Best Orange Liqueur Substitutes

9 Best Orange Liqueur Substitutes in 2022

Many cocktail recipes use orange liqueur, and it pairs well with a wide variety of flavors. You might even enjoy sipping some on ice! Nevertheless, not everyone has orange liqueur at home. An alternative to orange liqueur might be needed if you come across a cocktail recipe you want to try and don’t have the orange liqueur required.

Are there any good substitutes for orange liqueur? If you wanted to make an alcoholic beverage, the substitute should have an orange or citrus flavor and be similar in alcohol content. The best orange liqueur substitute depends on what you need the orange liqueur for, but it should be similar in alcohol content.

While you don’t have to choose an alcoholic substitute for orange liqueur, there are some non-alcoholic options you can use to make virgin cocktails instead. Find out what you can do instead of orange liqueur by reading on!

What Is Orange Liqueur?

A variety of different flavored beverages are called orange liqueurs. An orange liqueur is a flavored alcoholic beverage based on orange peel. It can be neutral or rich, depending on its base. With fresh and rich citrus notes from orange peels, most orange liqueurs have a sweet, syrupy taste and texture.

Among the most popular and well-loved orange liqueurs are Triple Sec, Cointreau, Curacao, and Grand Marnier. These are often used in cocktail recipes, but some people also enjoy them on ice. Knowing what orange liqueur is will help you find the best substitute!

The 9 Best Substitutes For Orange Liqueur

To determine the best option, you must first consider what you need the substitute for. The best substitute for orange liqueur in a dessert might not be the one you use in a cocktail! Let’s examine each one closely to see how you can use it best and pick the best one for you.

1. Conker Coffee Liqueur

It might not be the first option that comes to mind, but coffee liqueur is a great alternative to orange liqueur, especially in cocktails. Despite not tasting orange in coffee liqueur, the rich flavor that coffee brings works so well when citrus isn’t available. You might not believe it, but coffee often pairs well with orange flavors. In most cases, coffee liqueurs also have chocolate notes, and espresso-cocoa blends have some herbal notes as well.

It depends on your personal preference which coffee liqueur you choose. It might be something sweeter, or something a little bitter. The coffee liqueur can also be used as an alternative to orange liqueur in desserts. You could top your ice cream with the coffee liqueur instead of orange liqueur.

If you want orange liqueur for its strong, rich flavor, coffee liqueur is a good substitute. You might even discover that coffee liqueur is your new favorite cocktail ingredient!

2. Simply Orange Juice

Simply Orange Juice

The most obvious non-alcoholic substitute for orange liqueur is orange juice. Without the addition of alcohol, this is a great way to get that true orange flavor. It is popular to use orange juice as a base for cocktails. So if you want to skip the orange liqueur, increase the amount of orange juice or add a splash of orange juice to get the citrus flavor.

This is also a great way to make mocktails! Everyone can enjoy the same drink, regardless of whether they drink alcohol or not. Using orange juice instead of orange liqueur is another option when making sauces or desserts.

If you are only going to add in a small amount of orange juice, it is best to use orange concentrate so that you are adding in as much citrus flavor as possible without adding in too much liquid. Concentrate is much stronger than juice. When you want big, fruity, sweet cocktails, add regular OJ freely!

Orange juice might be a little tarter than some liqueurs, so you may have to add some sweetener to compensate. Try pairing orange juice with maple syrup for a tasty flavor combination!

You can also use a different fruit juice or an orange juice blend if you are feeling adventurous. This will give the drink or recipe new flavor, and you can choose whether the juice is smooth or pulpy.

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3. Hennessy Cognac Vs

Hennessy Cognac Vs

Although brandy lacks the orange twist, it offers a depth of flavor that can add some sweetness to cocktails and dishes. You may even have a bottle of brandy in your liquor cupboard at home, which makes it a simple substitute. Using brandy not only enhances the sweetness and depth of a cocktail, but it also works well in different cooking methods.

As a substitute for orange liqueur, brandy can be used to flambe desserts or add a little flavor to sauces. While there won’t be the same orange flavor in the dish or drink, you might enjoy the brandy’s citrus-free depth, and you could even add some orange juice to make up.

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4. Happy Belly Maraschino Cherries in Glass Jar

Happy Belly Maraschino Cherries in Glass Jar

Even though maraschino liqueur does not have citrus notes, it is still fruity and slightly sweet, so it can be substituted for orange liqueur in cocktails. As cherry liqueur has a similar balance between sweet and tart as orange liqueur, it makes an excellent substitute. Fruity notes and tartness really brighten up a cocktail, and you won’t even miss the orange liqueur.

You can add a sweetener to the cocktail if you miss the sugar in maraschino liqueur. Maraschino liqueur is less sweet than orange liqueur, which might be ideal if you prefer something with the same strong flavor but less sweetness.

The alcohol content of maraschino liqueur is similar to that of orange liqueur, so not many changes to the recipe are needed. Make sure to check this first before substituting maraschino liqueur for orange liqueur.

