipes?
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.
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.
Fun fact: If you don’t want an alcoholic liquid, you can always use a non-alcoholic coffee liqueur substitute. 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.
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!
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.
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. Make Homemade Orange Liqueur
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
- 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.
- Come day 20, add the cloves, sealing and shaking again. Let it steep for another 24 hours.
- 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.
- Strain all the contents of the orange mixture using a fine-mesh strainer, then again to a coffee filter. Discard all the solids.
- Combine your strained orange mixture with the syrup in a new bottle or jar.
- Shake the mixture, then rest for another day before using.
- 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you want to continue learning more about orange liqueurs or the substitutes we listed? Here are frequently asked questions our readers have wanted to know about:
1. What are the different orange liqueurs?
Other recipes would simply state that it requires an orange liqueur.
The aforementioned alcoholic beverages are orange liqueurs, one of the most commonly used liqueurs on the market worldwide.
That’s why orange liqueurs are a must-have in a well-stocked bar.
2. What can you do with orange liqueur?
You can do many different things with orange liqueur, may it be for drinks or food.
For drinks, you can use orange liqueur in the following cocktails:
- Cointreau Margarita
- Pomegranate Martini
- The White Lady
- Cranberry Orange Liqueur
- The Grand Manhattan
- Citronage Paloma
- Long Island
- Barbotage Champagne
As for cooking recipes, here are sweet and savory dishes you can use it for:
- Orange liqueur cake
- Orange liqueur ice cream
- Oranges in liqueur
- Orange liqueur brownie bites
- Chocolate mousse
- Grand Marnier chicken
- Sheet Pan chicken a l’orange
- Roast rib or beef with orange liqueur
- Classic orange beef
Wrapping It Up
When you’re in the middle of a recipe that requires orange liqueur, and you run out, what do you do? Go back to this list and find the appropriate substitutes for your dish and desired taste!