10 Best Orange Curacao Substitutes

You are currently viewing 10 Best Orange Curacao Substitutes

Orange Curacao can be the ingredient that gives flavor to so many cocktails that you might think you can’t complete your recipes without it. This drink is very tasty on its own as well, with just a few ice cubes. But you might not find it so easily in stores, and if you do, it could come at a high price. There is no need to worry, though. If your recipe calls for Orange Curacao we gathered the best options to use as excellent substitutes! 

You can substitute Orange Curacao with triple sec, aurum, and blue curacao, but also other options as you will see in this complex guide! 

Best Substitutes for Orange Curacao 

When you choose a substitute for Orange Curacao, it is essential to take into account two aspects. First, think about how much you want the orange flavor in your drink. If you are keen on keeping the citrus taste, choose an alternative that is also orange-flavored.

The color of your substitute is a second aspect you want to keep an eye on because it will directly impact the way your cocktail looks at the end when all ingredients are well-mixed. 

1. Triple sec 


Triple sec is maybe one of the most obvious substitutes for Orange Curacao and many times these two drinks can be used interchangeably. This substitute is also orange flavored and it comes in a clear color so it will not alter the final appearance of your drink. You will find triple sec in different brands but they all taste similar to the original French beverage. 

When you replace Orange Curacao with triple sec, use the same ratio. But keep in mind that the flavor might be slightly different. Also, Orange Curacao has an alcohol concentration of 15% while triple sec could have between 20% and 40% ABV. 

2. Aurum 

If you lack Orange Curacao, you can use Aurum and still end up with a delicious cocktail. Aurum is also a liquor made of brandy, with a strong orange flavor to it, which makes it such a good replacement for Orange Curacao. This beverage originates in Pescara, Italy but you might be able to find it in other parts of the world as well. Aurum is both sweet and citrusy in taste and can be consumed as a plain drink as well. 

When you substitute Orange Curacao with Aurum, take note that this alternative has an ABV of 40% so your drink will be stronger. Otherwise, you can use the same ratio since the orange flavor of Aurum is fairly similar to the flavor of Orange Curacao. 

3. Blue Curacao 


Blue curacao is very similar to Orange Curacao, the only difference being the color of this substitute. Also, you will find blue curacao with different alcohol contents, from 15% to 25%, which is another aspect you want to take into account. The blue color of this drink comes from an artificial colorant. 

You can use blue curacao instead of Orange Curacao on a 1:1 ratio since the flavor it will bring to your drink is the same. Blue curacao can be a great choice for all types of cocktails and even some toppings or dessert recipes!

4. Grand Marnier 


Grand Marnier can successfully replace Orange Curacao in all types of cocktails. This alternative has a very distinct orange flavor and it is made with a base of brandy. You will find it easy to recognize it in any cocktail once you know how it tastes. Since Grand Marnier is made of dried orange peels and other citrus fruits, it also has a specific orange, almost goldish shade. 

You can substitute Orange Curacao with Grand Marnier in all cocktails and maintain the same ratio. But be aware of the intense orange flavor of this substitute and the fact that it has an ABV of 40%, which is stronger compared to Orange Curacao. 

5. Gran Gala 


Gran Gala can help you substitute Orange Curacao in almost all types of cocktails. This brandy-based liquor with an orange flavor was first made in Trieste, Italy and it became appreciated in other parts of the world as well. Not just the flavor very orange-like but also the smell of this drink. And it has a beautiful amber shade that will compliment any type of cocktail. 

Depending on how much you like Gran Gala, you can use it to substitute Orange Curacao in a 1:1 ratio in your drink. Its alcohol content is 40% so your cocktail will be stronger if you use this alternative too. 

6. Picon 


Picon is a substitute that will bring you a different flavor than Orange Curacao but it will still taste deliciously in your cocktail nevertheless. This liquor comes from France and it has a bittersweet taste with a note of oranges. Picon is made of herbs, different spices, caramel, and neutral alcohol as a base. Orange zest is one of the spices and the reason why Picon can substitute Orange Curacao in your cocktail. 

Picon has an alcohol content of 39% which is more than the alcohol that Orange Curacao will bring to your cocktail. You will want to taste the Picon before you add it to your drink to decide how much you want to add. 

7. Orange juice 

Orange juice

Orange juice might seem like an obvious substitute for Orange Curacao if you want to keep the orange flavor in your drink. But keep in mind that orange juice will not contain any alcohol. If you are fine with making a non-alcoholic cocktail, this could be the best solution to go for. However, if you want to keep both the orange flavor and the alcohol content you want to combine your orange juice with a shot of vodka and then add it to your drink. 

8. Orgeat syrup 


Orgeat syrup has a strong almond flavor but also citrus notes as it contains orange flower water. Thanks to this aspect, you can rely on it to save your cocktail, if you lack the Orange Curacao ingredient. Keep in mind that orgreat is sweeter than any other substitute though as it is essentially a syrup. 

