The 12 Best Substitutes For Apricot Brandy

What can I use instead of apricot brandy? The best substitutes for apricot brandy are fruit brandies, like peach brandy, Calvados, Kirsch, and Grand Marnier. Try Armagnac, Cognac, sherry or rum. Alcohol-free alternatives are brandy and apricot extract, juice, and syrup.

Genuine apricot brandy is distilled from fermented apricots. However, sweetened, apricot-flavored brandy or vodka is also called apricot brandy. With a fruity taste and an almond undertone, apricot brandy is a beautiful amber color. It makes an excellent aperitif and a flavorsome ingredient in desserts and sauces. Here are the twelve best substitutes for apricot brandy.

The Best Apricot Brandy Substitutes

Peach Brandy

Peach brandy is an ideal substitute for apricot brandy.

Also known as peach liqueur, peach schnapps, and crème de pêche, peach brandy can be made from fermented peaches or by flavoring neutral alcohol.

To replace apricot brandy as a beverage or in a cocktail, sip good-quality peach brandy made with peaches, not artificial flavorings.

Peach brandy adds depth and sweetness to fruit cakes, pound cakes, brandy torte, and flambéed crepes. Replace apricot brandy in a 1:1 ratio.


Calvados, a famous apple brandy, is another excellent substitute for apricot brandy.

Dating back over 500 years, Calvados is from the Normandy area in France. It is distilled from apple cider and aged for many years in oak barrels.

The flavor of Calvados is floral and fruity, with hints of vanilla and cinnamon.

Calvados can replace apricot brandy as an after-dinner drink or in cocktails, but you will taste complex apple and spice flavors rather than honeyed apricot

Use equal amounts of Calvados in desserts, pastries, and for savory sauces for pork and chicken.


Kirschwasser or kirsch makes a delicious substitute for apricot brandy.

This traditionally German liqueur or brandy is made by distilling sour morello cherries and their juice, which is somewhat tart and crisp.

Kirsch is usually served neat and chilled as a digestif or aperitif, so it is a valuable substitute for apricot brandy, although not as sweet. The flavor profile differs, so the substitution will not work in cocktails.

You can also use kirsch in baking – it is a standard ingredient of Black Forest Cake and Gugelhupf, making it a delicious alternative to apricot brandy in trifle and fruit cakes.

Grand Marnier

Orange liqueur, often known as Grand Marnier, is a tasty apricot brandy alternative.

Orange brandy is made by infusing brandy (or another alcohol base) with orange peel and essence to produce a citrus aroma and flavor. Grand Marnier uses French Cognac as a base.

Replace apricot brandy with Grand Marnier as a fruity sipping drink, or add to cocktails for a citrus undertone.

Grand Marnier is also a delicious replacement for apricot brandy in baked goods, especially those with chocolate.

It makes an excellent savory sauce that goes well with duck, so use it instead of apricot brandy when cooking chicken casseroles.

Replace apricot liqueur with similar quantities of Grand Marnier.


Try Armagnac as a substitute for apricot brandy.

Armagnac is a French brandy produced in the Armagnac region as a designated origin (AOC) since the thirteenth century. This well-known beverage comes from fermented grapes, which are then distilled and aged in oak.

An elegant brandy, Armagnac has a subtle fruity flavor, a smooth texture, and an aroma of chestnuts, vanilla, and butterscotch.

Armagnac is an ideal digestif and can replace apricot brandy in cocktails, although it isn’t as sweet.

Use Armagnac in meat bastes and marinades, as well as in fruit desserts in a 1:1 ratio with apricot brandy.


Another French brandy, Cognac, is an appealing alternative to apricot brandy.

Only made in the Cognac region, this grape-based brandy is double-distilled and aged in oak barrels for at least two years.

Cognac can replace good-quality apricot liqueur as an after-dinner beverage, as it has a complex flavor and smooth mouthfeel. However, it is not an ideal substitute for sweet apricot liqueur as it has a milder flavor.

Use Cognac instead of apricot brandy for rich, savory dishes like coq a vin, pork casseroles, and soup. It is also delicious in fruit sauces.

Replace apricot brandy with equal amounts of Cognac.


For cooking, sherry is a handy alternative to apricot brandy.

A Spanish fortified wine, sherry contains around 20% brandy. The addition of brandy to wine was initially intended to fortify or strengthen the wine to preserve it.

Depending on the sweetness of your apricot brandy, you can choose either a dry, light sherry with a fruity crispness or a dark, sweet, velvety variety.

Use equal amounts of sherry to apricot brandy, particularly for deglazing pans, savory sauces, and desserts.


Another alcoholic alternative to apricot brandy is rum.

Rum is a sweet spirit made either from sugarcane or molasses. With a smooth mouthfeel and distinctive sweetness, rum has undertones of smoke, caramel, and vanilla.

The best rum substitutes for apricot brandy are fruit-flavored, such as orange, lime, coconut, passion fruit, pineapple, banana, and mango.

Although you don’t find apricot-flavored rum, these sweet, fruity flavors will work well, especially in cocktails.

Try rum as a sipping beverage after a meal, especially if you can find an oak-aged dark rum. Note that most rum has a higher alcohol content than apricot brandy, between 30 and 80%.

Use rum instead of apricot brandy in desserts if you need sweetness – trifle, malva pudding, gingerbread, and fruit cake all work with rum as an ingredient.

Use equal amounts of rum to replace apricot brandy.

Brandy Extract

If you need a non-alcoholic substitute for apricot brandy, try brandy extract.

In the same way that vanilla extract adds a layer of flavor, use brandy essence to add sweetness and depth to bakes and desserts.

Use a few drops of brandy extract when making chocolates, cookies, frosting, and fruit desserts. Note that the substitute adds flavor but not moisture, so you must add water or juice to make up the liquid measure.

Apricot Essence

For intense flavor, use apricot essence as an apricot brandy alternative.

This non-alcoholic replacement is a natural or artificial flavoring agent that provides a kick of apricot flavor and aroma.

Add apricot essence even if you have apricot brandy or fruit, as it enhances existing flavors.

Use apricot essence to flavor desserts and bakes, like cheesecake, sponge cake, frosting, ice cream, and yogurt.

Because apricot essence is far more robustly flavored than apricot brandy, you will need only a few drops.

Like brandy extract, you may need to make up liquid measures when substituting apricot brandy in recipes.

Apricot Juice

Another alcohol-free alternative to apricot brandy is apricot juice.

Apricot juice is an ideal substitute for apricot brandy if you need fruity flavor, juiciness, and sweetness. Use pure, unsweetened juice for the best results.

While apricot juice doesn’t make a good aperitif or digestif, it will add flavor to tagines, curries, pork dishes, and cake.

Use in equal amounts as apricot brandy. However, apricot juice doesn’t have the same intensity as apricot brandy, so you may want to add brandy essence as well.

Apricot Syrup

The syrup from canned apricots or a commercially made apricot syrup for sodas can be a handy substitute for apricot brandy.

The intensely sweet syrup used for canning apricots will have the same fruity taste as apricot brandy if you use it for cooking or baking. However, syrup is much higher in sugar, so the flavor profile and consistency will differ.

Add either apricot syrup to mocktails where soda water or lemonade will dilute the sweetness.

To use apricot canning syrup instead of apricot brandy, add it to baked goods in equal amounts or thicken it with cornstarch for a sweet sauce.

Apricot syrup also makes a suitable replacement in marinades for lamb and chicken or sauce for pork chops.

Use soda-flavoring syrup in smaller quantities than apricot brandy, as it has a more robust taste.