11 Best Substitutes for Brandy Extract

We’ve all been in a situation where we need brandy extract for a recipe, but can’t locate it at the grocery store.

The good news is that there are numerous substitutes for brandy extract that can be used.

In this article, I will share 11 of the best alternatives to brandy extract – regardless of what recipe you may be attempting to make.

From pomegranate juice and coffee liqueur, to pistachio syrup and even whisky; these options will keep your recipes tasting delicious!

So whether you don’t have access to liquor stores or just want something different to use in your recipes, read on for seven awesome substitute ideas for brandy extract both with and without alcohol!

What is Brandy Extract?

Brandy extract is a flavoring agent made from distilled brandy.

It is used to add flavor and aroma to desserts, baked goods, sauces, marinades, and other dishes.

The extract has a strong alcohol content that dissipates during cooking or baking; however, it still adds an intense depth of flavor that can’t be achieved with other ingredients.

Brandy extract also contains natural sugars which provide sweetness without the need for added sugar.

It’s important to note that brandy extract should not be confused with imitation brandy flavoring which is made with artificial flavors and chemical compounds.

Imitation extracts are much cheaper but often lack the complexity of real brandy extract.

When using brandy extract in recipes, start by adding just a few drops at first as its flavor can easily overpower the dish if too much is used.

11 Best Substitutes for Brandy Extract

I know the amazing flavor brandy extract can add to a recipe, but sometimes I need a substitute.

Here are 11 of the best substitutes for brandy extract:

1. Rum Extract

Rum Extract

Rum extract is a great alternative to brandy extract.

It’s made from real rum, just like brandy extract. So it has a similarly robust flavor.

It works especially well in recipes that involve baking. For instance, if you’re making a fruitcake or a rum cake, this is a great option.

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It adds a nice sweetness and depth of flavor. Plus, it’s a great way to add a bit of boozy flavor without having to use actual alcohol.

You can also use it in desserts, sauces, and marinades.

Just remember that it’s quite a bit stronger than brandy extract. So use it sparingly.

One teaspoon of rum extract is equivalent to about three teaspoons of brandy extract.

2. Grand Marnier

Grand Marnier

Grand Marnier is a blend of cognac and orange liqueur. This gives it a unique flavor that’s both sweet and sour.

The orange aroma is also a great way to give your baking a hint of citrus.

It’s a great addition to cakes, cookies, and even ice cream.

You can also use it in glazes, sauces, and other baked goods.

But you should note that the flavor of Grand Marnier is a bit more intense than brandy extract.

So, keep that in mind if you’re substituting for it in a recipe. Start with less and add more to taste.

3. Amaretto


Amaretto is a type of Italian liqueur, made from apricot kernels.

It has a sweet, nutty flavor, which is quite similar to that of brandy extract.

Plus, it’s easy to find. You can find it in stores, or even order it online.

To use it, just add a tablespoon or two to whatever recipe you’re making.

It won’t be quite as strong as brandy extract, but it’s still a great substitute.

The flavor makes it perfect for baking cakes and cookies, or even making some festive cocktails.

Just remember that because it’s a liqueur, it contains alcohol. So don’t give it to children.

4. Vanilla Extract

Vanilla Extract

Vanilla extract has the same sweet and smooth flavor but with a slight hint of vanilla.

The ratio to use is one-to-one. So if your recipe calls for one teaspoon of brandy extract, use one teaspoon of vanilla extract instead.

For baking, this substitution is great. It won’t ruin the flavor of the dish, and it’ll still give you the same sweetness.

Vanilla extract also works great in sauces and marinades.

It can be a bit more expensive than brandy extract, so that’s something to consider. But it’s a great alternative if you’re in a pinch.

5. Orange Extract

Orange Extract

Orange extract has a similar flavor profile, with a hint of citrusy sweetness.

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It works great when baking cakes, cookies, and other desserts that call for brandy extract.

In fact, it’s a great complement to other flavors, like chocolate and almond.

