Amaretto is a traditional Italian drink made of almond pits. You will find it served as a plain drink. However, some people use it as a key ingredient in sauces and toppings.
Amaretto is a great ingredient for Italian desserts as well as some baked goods. However, if you are missing amaretto from your kitchen there is no reason to cancel preparing your meal as there are several substitutes you can use.
The best substitutes for amaretto are chocolate liqueur, coffee liqueur, almond syrup, Hazelnut liqueur, marzipan, Anisette, Orgeat, Cherry liqueur, Coconut liqueur, and Apricot pit liqueur.
Keep reading to find out more!
Substitutes for Amaretto
The following substitutes for amaretto are great for different recipes so use them as you find them convenient. It is important to adjust the rest of the recipe if you are going to replace amaretto with some other ingredient.
Most of the following substitutes can be used in the same way as you would use your amaretto. However, it is important to taste your alternative in order to make sure it is as sweet and as strong as amaretto and not more.
1. Chocolate liqueur
You can use chocolate liqueur as a substitute for amaretto in any type of recipe from desserts to baked dishes.
You can even drink it plain as it will go great at the beginning, or the end of your Italian meal. If you will use this alternative make sure you use it in moderation as it can come in different levels of sweetness and alcohol concentrations.
2. Coffee liqueur
Coffee liqueur might not be a great option for dishes that will not go great with the flavor of coffee but it can substitute amaretto just fine in desserts such as tiramisu.
Depending on the liqueur brand you choose this could have a lower or higher caffeine concentration and the alcohol level might vary as well.
Just like amaretto, you can enjoy this liqueur at the beginning of your meal or at the end of it according to your preferences too.
3. Almond syrup
Since amaretto is made of almond pits, the best non-alcoholic option you can go for is almond syrup. You might not be able to drink almond syrup as it is too sweet to be consumed plain.
But this syrup can make for a great ingredient in cocktails and desserts as well as baked goods. Considering that almond syrup has no alcohol, you might be able to use more of it in your recipe. If you are concerned about the amount of sugar in this syrup you can skip the extra sugar your recipe calls for.
4. Hazelnut liqueur
Hazelnut liqueur has a similar color and nutty taste to amaretto. It contains alcohol and like any other liqueur, you can consume it plain or add it to different cocktails or recipes.
You can use the same quantity of hazelnut liqueur as you would use amaretto and you will not have to worry about the taste of your final dish. There are more types of this liqueur on the market.
Marzipan is a great alternative to amaretto in baked dishes. You can use crumbled marzipan and add it as a topping or filling in different desserts.
Marzipan doesn’t contain alcohol which makes it very suitable for children’s dishes. If you choose to replace amaretto with marzipan, you will have to add more liquid to your recipe in order to obtain the same texture.
If you want to replace amaretto in your recipe, the anisette might be the best option for you. But keep in mind that this liqueur is stronger than other options so you might want to use less of it according to your preferences. You will also find it in different levels of sweetness so it is a great idea to taste your anisette before you use it.
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. This syrup can be used instead of amaretto in all types of recipes from cocktails to desserts.
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.
8. Cherry liqueur
Cherry liqueur will not have the same flavor as amaretto but it can still be used as a replacement. Most cherry liqueur will have a mild concentration of alcohol but you will definitely taste the cherry flavor.
If you like this taste you can use it in the same quantity with amaretto but if you are not fond of the cherry taste, choose a different substitute from this guide.
9. Coconut liqueur
If you are looking for a more exotic substitute for amaretto, coconut liqueur can be your best choice. You can use it in desserts as well as drink it plain but it will taste the best in cookies with a white glaze such as vanilla or even coconut flavored icing.
Coconut liqueur works great in cocktails that call for amaretto but it will give them a different taste.
10. Apricot pit liqueur
Some recipes of amaretto use apricot pits instead of almonds so if you choose apricot pit liqueur you will not get a much different flavor. Apricot pit liqueur is also a great drink to enjoy before your meal as it can make for a tasty appetizer. Use it in toppings, sauces, as well as baked dishes and you, will not even feel much of a difference between the original amaretto and apricot pit liqueur.
Amaretto Substitute Tiramisu
The original recipe of tiramisu calls for a bit of amaretto as part of the syrup. But if you don’t have amaretto you can always use chocolate liqueur or coffee liqueur.
The coffee liqueur in particular goes even better than other substitutes because some tiramisu recipes have coffee powder as a topping. If you are looking for a non-alcoholic option, go for apricot pit liqueur or almond syrup
You can use all these substitutes in the same way you would use amaretto but make sure you taste them beforehand.
Some substitutes might be too sweet and you will have to adjust the sugar you add to your dessert. If you want your child to eat the tiramisu you might want to go for a substitute that is coffee-free and alcohol-free.
Is Disaronno the Same as Amaretto?
Disaronno is one of the best-known brands of amaretto in Italy but you will also find it in other cultures. It is used plain as an appetizer drink but you can also add it on top of ice creams or in baked dishes.
However, keep in mind that Disaronno makes other types of drinks as well and not all of them follow the traditional recipe of amaretto.
If you want to get the amaretto made by this brand, the drink is called Disaronno Originale and it follows the original Italian recipe for this drink. But even if you choose another drink from their selection, you will find them to be resemblant to amaretto.
Even if amaretto is a popular drink in Italy, you will find it in many other cultures worldwide. It is versatile as you can mix it with different ingredients and add a unique taste to many recipes.
The best way to enjoy your amaretto is plain but feel free to get creative with this ingredient as it can flavor many of your recipes beautifully.
If your recipe calls for amaretto, you will be able to save it with one of the substitutes above as long as you consider the alcohol and sugar level. You might even find that some recipes taste better with one of these substitutes than with the original amaretto.