13 top best Amaretto substitutes & way to use

Amaretto is a delicious ingredient that can take your desserts to the next level. However, if you find yourself without any amaretto on hand, don’t worry!

There are plenty of Amaretto substitutes that will work just as well in a pinch. Almond extract, Frangelico, cherry juice, and cherry syrup are all great options.

So next time you’re in the middle of making a dessert and realize you’re out of amaretto, don’t sweat it—just reach for one of these substitutes instead.

What kind of alcohol is amaretto? What is the flavor of amaretto?

Amaretto is an Italian liqueur flavored with almonds, or sometimes apricot pits, or other nuts and flavors. It often has a sweet, almond-like taste but can also have hints of cherry or vanilla.

The name “amaretto” comes from the Italian word for “bitter,” referring to the bitter almonds traditionally used in its production.

As a cooking ingredient, it adds depth and sweetness to marinades and baked goods like biscotti. Whether sipped after dinner or cooked into desserts, amaretto adds an unparalleled nutty flavor to any dish.

What does amaretto use for?

Many chefs use amaretto as an ingredient in cakes, ice cream, and sauces. It pairs well with chocolate and fruits such as strawberries and cherries.

Amaretto can also be mixed into hot drinks like coffee or hot chocolate for added warmth and sweetness. Its unique flavor adds interest to classic cocktails like the amaretto sour or the cherry kiss martini.

As a finishing touch, try sprinkling amaretto liqueur onto whipped cream or drizzling it over a slice of cheesecake. Experiment with adding amaretto to your culinary creations for a touch of sophisticated flavor.

Best Amaretto Substitutes

1. Disaronno

If you’re a fan of amaretto flavor but want to add something new to your cocktail repertoire, try using Disaronno instead. This Italian liqueur has a similar almond taste but is smoother and richer in intensity.

It also adds complexity with hints of apricot and cherry undertones. For a twist on the classic old-fashioned, mix Disaronno with bourbon and bitters, or use it to bring depth to a refreshing spritz with prosecco and soda water.

disaronno is a great amaretto substitute

Just remember to go easy on the pour – Disaronno packs a higher proof than your average amaretto.

So swap it out next time you’re in need of an upgrade in flavor. Your tastebuds will thank you.

2. Bitter almond liqueur

If you’re searching for a substitution for amaretto, consider using bitter almond liqueur.

Though the taste is quite different from that of traditional amaretto, bitter almond liqueur offers unique flavor notes that can enhance your dish or cocktail.

It has a strong, nutty taste with hints of cherry and marzipan.

It pairs well with dark liquors such as bourbon or rum, and it can also be used as a replacement for maraschino liqueur in classic cocktails like the Aviation or the Hemingway Daiquiri.

Remember that bitter almond liqueur is not as sweet as amaretto, so you may need to add a bit of simple syrup to balance out the flavors.

Experiment with this substitution and see how it adds depth and complexity to your next culinary creation.

3. Marzipan- Best Substitute for Amaretto in baking

When it comes to baking, every ingredient counts. Amaretto, a delicious almond-flavored liqueur, is a popular choice for adding depth and flavor to baked goods.

Marzipan- Best Substitute for Amaretto in baking

However, sometimes the alcohol content can be overwhelming, or the recipe calls for less liquid.

In these cases, substituting marzipan can provide the same rich almond flavor without altering the consistency of your dish.

Marzipan is essentially ground almonds mixed with sugar and sometimes other ingredients such as honey or egg whites to create a paste-like substance that can be molded into shapes or added directly into batters.

Plus, marzipan adds a delightful sweetness without being overly sugary, like almond extract.

So next time you’re looking for an amaretto substitute in baking, give marzipan a try for an unbeatable almond flavor.

4. Apricot pit liqueur

If you’re searching for a unique twist on classic cocktails like the Amaretto Sour or Godfather, try using Apricot pit liqueur as a substitute for the traditional amaretto.

Apricot pit liqueur
Apricot pit liqueur

The almond flavor found in both liqueurs is similar, but the Apricot pit adds a subtle fruitiness that pairs well with citrus flavors and enhances the sweetness of any drink.

Just be sure to use it sparingly, as Apricot pit liqueur tends to have a higher alcohol content than amaretto.

Experiment with different ratios and mixers to find a new favorite drink or top off your cocktail with a float of apricot jam for an extra burst of fruity flavor.

Get creative and elevate your next cocktail hour with Apricot pit liqueur.

5. Frangelico

Frangelico is an Italian hazelnut liqueur that can be used as a substitution for amaretto. It has a similar flavor profile to amaretto, with hints of chocolate and vanilla.

Use 1 tablespoon of Frangelico for every 3 tablespoons of amaretto called for in the recipe.

6. Coffee liqueur

If you’re looking for a coffee-flavored liqueur to use in cocktails or desserts, try swapping out amaretto for a Coffee liqueur.

