Almond liqueur is an alcoholic beverage that is made from almond pits and has a sweet, almond-like flavor. Although it is a popular drink, it is also commonly used to flavor baked goods and desserts and is excellent for topping on ice cream.
If you can't get your hands on a bottle, then you're going to need an alternative. We've pulled together a list of our favorite almond liqueur substitutes for any situation.
What can I use to replace almond liqueur?
If you're looking for an almond liqueur substitute then your best options are almond extract, Frangelico, Nocello, Disaronno, or Orgeat Italian soda syrup. Crumbled marzipan is an option for baking if you’re in a pinch, but you may need to add extra liquid to keep the food from being too dry.
1. Almond extract
If you've got a recipe that calls for almond liqueur then you may be looking for an alcohol-free option. Maybe you don't want to buy a whole bottle of liquor to make one recipe? For these situations, your best option is to use almond extract. Add almond flavor to your next dessert, cake, or pudding without the high cost attached.
You can adjust the amount of extract to suit your taste, but we suggest using half a teaspoon of extract for every two tablespoons of almond liqueur. Keep in mind that an extract will have less sweetness and you'll also be adding less liquid to the recipe; you may want to add a little extra liquid and sugar to compensate.
Tip: Imitation almond extract or almond paste are also good options for cooking.
Frangelico is a hazelnut liqueur that is hugely popular and can be found in practically any liquor store around the world. It has a different flavor profile to almond liqueur as it has a hazelnut overtone. But the sweet, nutty taste isn't all that different and it won't be out of place in your next cocktail or poured into a cake, muffin, or cookie batter. It is also an excellent addition to coffee for a sneaky nightcap.
Nocello is an Italian liqueur that is manufactured from nuts. It is sweet with hints of vanilla and walnut and tastes a lot like Frangelico. It’s another excellent substitute for almond liqueur and is a useful ingredient for adding to cocktails or served on its own with ice.
Although Nocello is a delicious option for drinking or adding to food, it's not the easiest product to find. We suggest visiting a well-stocked bottle shop or search online to find this tasty drink.
Disaronno is an Italian amaretto that infuses alcohol with apricot kernel oil, essences of herbs and fruits, and burnt sugar. It offers a mix of sweet and bitter flavor with hints of cherry and almond. Disaronno is a great option for drinking but also makes a useful ingredient in baking and dessert making.
This liqueur contains 28% alcohol by volume so it's not a good option for those looking to cut alcohol from their diet.
5. Orgeat Italian soda syrup
Orgeat Italian soda syrup, or French Orgeat, is a flavoring ingredient that is a great option for fountain drinks, cocktails, and tiki drinks. It is a marzipan-like syrup made from almond oil and water that has orange flower water added along with sweetener.
The flavor is quite similar to almond liqueur but is much cheaper and also doesn't have any alcohol added. Use this syrup in equal quantities to the original ingredient.
6. Crumbled marzipan
Crumbled marzipan won't help to make your next cocktail but it's great for adding to baked goods. The confectionery has a sweet, full of almond flavor, and is ideal for those wanting an alcohol-free ingredient. If you decide on this option, then keep in mind that it's a solid, so in baking recipes you will need to add some liquid to compensate.
Summary of replacement options
|Substitute||Best use||Alcohol based?||Comments|
|Almond extract||Baking, desserts||Not usually, but check label||Easy to find, low-cost option|
|Frangelico||Baking, desserts, cocktails, drunken on its own||Yes||Similar flavor, but with hazelnut|
|Nocello||Baking, desserts, cocktails, drunken on its own||Yes||Similar to Frangelico, harder to find|
|Disaronno||Baking, desserts, cocktails, drunken on its own||Yes||A type of amaretto with hints of cherry|
|Orgeat Italian soda syrup||Cocktails||No||Ideal for tiki cocktails|
|Crumbled marzipan||Baking||No||Compensate with extra liquid in baking|
Is Amaretto the same as almond liqueur?
Some brands of Amaretto are made using almonds and are classified as an almond liqueur; however, there are many recipes for Amaretto that don’t use almonds, and instead use apricot pits or other combinations of herbs and spices.
What is a good substitute for vanilla liqueur?
To replace vanilla liqueur in cooking try using a good quality vanilla extract with a simple syrup. Although not as flavorsome, a vanilla essence can be used in a pinch. The absence of alcohol from the recipe will provide a different taste but won’t ruin the dish.
What flavors pair with almond liqueur?
Some delicious ingredients that can be paired with almond liqueur include coffee, chocolate, maple syrup, vanilla bean, citrus zest, and cherry.
- The word “amaretto” is Italian for “a little bitter”.
- Amaretto is a sweet, almond-flavored liqueur that sometimes gets confused with amaro, a broad category of Italian bittersweet liqueur which can vary in flavor depending on the brand and recipe used.
- Amaretto is often served as a dessert drink with ice or in a tall glass with cola. It mixes well with whiskey, vodka, and coffee liqueur.
- Amaretto is the sweet, Italian version of almond liqueur.
- Although amaretto can be made from almonds, it is also made from bitter almonds, peach stones, apricot kernels, or a combination of spices.
Almond liqueur is a popular Italian drink that can be as useful in cooking as it is as a drink. If you don’t have any, replace it with almond extract, Orgeat Italian soda syrup, or crumbled marzipan for no-alcohol alternatives. Alcohol adds an extra layer of flavor that you won’t get from these options, but for some, the alternatives are preferred.
Frangelico or Nocello are both useful alcohol-based substitutes if you have them in the liquor cabinet. You may also want to test Amarguinha, a type of bitter Portuguese almond liqueur. It is a similar style of drink, but not always easy to find on the shelf.
What are you going to use your almond liqueur replacement for? Please let us know in the comments below.