How To Substitute The Flavor Of Amaretto Without Any Alcohol

Amaretto liqueur, which works well in everything from coffee to apple cider, tastes as much of almonds as it does alcohol. While this flavor may seem distinct and unique, there's one easy substitution for whenever you're craving an amaretto-based drink but don't want an alcohol-fueled result. That substitution is all about almond extract; you can use the nutty flavoring without skipping a beat — or sacrificing any taste — in cocktails and mocktails.

The reason almond extract works well as an amaretto substitute is because amaretto has an almond and cherry-like taste. This specific flavor profile defines the liqueur, whether you enjoy it neat or in a more complex concoction. As for the similarities to almond extract, the liqueur's almond-like taste actually comes from its reliance on benzaldehyde, which is a component used in both amaretto and almond extract. You know that almond aroma you smell whenever you open a bottle of extract? Benzaldehyde is partly to thank for it.

Given these similarities in composition, it's no surprise, then, that almond extract can be substituted for amaretto to your liking. Yet while the tastes of the two liquids parallel one another, you'll want to be careful when actually making the switch to the extract. Like alcohol, a little almond extract goes a long way.

Swap in just a little bit of almond extract to evoke amaretto's signature flavor

You won't need a shot glass to add your almond extract. In making this switch, grab your spoon instead. After all, almond extract is fairly powerful. It's made of almond oil, alcohol, and water; due to its high concentration of flavor, a little goes a long way. To mimic the flavor of amaretto, it's best to use just half a spoonful of extract in your favorite cocktails. Depending on how many drinks you're making, you can instead consider a ratio tailored to your batch; for example, a substitution ratio of 4 to 8 times amaretto to almond extract.

Of course, like everything, you may have to experiment to find the specifications that work for you and your drinks. Once you perfect your use of extract, you'll get amaretto's trademark nutty and sweet flavor, without any of its hangover. So go ahead and swap out the liqueur for extract and turn a classic amaretto sour into a delicious and refreshing mocktail.