The almond flavor of amaretto can overpower other ingredients, but the bold and rich taste of a Coffee liqueur will complement and enhance them instead. It’s also a great addition to layered shooters or mocha martinis.

For baking, try using a Coffee liqueur in place of vanilla extract in chocolate cakes or brownies for an extra kick of flavor.

However, be sure to adjust the proportions accordingly – since Coffee liqueurs typically have a higher alcohol content than extracts, start by using half as much before experimenting with larger quantities.

In any recipe, you’ll be surprised at the depth and complexity that using a Coffee liqueur adds.

6. Marsala wine

If a recipe calls for amaretto, but you don’t have any on hand, Marsala wine can make an excellent substitute.

If a recipe calls for amaretto, but you don't have any on hand, Marsala wine can make an excellent substitute.
Marsala wine

Both are Italian liqueurs made from grapes and flavored with almonds, though Marsala adds herbs and spices to the mix. From a flavor perspective, Marsala is richer and slightly sweeter than amaretto. 

When substituting in a recipe, it’s best to use half the amount of Marsala as the original amount called for of amaretto.

For example, if a recipe calls for one tablespoon of amaretto, use only half a tablespoon of Marsala instead.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that Marsala usually has a higher alcohol content than amaretto, so using too much may result in a stronger taste and potentially throw off the balance of flavors in your dish.

Overall, Marsala is a versatile option for replacing amaretto in recipes and can add depth and complexity to your cooking. Happy experimenting!

7. Chocolate liqueur

If you’re searching for a substitution for amaretto in your next cocktail or dessert recipe, the chocolate liqueur is a delicious option.

If you're searching for a substitution for amaretto in your next cocktail or dessert recipe, the chocolate liqueur is a delicious option
Chocolate liqueur

Whether you use a store-bought brand or homemade infused liquor, the chocolate flavor will add a rich depth to any drink or dish.

Just be sure to adjust the sugar levels in your recipe accordingly, as chocolate liqueur is often sweeter than amaretto.

Experiment with different ratios in creative ways – try swapping out half of the amaretto in your classic amaretto sour recipe for a chocolate liqueur, or substitute it entirely in a cherry chocolate truffle martini.

The opportunities are limitless when it comes to incorporating chocolate liqueur as a replacement for amaretto. Try it now and see how it enhances your favorite recipes.

8. Hazelnut liqueur

When it comes to creating the classic dessert drink, the almond flavor of amaretto lends a delicious complexity.

However, for those with nut allergies or who want to try something new, there is a tasty option: hazelnut liqueur.

Substituting hazelnut liqueur in place of amaretto will add a slightly nuttier flavor and can be a fun twist on the traditional recipe.

Experiment with different brands to find one that complements the flavors of your dish, and feel free to adjust the amount to achieve your desired taste.

hazelnut liqueur is a great amaretto alternative

Hazelnut liqueur also pairs well with coffee drinks and hot chocolate for an added kick of warm, nutty flavor.

Next time you’re in the mood for amaretto, consider giving hazelnut liqueur a try – your taste buds won’t be disappointed.

9. Orgeat syrup

Orgeat is another Italian drink made of almonds, but it also contains rose petals and orange flower water, as well as a significant amount of sugar. 

For those looking for a more exotic twist on an almond flavor, consider swapping traditional Amaretto for Orgeat syrup in your next cocktail or dessert recipe.

Unlike amaretto, which is made from apricot pits and almonds, Orgeat syrup is made from almonds, sugar, and rose or orange flower water. This combination gives it a subtle floral note that pairs beautifully with citrus flavors. 

It can also add an elegant touch to classic cocktails like the Mai Tai or the Suffering Bastard. Of course, as with any substitution, be sure to adjust the proportions to suit your taste – Orgeat syrup tends to be sweeter than amaretto.

Happy experimenting!

10. Cherry Brandy or Cherry Liqueur

Cherry brandy or cherry liqueur will give your dish a cherry flavor with a little bit of sweetness. Use half as much cherry brandy or cherry liqueur as the recipe calls for amaretto.

For example, if the recipe demands 1 tablespoon of amaretto, use 1/2 tablespoon of cherry brandy or cherry liqueur instead.

NonAlcoholic Amaretto Alternatives

1. Almond Syrup- Best non-alcoholic substitute for amaretto

While it is always possible to substitute another type of liquor for amaretto, none compare to the flavor and versatility of almond syrup.

Made from pure almond extract mixed with sweetener, it can be used in everything from dessert recipes to mixed drinks without altering the taste.

It also has the benefit of being non-alcoholic, making it a great option for those avoiding alcohol or cooking for children.

In a blind taste test, even experienced chefs would have a hard time distinguishing between almond syrup and traditional amaretto.

So next time you need an amaretto substitution in your cooking or cocktails, reach for the almond syrup for a deliciously authentic taste.

2. Substitute almond extract for amaretto

When it comes to adding a hint of almond flavor to a dish or dessert, many turn to amaretto liqueur.