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5. Rose’s Grenadine

Rose's Grenadine

A popular ingredient in cocktails and beverages, grenadine can be used as a substitute for orange liqueur in many recipes. Grenadine has delicious pomegranate and fruity flavors! Besides being tart and sweet, the colorful liquid adds a touch of fun to the drink. It is also non-alcoholic, so it can be used to make low-alcohol drinks or non-alcoholic drinks.

As a rule of thumb, you should use half the amount of orange liqueur as recommended, then taste and adjust from there. For example, if the recipe calls for two ounces of orange liqueur, you should start with one ounce of grenadine.

The red color of grenadine is quite strong, and if you want to control the color of your cocktail, you’ll have to use less of the red grenadine and more of other color ingredients.

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6. McCormick Culinary Pure Orange Extract

McCormick Culinary Pure Orange Extract

Oils from orange peels are extracted and concentrated into a solution with a high level of alcohol to make orange extract. Typically, orange extracts come in small bottles, but even the smallest amount has a big flavor punch! Use orange extract in place of orange liqueur when you only want the orange flavor and don’t want to add too much else to the drink or dessert.

When you want orange flavor without adding sugar or alcohol, orange extract is a great alternative to orange liqueur. For non-alcoholic drinks, cocktails, desserts, and sauces, use a few drops of orange extract instead of orange liqueur.

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7. Calvados


This might seem like a repeat, but it’s worth mentioning as an alternative! It has notes of both apples and pears, giving it a fruity, rich flavor. Calvados is a type of brandy made from apples (hence the repetition!). Calvados, however, differs from other types of brandy. As a versatile substitute, it can be enjoyed alone, in a cocktail, or even with coffee.

Calvados’ brandy side adds richness and depth, and the fruitiness of pears and apples makes it a good substitute for orange liqueur in cocktails and desserts. Also, calvados has some sweetness, but not so much that it would overpower a drink, as orange liqueur would.

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8. Bottlegreen Elderflower Cordial

Bottlegreen Elderflower Cordial

It’s possible that elderflower liqueur is the secret ingredient you’ve been looking for! Due to its fruity taste, this liqueur is a great substitute for orange liqueur in just about any cocktail. Despite the absence of orange notes in elderflower liqueur, it’s a great addition to cocktails that call for fresh notes from orange liqueur.

In addition to replacing orange liqueur in your pantry, elderflower liqueur has a delicate flavor and pairs well with many different flavors and ingredients as well. It can also be substituted for other liqueurs.

It does not matter if there are no citrus notes in the cocktail as long as you add a few drops of orange extract along with the elderflower liqueur, and you’ll have a whole bouquet of flavors. If you don’t want to use anything with alcohol, you can use elderflower extract instead of elderflower liqueur, since it has the same alcohol content as orange liqueur.

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9. Homesick Premium Scented Candle, Ohio – Scents of Honeysuckle, Orange Zest

Homesick Premium Scented Candle, Ohio - Scents of Honeysuckle, Orange Zest

Lastly, you can substitute orange zest for orange liqueur in a variety of recipes, such as cocktails, mocktails, desserts, and cooking. If you want to add a pop of fresh orange flavor to your recipes without adding a lot of alcohol, orange zest is a good option. You just need an orange or two and a zester.

When using orange zest, only use the white pith underneath, not the outer layer, since that is bitter and unpalatable. Orange zest is tangy, citrusy, and as fresh as can be. Grating the outside of an orange with a fine grater will leave you with orange zest that can be added to drinks, desserts, or meals.

A cocktail can also be enhanced with orange zest if it is made with an orange liqueur substitute that does not contain orange. Zest can be used to substitute what an orange liqueur would have given a cocktail. You can also use orange zest instead of orange liqueur in desserts, sauces, or casseroles, so there’s really nothing you can’t do with it.

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The Best 9 Orange Liqueur Substitutes

As we have mentioned above, there are many excellent substitutes for orange liqueur. You can find the best options out there, whether you’re looking for a substitute for cocktails, mocktails, desserts, or even cooking.

In the event that you do not have any orange liqueur at home, but a recipe calls for some, there’s no need to panic or rush out to the store; just read the suggestions above and choose the substitute you think would work best for you.

If you want an alcohol-free substitute, choose one that is different in flavor, which brings strong citrus flavors, or even orange zest that isn’t a liquid – there are enough options for every taste!

Related Questions

Is Triple Sec An Orange Liqueur?

Since it has orange notes, Triple Sec falls into the orange liqueur category. It is similar to Cointreau, only a little less expensive and not as high quality.

Can You Use Orange Liqueur For Baking?

In baking, orange liqueur can add a rich citrus flavor to a dessert.

Can I Use Orange Extract In Place of Orange Zest?

You can substitute orange extract for orange zest to get the fresh citrus flavor you get from orange peels.

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