Amaretto is a popular sweet Italian liqueur that is made from almonds, bitter almonds, apricot kernels, or peach stones. The ingredients provide an almond-like flavor of it.
However, not everyone likes the almond flavor, or they just want a non-alcoholic substitute.
If you’re one of these, then read on to find the top 12 highly recommended alcoholic and non-alcoholic amaretto substitutes.
Alcoholic Substitute for Amaretto
1. Coconut Liqueur
Coconut liqueur is a more fantastic and exotic amaretto substitute. Unlike the very sugary syrups, it can be taken plain or a key ingredient in desserts or cookies with white glaze like coconut flavored icing and vanilla.
So, if you are looking for a flavorful, nutty and sweet substitute, coconut liqueur is your best choice. Take note the coconut liqueur gives a different taste to whatever it’s added in.
2. Chocolate Liqueur
Chocolate is a favorite treat for most persons and it’s amazingly a replacement for amaretto. Unlike coconut and Almond syrup, chocolate does not have a nutty appeal but the warmth and “chocolatey” flavor in any dessert, baked snacks or drink is to “die for”.
Chocolate liqueur can be drunk at the beginning or end of an Italian meal, as it makes a great plain drink. Like the other substitutes, you might want to ascertain the sugar levels and (or) alcohol content if any and use as desired in your dishes.
A good recommendation is Godiva’s decadent Belgian Dark Chocolate Liqueur.
3. Coffee Liqueur
Although a little “dish selective”, coffee liqueur can serve as a great alternative to amaretto in cocktails. It works for desserts such as tiramisu, brownies, cakes, etc.
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 “almondy” feel, but trust that your cocktails, desserts or drinks would have a great taste you never expected.
Coffee Liqueur comes at 20% alcohol, that’s about the same alcohol content as that of 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.
4. Hazelnut Liqueur
Still on nuttiness, Hazelnut liqueur is a perfect substitution for amaretto. It has a similar nutty taste and color to amaretto making it just right. It contains alcohol just like other alcohol substitutes for amaretto.
Hazelnut Liqueur contains sweeter hazelnut fruitiness, this makes them a great ingredient in desserts, drinks even in your coffee.
When it comes to flavorful drinks or baked foods, hazelnut liqueur takes the crown as a key ingredient. It doesn’t matter what it’s used for, the versatility and taste gives a clear impression of heaven on your taste buds.
In your recipe you can use the same level of hazelnut liqueur as you would amaretto, you don’t have to worry about the final taste of your dish.
5. Apricot Pit Liqueur
If your recipe calls for amaretto you can also use apricot pit liqueur as a substitute.
Some amaretto recipes are actually made from apricots instead of almonds, and with apricots, the taste is almost the same, any difference is quite negligible.
Apricot pit liqueur is a tasty appetizer and can be enjoyed as a great drink before your meal. It can be used in sauces, baked foods, drinks and more.
6. Cherry Liqueur
If you would like an amaretto substitute that would “put the cherry on top” of your dish, then cherry liqueur is an option for you. This option might have a mild alcohol concentration and probably its own taste, which is cherry.
You can use the same quantity of cherry to substitute for amaretto as stated in your recipe. But if you are not a cherry fan, you can always try out other substitutes.
This is a delightful alternative when you can’t find amaretto, a bit on the stronger side but still, a great choice. Anisette is sweeter than other anise-flavored spirits, it gives your dish a pure blend of anise and licorice flavor.
You might want to use anisette moderately as its sweetness comes in various levels, so does its strength, so check that the type you choose is the perfect taste you want for your meal.
This is your last choice. Kahula is a form of coffee liqueur, that’s nutty and alcoholic, so it’s a nice alcoholic substitute for amaretto liqueur without almonds. But it’s still syrupy and sugary and has quite a balance to its alcohol presence.
Kahula is a great addition to desserts, cake toppings and drinks, just note that the taste you would get is coffee and not almond. If your taste buds are open to trying out new sensations, you might find a Kahula mix appealing.
Non-alcoholic Substitute for Amaretto
9. Almond Syrup
This is a great substitute for Amaretto in baking because it’s made from almonds, just like amaretto. Almond syrup is too sweet, so you might want to consider mixing it with something else, as you can’t consume it on its own.
Almond syrup contains no alcohol, so feel free to use it more in your recipe. And if you are concerned about the sugar level in your pastry or drinks, you might skip any extra sugar in your recipe.
Almond syrup makes a good ingredient in cocktails, mocktails, desserts, pancakes,cakes and other pastries.
10. Almond Extract
Almond extract is a wonderful non-alcoholic amaretto substitute. It has a sweet, nutty, and aromatic flavor due to the use of essential oils from almonds.
It is often used in baked goods such as cookies, cakes, and candies. If you add too much almond extract, it will make your baked goods taste very weird so I’d recommend putting a tiny bit at a time.
In addition to its use in food products, it’s also commonly used as a flavoring for tobacco products.
So, how much almond extract to substitute for amaretto?
For 2 tablespoons Amaretto, replace it with ¼ to ½ teaspoon almond extract.
You may interested in finding some almond extract substitutes if it’s not available.
This is a kind of almond syrup, an Italian drink that consists of almonds, rose petals, orange flower water and a considerable amount of sugar.
It’s a classic popular ingredient of Tiki and Mai Tai drinks. The amazing thing about orgeat as an amaretto substitute is its perfect blend of nuttiness and flavor, the orange water in the mix gives it an exquisite taste of perfection!
There are different orgeat brands, each of them have their special flavors and tastes, some are very mild, while others are great with just about anything. The key is to find the right one.
If you are fond of baking you probably have marzipan as your “go-to” ingredient. Marzipan is created from egg whites, corn syrup, sugar and almonds. Thus marzipan can impart an almond flavor to your recipe.
Marzipan does not contain alcohol so it is great for children dishes, it also has a smooth texture and sweet candy flavor.
To create a syrup, you can mix marzipan with hot water or simply melt it into your coffee or over your dessert.
You can be confident that marzipan would be a great substitute and a great addition to your dish.
FAQs About Amaretto
What does amaretto taste like?
Amaretto is typically described as sweet and nutty. Some amaretto drinks have a smoky, almond flavor. The liqueur has a similar taste to the oil of bitter almonds, so it’s no surprise that it’s also used in desserts.
How many calories in amaretto?
It may differ from the brands. You can check it at the bottle. Usually, 100 ml amaretto contains about 363 calories.
What is the closest liquor to amaretto?
The most common liquor that is closest to amaretto is probably Kahlua. It has a similar taste and color, but it’s slightly different because with the added cream in Kahlua the taste of coffee gets stronger than the sweet almond flavor.
There are several amaretto substitutes that you can use to replace the original ingredient in your recipes. For the most part, they are very different in the way they are used and what they will taste like in your finished product.
Choose the one you prefer, and enjoy!