Liquor Laboratory

16 Best Frangelico Substitutes: Finding Liqueur Alternatives

Frangelico Substitute

Last Updated on March 22, 2024 by Lydia Martin

Ever been in a pinch and needed a Frangelico substitute? You’re not alone. I’ve spent countless hours experimenting in the kitchen and behind the bar, trying to find the perfect alternatives for this delicious hazelnut liqueur.

Here, I’ll share the best Frangelico substitutes, each tested for their ability to mimic Frangelico’s distinct taste and charm in various recipes.

Top 16 Frangelico Alternatives

1. Sambuca

Star Rating: ★★★★★

How To Use It: Mix it into cocktails or use it as a flavorful drizzle.

Why We Like It: Sambuca Italian liqueur stands out as a top Frangelico substitute. Crafted from star anise and black licorice root, it imparts a very strong licorice flavor, plus sweetness from the sugar component.

“I put the coffee and Sambuca up to my nose. The licorice didn’t smell strong enough against the smell of the coffee so I added some Sambuca.” — Charles Brandt, American Writer

Not only does it share a similar flavor with Frangelico, but this Sambuca is also traditionally enjoyed on the rocks with roasted coffee beans and is versatile in culinary applications.

2. Amaretto (Almond Liqueur)

Gozio - Amaretto Almond Liqueur

Star Rating: ★★★★★

How To Use It: Perfect for cocktails or coffee drinks.

Why We Like It: Amaretto, a popular Italian liqueur derived from almonds, serves as an excellent substitute for Frangelico but has slightly lower alcohol content.

With its nutty and sweet flavor, this almond liqueur can seamlessly replace Frangelico in cocktails and desserts, delivering a comparable nutty flavor profile.

3. Godiva Chocolate Liqueur

Godiva Chocolate Liqueur

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

How To Use It: Excellent in cocktails, coffee, or over ice cream.

Why We Like It: If you want to replace Frangelico with something that brings a chocolate dimension, Godiva chocolate liqueur is an excellent choice.

It’s a perfect stand-in for Frangelico in drinks or desserts, adding a chocolatey and hazelnut flavor. You can use it to concoct a Nutella Hot Chocolate or to infuse a chocolatey touch into sweet treats.

4. Nocello

Nocello

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

How To Use It: Use it in cocktails, coffee-flavored drinks, or dessert toppings.

Why We Like It: Nocello is an Italian walnut liqueur made from high-quality Italian walnuts. I like how it provides a complex flavor profile with hazelnut notes, enriching any delicious cocktail or dessert.

It boasts a nutty taste with a bitter aftertaste, making it a perfect substitute for making a Nutty Old Fashioned. Also, Nocello imparts a nutty, sweet taste to dishes like cheesecake or bread pudding.

5. Disaronno

Disaronno

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

How To Use It: Great in cocktails (like the Nutty Irishman), baking, or as a standalone drink.

Why We Like It: Disaronno’s sweet, almond flavor closely resembles Amaretto, making it a versatile and good substitute for Frangelico [1].

But opting for Disaronno in place of Frangelico, expect your recipe to have a slightly different taste. You might notice the dominant sweet flavors and a more distinct almond flavor.

6. Chestnut Liqueur

Chestnut Liqueur

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

How To Use It: Great for cocktails or dessert recipes.

Why We Like It: This lesser-known liqueur provides a nutty, sweet flavor that can beautifully substitute Frangelico, especially in autumn-themed recipes.

This makes a good substitute for Frangelico in cocktails and desserts since it has a nutty flavor and earthy taste, complemented by hints of vanilla and spice.

7. Torani Hazelnut Syrup

Bottle of Torani Hazelnut Syrup

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

How To Use It: Perfect for flavoring coffees, chocolate drinks, cocktails, and desserts.

Why We Like It: Torani, a well-known brand of flavored syrups, offers a viable substitute for Frangelico with their hazelnut syrup. Crafted with natural flavors, this syrup is versatile in its use.

Torani hazelnut syrup can enhance a Hazelnut Latte or a Hazelnut Hot Chocolate in beverages. For desserts, it’s perfect for imparting a nutty taste to ice cream or waffles

8. Irish Cream

Irish Cream

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

How To Use It: Use in cocktails, coffee, or desserts.

Why We Like It: Baileys is a favored substitute for Frangelico in cocktails and desserts. This creamy liqueur, crafted from cream and Irish whiskey, exudes a sweet, nutty flavor.

It can effectively replace Frangelico, imparting a creamy and nutty taste to various drinks and desserts. Top it with whipped cream to make a Chocolate Cake Shot, or add it as a cheesecake ingredient.

9. Macadamia Nut Liqueur

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

How To Use It: Use in cocktails or as a dessert drizzle.

Why We Like It: This Macadamia liqueur provides a rich, buttery flavor, making it one of the unique and luxurious substitutes for Frangelico, especially if you want to explore different nutty nuances.

You can use Macadamia nut liqueur to create a Nutty Hawaiian or a Macadamia White Russian. Besides, this liqueur is excellent for infusing a nutty, buttery flavor into treats like cookies or brownies.

10. Hazelnut-Flavored Coffee Syrups

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

How To Use It: Ideal for coffee, cocktails, and baking.

Why We Like It: Hazelnut-flavored coffee syrup provides a convenient and non-alcoholic way to infuse a hazelnut drink, closely mimicking Frangelico’s nutty taste.

