17 Best Calvados Substitutes for Cooking & Cocktails

You love the taste of Calvados in your cooking, but what are you going to do now that it’s out of stock?

It can be difficult to find a good calvados substitute when you’re in the middle of cooking a meal. Most other liquors just don’t have the same flavor profile.

You would not actually be able to tell the difference – I promise! Not only are they all delicious, but they’re also affordable and easy to use.

So what are you waiting for? Start cooking up some fantastic meals today; great substitutes for Calvados that will give your food the perfect flavor boost. Also, non-alcoholic versions are included.

What kind of liquor is Calvados?

Calvados is a fruit brandy from France’s Normandy region. It is distilled from cider made from apples or sometimes with a pear grown in the Calvados region and aged in Limousin oak casks. Generally, it has an alcoholic strength by volume of between 36% and 50%.

The longer it is stored, the smoother the drink becomes. Distinctly different from other types of apple brandy, Calvados has a very strong flavor because it isn’t sweetened or colored after distillation.

Calvados is made in several grades. The ones that are least aged are called “blanc” or white Calvados.

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Straight Calvados comes either vintage (aged for a minimum of 2 years) or non-vintage (not aged for a minimum).

Following the inferior grades are the somewhat higher-quality “Calvados Pays d’Auge,” followed by Calvados aged between 2 and 4 years.

Finally, come the most sought-after ones, labeled “Calvados Grand Ordinaire” or simply “Grande Réserve.”

What can I use instead of Calvados?- Calvados Substitutes

1. Best Calvados substitute RUM

Rum is a popular liquor choice for those looking for a calvados substitute. It has a similar flavor profile, and most people wouldn’t be able to tell the difference in a mixed drink.

However, this doesn’t mean that a rum substitution will work in every situation. Certain recipes out there call for a specific kind of rum to be used. You use Rum extract substitute for calvados as well.

Rum Cake – Rum cakes can be made with light or dark rum. These cakes are typically soaked in the liquor itself and then topped off with a simple glaze made from more rum. Sometimes, a slice of fruit will also be placed on top to add some color and freshness to the presentation.

2. APPLE BRANDY- Ideal Substitute for Calvados

Apple Brandy is a type of brandy that is distilled from apples. It is often used in cooking to add flavor to dishes.

Calvados is the most well-known and commonly used apple brandy (particularly in the United States, where the term “applejack” is unknown) (distilled in France). However, an unaged apple brandy called “Apple Brandy” is also produced in the USA.

apple brandy is a type of brandy which is very popular substitute for calvados

Typically, apple brandy is somewhat sweet and about 40% ABV (80 U.S. proof). However, in some regions (such as the Cognac region of France), apple brandy is double-distilled and becomes a spirit similar to whiskey, with an ABV as high as 72%.

Apple brandy can be used in cocktails, such as the Sidecar or substituted in recipes that call for other liquors. It can also be utilized for baking or poaching fruits.

3.APPLEJACK- Decent Alternative to Calvados

Applejack is a type of apple cider that is made from apples that are heated and then fermented. It is typically used in cooking as a flavoring agent.

Some recipes that you can use applejack in include:

– Pork Chops with Applejack Sauce

– Grilled Cheese with Applejack and Bacon

– Pear and Apple Tart with Applejack

– Applejack Roasted Pork

Applejack is a substitute for Calvados in recipes, cocktails, and cooking. It is made from apples and has a similar flavor to Calvados.

You can use Applejack in place of Calvados in most recipes. It is also continually used in the preparation of apple dishes, such as apple pie.

Applejack is also a drink all by itself. It is a strong alcoholic beverage. Applejack is considered to be one of the oldest distilled drinks in America. It’s also one of the least expensive alcohols.

4. APPLE CIDER- Easy and Affordable Replacement for Calvados

Apple cider vinegar is made from “mother,” a vinegar base formed after fermentation. This kind of apple cider has a brownish hue and usually features cloudy sediment.

Apple cider vinegar has a fruity and sweet taste and can be used to enhance the flavors of salads, vegetables, and other dishes. 

