10 Best Amaretto Substitutes

Amaretto is a sweet, almond-flavored Italian liqueur made from almond pits. The most well-known brand is Amaretto Disaronno. In addition to being served as a drink, it can be used over ice cream as a flavoring in baked goods and other desserts.

This type of liquor has a distinctive almond taste and is used as a drink, especially as a dessert drink; many bartenders also use it as a mixer, and for the coffee lovers, they add it to their coffee.

There are several reasons you may wish for amaretto substitutes in your drink or dish. Perhaps you just ran out of Amaretto. Maybe you don’t care for the almond flavor or might like to find a non-alcoholic alternative.

Some of the best amaratto substitutes include marzipan, hazelenut liqueur, coffee liqueur, chocolate liqueur, etc.

What is Amaretto?

Amaretto means “a little bitter” in Italian. This Italian liqueur has a sweet, rich flavor with a bitter aftertaste. Some of the most popular uses for Amaretto include the Amaretto Sour cocktail and amaretto cookies.

It’s also used as a crucial ingredient when making cocktails and as a baking ingredient in most baking recipes.

Like liquor, it contains a high level of alcohol, which ranges from 24% to 38% of volume. One distinct characteristic of this liqueur is that it is one of the sweetest of all the liqueurs with its almond-flavored taste and scent.

Whatever your reason for needing an amaretto substitutes, there are many suitable options. Some Amaretto substitutes will work better for drinks, and others lend themselves better to food dishes, but you are sure to find a substitute on this list to suit your needs.

Best Amaretto Substitutes

1. Hazelnut Liqueur (Frangelico)

Hazelnut liqueur is a perfect Amaretto substitutes. It has a nutty taste and color similar to Amaretto, making it just right. It contains alcohol, just like other alcohol substitutes for Amaretto. Hazelnut Liqueur includes sweeter hazelnut fruitiness, making them a great ingredient in desserts, drinks, and even your coffee.

Hazelnut liqueur can typically be served as an after-dinner drink. It can also be used as a cooking ingredient or as a sauce over ice cream. Hazelnut liqueur can also be used as Amaretto substitutes in any recipe that calls for a nut-flavored liqueur.

Hazelnut liqueur is a superior choice to other substitutes because it has a more complex flavor and is less sweet. Hazelnut is typically very easy to find in any well-stocked grocery store that sells products with alcohol or any liquor store.

2. Chocolate Liqueur (crème de cacao)

Chocolate is a favorite treat for most people and is amazingly a replacement for Amaretto. Chocolate liqueur is a chocolate-flavored liqueur with hints of vanilla. It is less sweet and thick than a chocolate liqueur.

The liqueur is available in dark or white (transparent) colors. It is used in drinks such as King Alphonse Mocha Martini or Cubano Coffee. The sweet drink can also be used over ice cream or included in other desserts.

The alcohol content in this liqueur is about 20% to 25%; however, you don’t get the bold taste of almonds or nuts when using it for amaretto substitutes, but the complex dimensions of chocolatey flavor are unbeatable in so many desserts, drinks, and baked items.

When substituting chocolate liqueur for Amaretto, remember that the alcohol content will be higher, so adjust your recipe accordingly. This beverage can be found in any liquor store or grocery store selling alcohol.

3. Coffee Liqueur

Another great substitute for Amaretto is a coffee liqueur. If you are a coffee lover, you will enjoy the flavor this substitution brings to your favorite recipes.

Coffee liqueur can serve as a great alternative to Amaretto in cocktails. It works for desserts such as tiramisu and brownies or if you want to bake a coffee cake.

If your taste choice for your dish is bold and fully flavored, not nutty, then coffee liqueur is your best bet. You will not get the “almond” feel, but trust that your cocktails, desserts, or drinks will have a great taste you never expected.

Coffee Liqueur comes at 20% alcohol, which is about the same alcohol content as hazelnuts, so it works as a great substitute.  

If you are a coffee lover, this is one item you will keep returning to once you discover its goodness. You can use Kahlua, a strong coffee liqueur predominantly from Mexico as amaretto substitutes. This liqueur is used to make a popular drink named Black Russian.

4. Marzipan

Marzipan and Amaretto are very different in consistency. However, marzipan’s sweet almonds taste is similar in flavor to Amaretto. Marzipan is an excellent Amaretto substitutes in baked dishes. You can use crumbled marzipan and add it as a topping or filling in different desserts.

Many cakes and desserts contain marzipan but did you know you can use it to impart almond flavor to your drinks and recipes? Marzipan is made from almonds, sugar, egg whites, and corn syrup.

Marzipan has a sweet candy flavor and a smooth texture. If you want to opt for this, remember that marzipan is solid, so mix it with hot water to create a syrup to add to your cocktails or recipes or melt a little marzipan straight into coffee or over a dessert. 

If you choose marzipan as amaretto substitutes , you will have to add more liquid to your recipe to obtain the same texture.

