8 Best Calvados Substitutes

What are the best Calvados substitutes on the market today? Calvados is an alcoholic beverage enjoyed as a sipping spirit, mixed in cocktails, and used in cooking and baking. But it can be difficult to find, which can put some people off cooking their favorite recipe. So what happens if you can find it or whenever you run out of it? Is there a suitable substitute for Calvados?

After extensive research (really, it was no bother tasting them all for you) we have come up with a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic substitutes for you to try.

What is Calvados?

Calvados is an apple brandy that is made in the Normandy region of France. It is produced by fermenting and distilling apple cider and then aging it in oak barrels. This must be done for at least two years, in order for it to get its distinct flavor and color. It can be enjoyed as an after-dinner drink, and it can also be used in cooking to add flavor to savory dishes, sauces, and desserts.

Okay, before we look at your Calvados liqueur substitute options, let’s deal with that empty cupboard situation!


Where can I buy Calvados?

If you want to be more prepared and ensure you don’t run out of Calvados again then you should stock up now.

Nowadays most supermarkets and liquor stores stock a wide variety of alcohol – including a wide variety of Calvados. Or if you prefer you can also purchase Calvados on-line.

Due to geographical restrictions on the sale of alcohol we have included an alcohol-free alternative for you to try.

So why not jump on and place your order today.

STOCK UP NOW!

Free Spirits Bourbon substitute – alcohol-free

An alcohol-free Bourbon with an oaky caramel smell and a smooth malty flavor.

Alcohol-free.


What are suitable substitutes for Calvados?

If you’re looking for a substitute for Calvados in cooking or cocktails, there are several options depending on the specific recipe and your personal preferences.

Keep in mind that while these options can work as substitutes, they may not be a perfect replacement for the unique flavor of Calvados. Adjust the amount used to taste and experiment until you find a combination that works well for your recipe.

Use any of the following as a substitute:

Alcoholic substitutes
  • Apple brandy
  • Brandy
  • Cognac
  • Whiskey or Bourbon
  • Apple or Pear cider
Non-Alcoholic substitutes
  • Apple or Pear Juice
  • Rum Extract
  • Apple butter

Calvados substitutes


Apple brandy

Yes, apple brandy can be a great substitute for Calvados as they are both types of brandy made from apples. In fact, some apple brandies can be made in the same region of France as Calvados. This means it may have the similar flavor profiles.

When using apple brandy as a substitute for Calvados, you can typically use an equal amount in the recipe. Keep in mind that while apple brandy has a similar apple flavor to Calvados, the specific flavor profile can vary depending on the brand and production methods.

When choosing an apple brandy as a substitute for Calvados, look for a good quality product. One that has been aged for several years. Some popular brands of apple brandy include Laird’s Applejack, Clear Creek Apple Brandy, and Germain-Robin Apple Brandy.

Apple brandy substitute for calvados

Brandy

Yes, brandy can be used as a substitute for Calvados in cocktails. However, it is important to note that brandy is grape-based while Calvados is apple-based. Therefore the flavor profile will be different. It can also be used in sauces and marinades.

Yes, brandy can be used as a substitute for Calvados in most recipes. While it won’t have the distinctive apple flavor of Calvados, it does have a similar depth of flavor and complexity. In recipes that call for Calvados, you can typically substitute an equal amount of brandy. So for example, if a recipe calls for 1/4 cup of Calvados, you can use 1/4 cup of brandy instead. It’s a good idea to adjust the other ingredients as needed to ensure the desired flavor balance.

When using brandy as a substitute for Calvados, it’s also important to choose a good quality product. Look for a brandy that has been aged for several years and has a rich flavor. This will help to ensure that the flavor of the spirit doesn’t overpower the other ingredients in the recipe.

Brandy and brandy glass

Cognac as a substitute

Cognac is a good substitute for Calvados and can be used in most recipes. Note that while Calvados is made from apples and has a distinct apple flavor, cognac is made from grapes and has a more subtle fruit flavor. However, cognac does have a similar depth of flavor and complexity to Calvados This makes it a good substitute in recipes that call for Calvados.

To substitute cognac for Calvados, you can typically use an equal amount of cognac in the recipe. Keep in mind that the flavor may be slightly different, so it’s a good idea to adjust the other ingredients as needed to ensure the desired flavor balance.

When choosing a cognac to use as a substitute for Calvados, look for a good quality product. One that has been aged for several years. Cognacs that have been aged for longer periods of time tend to have a more complex flavor profile, which can help to mimic the depth of flavor found in Calvados.

It’s always a good idea to experiment and try different substitutions to see what works best for you.

Cognac as a substitute for calvados.