If you’re making a fruit-based dessert, like a peach cobbler, orange extract is a great choice.

It’s also a great addition to drinks, like a classic mimosa or a simple cup of hot cocoa.

It doesn’t have the same alcohol content as brandy extract, though. So you won’t get the same kick.

But it’s a great option if you’re looking for an extract with a similar flavor.

6. Almond extract

Almond extract

Almond extract makes an excellent replacement for brandy extract.

For starters, it’s packed with a sweet, nutty flavor. That’s perfect for adding depth to baked goods like cookies, cakes, and breads.

Plus, it’s a great option for any recipe that calls for brandy extract.

You may want to reduce the amount of almond extract you add to the recipe, though.

It has a stronger flavor than brandy extract, so you don’t want it to overpower the dish.

Start with a teaspoon or two and add more as needed. Your end product will be just as tasty as if you used brandy extract.

7. Cognac extract

Cognac extract has a similar flavor and can be used in the same way as brandy extract.

The difference is that cognac extract has a slightly stronger flavor than brandy extract.

It’s also a bit more expensive than brandy extract, so use it sparingly.

Cognac extract adds a nice flavor to baked goods and desserts, and you can use it to flavor sauces, soups, and stews.

It also makes an excellent addition to classic cocktails such as the Sidecar and the Manhattan.

You can usually find it in gourmet stores, specialty food shops, and some liquor stores.

8. Pomegranate juice

Pomegranate juice

I know what you’re thinking: pomegranate juice?

It might sound strange, but trust me. It can add a similar flavor to what you’d get with brandy extract.

It has a tart, slightly sweet flavor. It’s not too strong, and it’s great for adding to desserts.

The flavor is much more subtle than brandy extract. So, try adding a bit more than what the recipe calls for.

You can also mix pomegranate juice with a bit of brandy, rum, or vodka if you want something with a bit more kick.

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It’s a great alternative to brandy extract, and it can help you create some delicious desserts.

9. Coffee liqueur

Coffee liqueur

Any coffee liqueur can replace brandy extract.

This is a great substitute if you want to add a coffee flavor to a cake, cookie, or other dessert.

It’s a bit sweeter than brandy extract, so use it sparingly.

You don’t need to worry about using it in alcoholic recipes. The alcohol burns off during baking.

Coffee liqueur is a bit more expensive than brandy extract, but it’s worth it for the flavor.

It’s also a great way to add a bit of flavor to a cocktail. Use it to give your favorite drink a bit of a coffee kick.

10. Pistachio syrup

Pistachio syrup is a funny one.

It doesn’t quite have the same robust flavor as brandy extract, but it can do in a pinch.

The nutty, sweet flavor certainly adds a unique twist to any recipe that calls for brandy extract.

It’s also a great way to get creative with your cooking and baking.

Plus, you can use it in cocktails and other drinks, too.

It’s a great way to make a fun, new flavor profile without having to buy any special ingredients.

Just be sure to use it sparingly. A little goes a long way with this one.

11. Whisky


Whisky and brandy are both distilled spirits. The only difference is that whisky is made from grain and brandy from fruit.

That’s why whisky works well in place of brandy extract.

It has a similar flavor, though the intensity of the whisky may be a bit much.

So if you’re using it, reduce the amount you use compared to brandy extract.

Start by using half the amount of whisky for each teaspoon of brandy extract called for in your recipe.

Taste as you go to make sure the flavor isn’t too strong.

Almond extract

11 Best Substitutes for Brandy Extract

What if you're out of brandy extract, and you need it for a recipe? Don't worry – I'm here to help! In this article, I'm sharing my top 11 substitutes for brandy extract. I'll discuss the flavor profile of each one and provide tips for how to use them in place of brandy extract.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Baking, Substitutes
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 50 kcal


  • Rum Extract
  • Grand Marnier
  • Amaretto
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Orange Extract
  • Almond extract
  • Cognac extract
  • Pomegranate juice
  • Coffee liqueur
  • Pistachio syrup
  • Whisky


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.