This Hazelnut-infused coffee syrup is an excellent choice for a non-alcoholic substitute for Frangelico! It’s ideal for enhancing coffee or baked goods, providing the sought-after coffee and hazelnut flavors.

11. Hazelnut Paste or Butters

Star Rating: ★★★★☆

How To Use It: Blend into dessert recipes for a sweet and nutty flavor

Why We Like It: It offers a creamy texture and strong hazelnut notes, perfect for those seeking a non-alcoholic option but with a similar flavor to Frangelico.

Crafted with roasted hazelnuts, these substitutes for Frangelico work best in baked goods or smoothies, as their inclusion in cocktails may lead to an unusual consistency.

12. Kahlua

Kahlua

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

How To Use It: Ideal in coffee-based cocktails, baking, or as a dessert ingredient.

Why We Like It: Kahlua, a coffee liqueur, is one of the good substitutes for Frangelico in both cocktails and desserts. It exudes a rich flavor characterized by Arabica coffee [2], caramel, and hazelnut notes.

It goes well in drinks with club soda, ginger ale, and Irish cream. For desserts, it’s ideal for adding a combined coffee and nutty flavor to dishes like tiramisu or chocolate mousse.

13. Coffee Liqueur

Coffee Liqueur

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

How To Use It: Mix it into cocktails or use it in desserts.

Why We Like It: Coffee Liqueur serves as an ideal Frangelico substitute with its coffee flavor. This liqueur has a very strong flavor, created by infusing roasted coffee beans in neutral grain spirits.

You have the option to purchase it in either hazelnut or coffee flavors. However, know that the hazelnut version typically contains a slightly higher alcohol content compared to its coffee counterpart.

14. Ratafia

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

How To Use It: Ideal for cocktails or flavoring baked goods

Why We Like It: This nutty liqueur substitute for Frangelico has a remarkable combination of nuts, fruits, and herbs, creating both a sweet and nutty flavor.

Like other hazelnut liqueurs, it can be blended into cocktails with various alcoholic drinks or enjoyed neat.

15. Almond Extract

Homemade Almond Extract

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

How To Use It: A few drops enhance the flavor of baked goods and cocktails.

Why We Like It: Almond extract makes a handy substitute for Frangelico if you run out of hazelnut liqueur. Almond extract can sparingly impart nuttiness to cocktails and desserts.

For drinks, a touch of almond extract can whip up an Almond Joy Cocktail or an Amaretto Sour. Regarding desserts, it’s excellent for adding a nutty essence to frostings or whipped cream.

16. Praline Liqueur 

Star Rating: ★★★☆☆

How to Use It: A good addition to chocolate beverages and pastries. 

Why I Like It: Praline liqueur is crafted from a blend of vanilla, sugar, and cream, along with roasted and chopped pecans. It has a light sweetness, but adding cream elevates it further.

“Each Frangelico substitute adds its unique taste to recipes.” – Liquor Laboratory

Praline liqueur is versatile, pairing well with various recipes, particularly chocolate drinks and pastries. Also, its alcohol content is similar to Frangelico’s, making it equally suitable for enjoying straight.

FAQs Related to Frangelico Substitute

What is Frangelico?

Frangelico is a sweet Italian liqueur flavored with toasted hazelnuts, cocoa, vanilla, and other botanicals. It has a rich and nutty flavor profile with hints of chocolate and spices.

Why might I need a substitute for Frangelico?

You might need a substitute for Frangelico if you’re looking for an alternative liqueur with similar flavor characteristics, or if Frangelico isn’t available at your local liquor store.

What are some alternatives to Frangelico?

Some alternatives to Frangelico include other hazelnut liqueurs such as Nocello or homemade hazelnut syrup. Additionally, you can try using Amaretto or hazelnut extract as substitutes, adjusting the sweetness and flavor intensity as needed.

Can I use Amaretto as a substitute for Frangelico?

Yes, Amaretto, a sweet Italian liqueur flavored with almonds, can be used as a substitute for Frangelico in many recipes. While it won’t replicate the exact flavor profile of Frangelico, it can provide a similar nutty and sweet character to cocktails and desserts.

How can I make homemade hazelnut syrup as a substitute for Frangelico?

To make homemade hazelnut syrup, combine equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan and heat until the sugar is dissolved. Add toasted hazelnuts and simmer for about 10 minutes. Strain the mixture, let it cool, and store it in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Use the syrup as a substitute for Frangelico in cocktails and recipes.

Are there any non-alcoholic substitutes for Frangelico?

While non-alcoholic substitutes won’t provide the same depth of flavor as Frangelico, you can try using hazelnut extract or flavored syrups as alternatives. These options can add a hint of hazelnut flavor to your drinks or dishes without the alcohol content.

Wrapping Up

After trying various Frangelico substitutes, I can say that each one offers unique qualities, giving a twist to Frangelico drinks. 

From the unique Sambuca to the syrupy Torani Hazelnut Syrup and exotic macadamia nut liqueurs to the strong flavor of coffee liqueurs, all are well worth trying.

But remember, the best substitute depends on your recipe and personal taste. So why not experiment and discover your favorite Frangelico alternative today? Enjoy!

References:

  1. https://www.sheknows.com/food-and-recipes/articles/1130671/frangelico-cocktail-recipes/
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/arabica-coffee
  3. https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/jul/03/amaretto-cocktail-romance-empire-of-drinks-henry-jeffreys
  4. https://www.thedailymeal.com/1358601/flavor-frangelico-hazelnut-taste/
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