However, for those who prefer not to cook with alcohol or are looking for a more budget-friendly option, almond extract is a great substitute.

Use it in the same measurements as you would use amaretto, and you’ll still get that delicious almond taste without the added alcohol.

You can use it in equal proportions to amaretto. If your recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of amaretto, use 1 tablespoon of almond extract instead.

So next time you reach for the amaretto, consider substituting almond extract instead for a tasty and versatile alternative.

An added bonus is that almond extract is typically easier to find in supermarkets and can often be stored for longer periods of time.

3. Cherry Juice or Cherry Syrup

Cherry juice or cherry syrup can be used as a fruit-based substitution for amaretto. They will add a slightly different flavor to the dish, but it will still be delicious.

Use 3 tablespoons of cherry juice or cherry syrup for every tablespoon of amaretto called for in the recipe.

What can I use instead of amaretto in tiramisu?

Tiramisu is traditionally made with amaretto, but there are plenty of other options to add a hint of sweetness and almond flavor. Frangelico or Disaronno, both hazelnut liqueurs, make delicious substitutions. 

Another option is to use almond extract in combination with a dash of vodka or rum for the desired alcohol content. Or, for a non-alcoholic version, try substitution with almond milk or almond syrup instead.

However, if you choose to adapt the recipe, be sure to experiment and taste as you go to find the perfect balance of flavors in your tiramisu. Bon appetit!

Orgeat syrup vs amaretto

When it comes to adding a sweet, almond-flavored liqueur to your cocktail, there are two popular options: orgeat syrup and amaretto.

While both offer a similar taste profile, they differ in their production and composition. Orgeat syrup is made from almonds, sugar, and sometimes additional flavorings such as rose water or orange flower water.

Amaretto, on the other hand, is made with apricot pits or peach pits as well as almonds and generally has a higher alcohol content.

In terms of flavor, orgeat offers a more subtle almond taste, while amaretto tends to have stronger notes of stone fruit.

Ultimately, the choice between the two depends on personal preference and the specific cocktail you’re creating. Experimentation is key in finding the right balance for your drink – cheers!

FAQs on Amaretto substitute

Q1. What is the closest liquor to amaretto?

While amaretto is an almond-flavored liqueur, the closest in taste would likely be Frangelico. This hazelnut liqueur also has sweet, nutty flavors and can be used as a substitute in many recipes.

Another option would be Disaronno, a similar almond-flavored liqueur that has a slightly higher alcohol content. Amaretto can also sometimes be substituted with flavored vodkas, such as cherry or almond.

However, it’s important to remember that these substitutes may not have the same depth of flavor as the original liqueur. As with any substitution in cooking or baking, it’s always best to experiment and taste as you go to find the right balance of flavors.

Experience and personal preference will ultimately dictate which liquor is closest in taste to amaretto for each individual palate.

Q2. How much almond extract to substitute for amaretto?

When it comes to replacing amaretto in a recipe, almond extract can be a suitable substitute. However, the flavor profile of almond extract is much stronger, so you’ll want to use it sparingly.

I recommend starting with about ⅛ teaspoon for every 1 tablespoon of amaretto called for in your recipe. As always, taste and adjust to your preferred level of flavor.

Keep in mind that almond extract does not provide any sweetness like amaretto does, so you may also want to add a touch of simple syrup or other sweeteners as well.

While it will never be an exact replacement for amaretto, almond extract can help lend that distinct almond flavor in a pinch. Happy cooking!

Q3. Is there a hazelnut Baileys?

While there is no hazelnut-flavored version of Baileys Irish Cream currently on the market, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the combination at home.

One simple way to incorporate hazelnuts into your Baileys is to add a tablespoon or so of hazelnut liqueur, such as Frangelico, for every 1.5 ounces of Baileys.

You can also try infusing your own by adding whole roasted hazelnuts to a bottle of Baileys and letting it sit for several days before straining out the nuts and enjoying the resulting deliciously nutty creation.

Or, if you’re feeling ambitious, why not try making your own homemade hazelnut Irish cream? The possibilities are endless – let your taste buds be your guide! Just be sure to enjoy it responsibly. Cheers!

Q4. What is the difference between apricot brandy and apricot liqueur?

When it comes to apricot-flavored spirits, there are two main options: brandy and liqueur. Apricot brandy, also known as slivovitz or orujo de albaricoque, is made by distilling fermented apricot juice into a clear spirit with a strong alcohol content.

Apricot liqueur, meanwhile, is made by infusing apricots and sugar into base alcohol, creating a sweeter and lower-proof beverage.

Both can be enjoyed on their own or used in cocktails, but brandy tends to have a more intense flavor that can stand up to mixers like ginger beer or citrus juice.

Liqueur, on the other hand, works best in sweeter drinks such as champagne cocktails or fluffy desserts like ice cream floats.

So next time you’re looking for an apricot kick in your drinks, consider whether you want bold depth or smooth sweetness before reaching for either option.

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