When you add orgeat to your cocktail, start by adding only one ounce of it. Taste your drink before you decide if you need to add more of this nutty syrup since too much of it could unpleasantly alter your drink. 

Also Check: 12 Best Substitutes for Orgeat Syrup

9. Mimosa 


Mimosas are simple cocktails made out of orange juice and champagne or Prosecco. You can order them at any bar and restaurant and you can add them to your cocktail instead of Orange Curacao as well. To make your mimosa all you need to do is to mix one part orange juice with one part champagne. 

Replace Orange Curacao with the same quantity of mimosa in your cocktail and your drink will taste amazingly good! 

10. Apple brandy 


The last but not the least substitute you can use instead of Orange Curacao in your cocktail is apple brandy. You can find apple brandy from different brands, in most stores worldwide. The flavor of this ingredient will be different since it contains apples but it will compliment any cocktail that calls for Orange Curacao. 

Use apple brandy in the same amount you would use Orange Curacao but make sure you taste it beforehand. If you are using unsweetened apple brandy, you might also want to add a teaspoon of honey or another sweetener to balance out the taste of your drink. 

Can Cointreau be substituted for Orange Curacao?

Cointreau is a type of triple sec made in France and you can use it instead of Orange Curacao in all your cocktails and recipes. The taste of Cointreau is the ideal balance between sweet, bitter, and citrusy. Plus, this drink also has notes that come from specific spices used to intensify its flavor. 

You will most likely love to drink it in an on-the-rocks version, without having to mix it in more complex drinks. In many bars and restaurants, Cointreau on the rocks involves just one, a large cube of ice. Your drink will look inviting and you will find it very satisfying even if it is just triple sec with ice. 

Use Cointreau as you would use any other brand of triple sec. You can substitute Orange Curacao with the same quantity of this triple sec, just like you would with other triple sec alternatives. Also, you can use this triple sec in different desserts and toppings. 

Cointreau is easier to find in France but nowadays it is available in other countries even if you might be looking at a higher price. 

What flavor is Orange Curacao?

Before we dive into the flavor of Orange Curacao, we have to mention that this is the original orange liquor. It sent the trend for all the other orange liquors made after its release on the market, centuries ago. The exact origin and release date as well as the initial stage of its history remain unknown. 

Classic Orange Curacao has a sweet and citrus flavor, with a taste of orange and a mildly bitter note. However, there is also a dry version of this drink that has a drier finish and some people prefer it since it is less sweet. 

Blue curacao has an identical flavor to Orange Curacao. However, the color difference will also have a different impact on the final cocktail if you choose to use the blue version of this orange liquor. 

Orange Curacao can add the most interesting flavor not only to cocktails but also to desserts and toppings. And it is one of those secret ingredients that extravagant chefs might use in their signature sauces when they want a delicate orange note to their final dish.

It is a very versatile drink and you will love to have it in your home bar as well as you will love to use it in a multitude of recipes. Plus, if you want to give your cocktail an exotic color, there is no better choice than blue curacao. 

Orange Curacao substitute Mai Tai

If you are preparing Mai Tai at home but you lack Orange Curacao, you can use any type of triple sec liquor you find. Note that Mai Tai already contains orgeat as one of its ingredients so you will not be able to substitute Orange Curacao with this almond syrup. 

The recipe of Mai Tai calls for 1 ½ ounce white rum, ¾ ounce orange curaçao *see substitution notes below, ¾ ounce fresh lime juice, ½ ounce orgeat, ½ ounce dark rum, and for garnish a lime wheel and cherry or fresh mint. 

To make this cocktail, use a shaker that you fill with ice cubes. Add all the ingredients to the shaker and give it a good shake for a few seconds. Pour the cocktail in a class with a few ice cubes and garnish it with the lime wheel and fresh mint or cherry. You will impress all your guests with such a tasty and refreshing treat. 

If you use triple sec instead of Orange Curacao, follow the same recipe and respect the same quantities. Your cocktail will still taste delicious. 

Final thoughts 

Now that you know what to use instead of Orange Curacao in your cocktails, there is no need to skip your favorite drinks even if you lack this important ingredient. Triple sec should remain one of your first choices as it is the closest substitute you will find. Grand Marnier will be a great choice too if you are not bothered by the higher price as this might be one of the most expensive replacements. 

It will help you tremendously to take a sip from your potential Orange Curacao substitute. You want to make sure that it is the right choice not only for your cocktail but also for your taste. And you will find plenty of suitable options in the list of this complex guide! 

Chad Smith

Meet Chad Smith, a seasoned bartender with a passion for mixology. He's the founder of Tin Roof Drink Community, a blog where he shares expert tips, creative recipes, and fosters a vibrant community of cocktail enthusiasts and aspiring bartenders. Join Chad as he takes you on a flavorful journey through the world of drinks. Cheers!

Leave a Reply