Whiskey or Bourbon

Both whiskey and bourbon can be used as substitutes for Calvados but it is important to note that they both have distinct flavors. Whiskey is typically made from grains and has a smoky, oaky flavor. Whilst the flavor of bourbon can vary depending on the specific brand and production methods, but it generally has a rich, full-bodied taste with notes of vanilla, caramel, and oak.

That being said, if you do not have Calvados on hand, whiskey or bourbon can be used as a substitute in recipes that call for Calvados. In recipes that call for a small amount of Calvados, such as a sauce or glaze, you can substitute an equal amount of whiskey or bourbon. For recipes that call for larger amounts of Calvados, such as a cocktail, you may need to experiment with the amount of whiskey or bourbon to achieve the desired flavor.

When choosing a whiskey to use as a substitute for Calvados, it is important to choose a quality product. You can also purchase whiskeys infused with flavors such as honey. Bourbons, in particular, can work well as a substitute due to their rich, caramel flavors. However, keep in mind that the resulting flavor will be different from the original recipe that called for Calvados.

Whiskey as a substitute for Calvados.

Rum Extract

Rum extract is a liquid flavoring made by combining rum with water and then removing the alcohol to leave behind the flavor. It is often used in baking and candy making to add a rum flavor without the alcohol.

While rum extract can be used as a substitute for Calvados, it is important to note that it is not a perfect replacement as it is a concentrated flavoring and does not have the same depth of flavor as Calvados.

If you are using rum extract as a substitute for Calvados in a recipe, use it sparingly and adjust the amount based on your personal taste preferences. Keep in mind that the resulting flavor will be different from the original recipe that called for Calvados.

Remember due to it’s strong flavor it could easily overpower your recipe so use a small amount.

Rum extract as a substitute

Apple or Pear juice as a substitute – alcohol-free alternative

Apple or pear juice can be used as a non-alcohol alternative for Calvados. And you could also consider alcohol-free orange and pear cider.

If like me you like to take a break once in a while from drinking alcohol then these are great alternatives. These suggestions are for people who don’t drink alcohol but still want to enjoy the suggested flavor of Calvados in their drinks, cocktails and recipes.

They are especially effective in replacing Calvados in desserts and sweet dishes. It is also suitable for use in some savory dishes too.

Readily available in supermarkets and local grocery stores apple or pear juice is available all-year round. You can find it in almost all grocery stores and we recommend you to go for the unsweetened option so you can get a flavor that is as similar as possible to the original dish.

You can of course choose the alcohol version of the cider if you prefer. Or you could also add a dash of rum, cognac, or brandy for that added kick.

Apple juice as a substitute for Calvados.

Apple or Pear Cider

Apple or pear cider can be used as a substitute for Calvados in recipes that call for a small amount of the spirit, such as in a sauce or glaze. In recipes that call for larger amounts of Calvados, such as in a cocktail, it may be more difficult to achieve the desired flavor profile with cider.

When using apple or pear cider as a substitute for Calvados, it is important to choose a high-quality product that has a complex and nuanced flavor profile. Look for ciders that are made from 100% juice and have not been heavily sweetened or flavored. This will ensure that the cider has a natural, fruity flavor that is similar to that of Calvados.

Keep in mind that the resulting flavor will be different from the original recipe that called for Calvados, as cider does not have the same depth of flavor as aged apple brandy. However, using cider as a substitute can still add a delicious fruity flavor to your dish or drink.

Apple cider.

Apple brandy butter

We have seen that apple products are good as a substitute for Calvados due to their similar flavor profile. So with this in mind we have decided to include apple brandy butter on the list.

The apples are cooked down until they form a thick and creamy consistency and warming spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon are added.

It is generally used as a spread on scones and toast, but it can also be added to marinades and sauces for meats. Furthermore it can be used when you need to add in a bit of flavor in desserts and sweet bakes.

You can buy shop-bought apple brandy butter but sometimes it is difficult to find. So if you would rather make your own we have a recipe you could try.

Apple brandy butter as a substitute for Calvados.

Summary for the best Calvados substitutes

Okay – that’s you all sorted with a suitable substitute for Calvados.

There are many alternatives to using Calvados and most can be easily incorporated into a variety of recipes. From adding depth of flavor to drinks, baking, or sauces you can add as much or as little as you need. So just remember when you do run out of Calvados there are alternatives.

So if you are looking for the best Calvados substitutes then the products listed above will provide you with an alternative. Which one will you choose?

And remember if you’re looking to replace Calvados in a recipe, you’ll need to consider what role the Rum was playing in the recipe and choose a suitable replacement that provides similar benefits.

We have gathered together a lot more facts on ingredients such as herbs, spices, oils, nuts, etc. if you would like to learn some more.