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The Easiest Amaretto Substitutes (Alcoholic & Non-Alcoholic)

Lisa Price
Last Updated on
by Lisa Price

Amaretto is a delicious almond-flavored liqueur used in cocktails, desserts, coffee drinks, and other recipes.

Maybe you just ran out of amaretto, need a non-alcoholic alternative, or want to switch up the flavor of your recipe! Whatever your reason for seeking an amaretto substitute, one of the alternatives on this list is sure to work for you!

What Kind of Alcohol is Amaretto?

Amaretto
Amaretto

Amaretto is an Italian almond-flavored liqueur. Surprisingly to some, Amaretto is not always made from almonds. Different brands of Amaretto can be made from almonds, apricot kernels, or peach stones.

Amaretto can be served alone as a beverage or used in various drink and food recipes. Amaretto is a popular and versatile ingredient in cocktails, coffee drinks, desserts, and even some savory recipes for meat and fish.

Amaretto has a mid-ranged alcohol content of between 21% and 28% alcohol by volume (ABV).

What Does it Taste Like?

Amaretto means “a little bitter” in Italian. This Italian liqueur has a sweet, rich flavor with a bitter aftertaste.

Amaretto’s distinct, sweet almondy flavor makes it a delicious addition to cocktails and baked goods. Some of the most popular uses for amaretto include the Amaretto Sour cocktail and amaretto cookies.

There are several reasons you may wish to substitute another ingredient for the amaretto 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.

Whatever your reason for needing an amaretto substitute, there are many suitable options. Some replacements for amaretto 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.

Alcoholic Substitutes

If you are looking for an amaretto substitute for mixed drinks, you probably want to find an alternative with similar alcohol content.

You can use many other liqueurs as a substitute for amaretto in mixed drinks or any different recipe that calls for amaretto.

Hazelnut Liqueur

Hazelnut Liqueur
Hazelnut Liqueur

One of the best alternatives to amaretto is hazelnut liqueur because it is also made from nuts. Hazelnut liqueur also has a similar flavor and color to amaretto.

Hazelnut liqueur also has a similar ABV to amaretto, so it will not change the alcohol content of your recipe.

Hazelnut liqueur is slightly sweeter than amaretto. This sweetness makes it a perfect amaretto substitute for desserts, mixed drinks, and even coffee drinks.

The hazelnut flavor is distinctly different from amaretto’s almondy flavor, but this liqueur is one of the closest amaretto alternatives you will find. If you like the flavor of hazelnuts, this is the perfect substitute for you.

Coffee Liqueur

Coffee Liqueur
Coffee Liqueur

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

Coffee liqueur lacks the nutty flavor of amaretto, but the coffee flavor lends itself well to brownies, cakes, tiramisu, and coffee drinks. Coffee liqueur has an ABV of around 20%, so it only has a slightly lower alcohol content than amaretto typically has.

One thing to be mindful of is that coffee liqueur does contain caffeine. You may welcome the extra caffeine, especially if you plan to add the liqueur to your coffee!

However, if you are sensitive to caffeine, you may want to choose a different amaretto alternative.

Chocolate Liqueur

Chocolate Liqueur
Chocolate Liqueur

Are you a chocoholic looking for an amaretto substitute? Look no further than chocolate liqueur!

This decadent syrup, also known as crème de cacao, is an excellent addition to chocolate desserts, but it can also lend itself well to many mixed drinks and coffee drinks.

The ABV of chocolate liqueur is generally between 20% and 25%, so right around the same alcohol content as amaretto.

Chocolate liqueur is delicious on its own as well! It can be consumed on its own as an after-dinner drink or what Italians refer to as a digestif.

Coconut Liqueur

Coconut Liqueur
Coconut Liqueur

Another liqueur that you can use interchangeably with amaretto is coconut liqueur. This flavorful syrup imparts an exotic feel to whatever drink or dish you add it to.

The coconut flavor is quite different from the almondy flavor of amaretto, but the sweetness is very similar. Coconut liqueur has an ABV of around 21%, very similar to the ABV of amaretto.

Coconut liqueur is an excellent amaretto substitute for baked goods and sweets. Just beware that the flavor of sweets baked with coconut liqueur will be pretty different from the flavor of sweets baked with amaretto.