5. Almond Extract

If you’ve got a recipe for amaretto liqueur, you may be looking for an alcohol-free option. It may not be a liquor, but almond extract is an outstanding Amaretto substitute. Most extracts are either extracted from top-quality almonds or made directly from pure almond oil.

You may not want to buy a whole liquor bottle to make one recipe. For these situations, your best option is to use almond extract.

Almond extract is a beautiful non-alcoholic amaretto substitute. It has a sweet, nutty, and aromatic flavor due to using essential oils from almonds. It is often used in baked goods such as cookies, cakes, and candies

The almond extract is vegan-friendly and can be used in many recipes that call for Amaretto. Still, you must note that almond extract is a condensed liquid heavily saturated in flavor. So, when substituting, use one teaspoon of almond extract for one tablespoon of Amoretto.

Remember that an extract will have less sweetness and add less liquid to the recipe; you may want to add a little extra juice and sugar to compensate.

6. Coconut Liqueur

Another liqueur that you can use interchangeably with Amaretto is coconut liqueur. Coconut liqueur has 21% alcoholic content, very similar to that of Amaretto

This flavorful syrup elevates an exotic feel to whatever drink or dish you add it to. The coconut flavor is quite different from the almond flavor of Amaretto, but the sweetness is the same.

Unlike sugary syrups, coconut liqueur can be taken plain or as a key ingredient in desserts or cookies with white glaze-like flavored coconut icing and vanilla. So, if you are looking for a flavorful, nutty, sweet substitute, coconut liqueur is your best choice. 

Coconut liqueur works excellently in cocktails that call for Amaretto but take note that the coconut liqueur gives a different taste to whatever it is added to.

7. Orgeat

Orgeat is an Italian marzipan-like drink consisting of almonds, rose petals, orange flower water, and a considerable amount of sugar. This syrup can be used instead of Amaretto in all types of recipes, from cocktails to desserts

It’s a classic popular ingredient of Tiki and Mai Tai drinks. It’s light and mild, with an unpronounced almond flavor. Expect a more subdued flavor than almond extract, a quality that makes this alternative remarkably versatile.

Orgeat syrup is also less expensive than Amaretto, making it a good choice for those on a budget.

Additionally, Orgeat Italian soda syrup is also commonly known as French Orgeat so you may find it in that name at grocery stores. It is easy to find in most grocery stores. There are different brands of Orgeat, so make sure you taste the syrup before using it.

If it is sweeter than you expected, skip the extra sugar you add to your recipe. Orgeat is also much lighter in color than Amaretto, so it will not darken the appearance of your drink.

8. Disaronno

Disaronno is an Italian amaretto that infuses alcohol with apricot kernel oil, essences of herbs and fruits, and burnt sugar. It offers a sweet and bitter flavor with hints of cherry and almond.

Disaronno is an excellent drinking option and a helpful ingredient in baking and dessert making. It can be used plain as an appetizer drink, but you can also add it on top of ice creams.

If you want Amaretto, be sure you are buying Disaronno Original. Disaronno has 28% alcoholic contents and a characteristic dark amber color. Be aware that the brand Disaronno manufactures other products that are not Amaretto.

9. Cherry Liqueur

If you want an amaretto substitute that would “put the cherry on top” of your dish, then cherry liqueur is an option. For a completely different flavor that is fruity rather than nutty, try using cherry liqueur as a substitute for Amaretto.

This substitution is perfect for those who do not care for the taste of Amaretto, as cherry liqueur differs significantly in flavor from Amaretto. Like most other liqueurs, the cherry liqueur has similar alcoholic content with Amaretto at around 24%.

So, while the flavor of your drink will change dramatically, the alcohol content will not be affected. If you like this taste, you can use it in the same quantity as Amaretto, but if you are not a fan of the cherry taste, you can opt-out for another alternative.

10. Anisette

Anisette is an exotic substitute for Amaretto, but remember that this liqueur is more potent than other options, so you might want to use less of it according to your preferences.

You will also find it in different sweetness levels, so it is a great idea to taste your Anisette before using it.

It’s far sweeter than other anise-flavored spirits like absinthe, giving meals, drinks, and cocktails wonderful anise and licorices flavor. There are wide localized varieties of Anisette available.

Depending on where you are in the world, the blend may include various other flavors and a combination of soda or sparkling water.

Conclusion

Amaretto is a sweet liqueur from Italy that makes for classic cocktails that you can serve and enjoy on its own. Still, it’s also a key ingredient for traditional

Amaretto Sours and other cocktail recipes and desserts. The liqueur is surprisingly easy to make, allowing you to customize the taste and flavor.

While looking for a suitable substitute that can replace Amaretto with all its quality, remember that many amaretto substitutes are available, so it is easy to find one that suits your needs.

Whether you are looking for a non-alcoholic option or an alcoholic alternative, there is a substitute that will work for you in this option. Feel free to use any of the alternatives listed above depending on your choice, taste, and flavor.

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