Coconut liqueur can replace amaretto in mixed drinks if you want your cocktail to have a more tropical feel.

Cherry Liqueur

Cherry Liqueur
Cherry Liqueur

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, cherry liqueur has a similar ABV to amaretto at around 24%. So while the flavor of your drink will change dramatically, the alcohol content will not be affected.

Cherry liqueur is one of the best amaretto substitutes for mixed drinks that contain other fruit ingredients.

Other liqueurs like coffee or chocolate may not blend well with more fruity flavors, so cherry liqueur is a great option in these cases.

Non-Alcoholic Substitutes

The reason you are searching for an amaretto substitute may be that you wish to avoid alcohol altogether. Fortunately, many non-alcoholic ingredients work well as a replacement for amaretto.

Unlike different liqueur alternatives, these non-alcoholic ingredients all contain almonds. So if you are more concerned with the almond flavor than the alcohol content, these may be better options for your recipe.

Almond Syrup

Almond Syrup
Almond Syrup

Almond syrup is the best non-alcoholic alternative to amaretto in most cases. Both have a distinct almond flavor, so almond syrup is an excellent choice for baked goods or drinks when you want that sweet, almondy flavor.

You can substitute almond syrup for amaretto using a 1:1 ratio. However, beware that the sugar content of almond syrup is much greater than that of amaretto.

If using almond syrup as an amaretto substitute, you may want to adjust the amount of additional sugar your recipe includes.

Almond Extract

Almond Extract
Almond Extract

Almond extract is made from the essential oils from almonds. It is sweet, nutty, and aromatic, making it a perfect non-alcoholic substitute for amaretto. The flavor and aroma of almond extract are very similar to that of amaretto.

Almond extract is commonly used in baked goods and will be the perfect replacement for amaretto in your cakes, cookies, and candies.

Note that almond extract is concentrated: a little bit goes a long way. Use only ¼ teaspoon to ½ a teaspoon of almond extract for every 2 tablespoons of amaretto that a recipe calls for.

Marzipan

Marzipan
Marzipan

This alternative to amaretto may surprise you, as it is the only non-liquid substitution on our list! Marzipan and amaretto are very different in consistency. However, marzipan’s sweet, almondy taste is similar in flavor to amaretto.

Marzipan is a confection made primarily from almond meal and sugar. Because it is deliciously sweet, it is a great substitution for all of your confectionary needs.

You can create a syrup by dissolving marzipan in hot water. This syrup can then be used as a 1:1 substitute for amaretto in most recipes.

There is no need to dissolve marzipan first if adding it to hot coffee–just drop a piece in, and it will dissolve and impart its delicious almondy flavor to your drink.

Amaretto Substitute Tiramisu?

Tiramisu
Tiramisu

If you are making tiramisu and your recipe calls for amaretto, you have several options for substitutions if you do not have the almond-flavored liqueur on hand.

Traditionally, tiramisu is made with Marsala wine and dark rum. Either or both of these alcohols will therefore work perfectly as a replacement for amaretto in a tiramisu recipe.

Other great options for a tiramisu substitute in tiramisu are chocolate liqueur or coffee liqueur. Because tiramisu already contains espresso, coffee liqueur lends itself well to the dish if you want some extra coffee flavor.

If you are looking for a non-alcoholic option, almond syrup will add sweetness and almond flavor to your dish without the alcoholic content.

Is Disaronno The Same as Amaretto?

Disaronno
Disaronno

Disaronno is a type of amaretto liqueur. Disaronno has a 28% ABV and a characteristic dark amber color.

Disaronno is made from apricot kernel oil, absolute alcohol, burnt sugar, and various herbs and fruits.

Until 2001 the product was known as Amaretto di Saronno (Amaretto from Saronno), but it was then rebranded as “Disaronno Originale.”

Be aware that the brand Disaronno manufactures other products that are not amaretto. If you want amaretto, be sure you are buying Disaronno Originale.

About Lisa Price
Lisa Price
Lisa is Food Champ's resident fitness enthusiast and nutrition expert. She holds a nutrition degree in her home state of Florida and works for a large health system to ensure sound nutrition and dietetics information is passed on to all members.
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