Some recipes that you can use apple cider vinegar in include:

– Apple Cider Vinaigrette

– Apple Cider Mashed Potatoes

– Braised Brussels Sprouts with Apple Cider Vinegar

– Caramelized Apples (can be made with apple cider or apple juice)

– Apple Cider Pork Roast

– Baked Ham with Spiced Orange Glaze

– Tarragon Roasted Sweet Potatoes

– Apple Cider and Cranberry Braised Acorn Squash

– Apple Cider Slow Cooker Chicken

If you use apple cider in a recipe, it is generally best to use the sweetened variety. Many recipes that call for apple cider also include additional ingredients, such as honey and spices.

5. A MIXTURE OF COGNAC & APPLE JUICE

Apple juice and cognac are a great mixture for a cocktail and give you an almost similar flavor to Calvados. It’s smooth and flavorful and perfect for any occasion.

Ingredients:

200 ml (about 3/4 cup) Apple juice or apple cider (freshly pressed, if possible)

100ml (about 1/3 cup) Cognac

1 to 2 teaspoons sugar syrup, if desired

Mint leaves for garnish

Lemon wheels for garnish

Stir the ingredients in a metal shaker with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass or serve on the rocks in an old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a sprig of mint and lemon wheel on the rim.

6. APPLE ESSENCE- Good Choice to Replicate Calvados

Apple essence is a type of extract that is made from apples. It is used in many different products, such as cosmetics, food, and beverages.

Apple essence has a sweet and fruity taste, and it is often used to add flavor to food and drinks. It is also a source of antioxidants, which can help protect the body against disease.

When it comes to apples, there are endless possibilities to make recipes. Apple essence is a great way to add a touch of sweetness and flavor to any dish.

It can be used in both baking and cooking, and it also makes a delicious addition to cocktails.

Here are a few recipes that showcase the deliciousness of apple essence:

Apple Pie: This classic American dessert is always a hit. The apple essence in this recipe adds a delicious layer of flavor to the pie.

Apple Cake: This simple cake is perfect for a quick dessert. The apple essence gives the cake a delicious flavor and moist texture.

Slow Cooker Applesauce: This easy recipe is perfect for fall. The apple essence gives this dish a sweet and tangy flavor, making it the perfect simple side to any meal.

Apple essence is a good substitute for Calvados in cooking, recipes, baking, and desserts. 

For starters, apple essence has a much lower alcohol content than Calvados. This makes it a safer choice for cooking, especially if you’re preparing food for children.

Apple essence is also much cheaper than Calvados, so it’s a more affordable option.

Finally, apple essence has a slightly sweeter taste than Calvados, making it a better choice for desserts and baked goods.

7. UNSWEETENED APPLE JUICE CONCENTRATE 

Unsweetened apple juice concentrate is a type of apple juice that has been concentrated by removing water. This leaves a more concentrated form of apple juice that is higher in sugar and flavor.

Unsweetened apple juice concentrate is a great way to add flavor to your recipes while reducing the amount of sugar you’re using.

You can also utilize it to produce a delicious smoothie or protein shake. Simply mix it with some water and your favorite fruits or protein powder, and you’re good to go!

The taste of apple juice concentrate is similar to that of sugar, but it’s much less sweet. This means you can use less and still get that same level of sweetness.

8. APPLE JUICE – a sweet substitute for Calvados

Apple juice is a type of juice that is made from apples. It is often used to add flavor to food and drinks, and it is also a source of antioxidants.

Apple juice has a sweet and fruity taste, and it can be used in both baking and cooking. It’s also a fantastic mixer for cocktails.

The nutritional value of apple juice includes the presence of fiber, antioxidants, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A, B6, and C.

It also contains antioxidants and flavonoids, which help in protecting the cells against damage. Apple juice is also a source of calcium and iron. The juice can be bought commercially, or it can be made at home.

9. Try BRANDY EXTRACT instead of Calvados

Brandy extract is a good substitute for Calvados in cooking, recipes, baking, and desserts. For starters, brandy extract has a much lower alcohol content than Calvados.

· This makes it a safer choice for cooking, especially if you’re preparing food for children.

Brandy extract is a type of extract that is made from brandy. It is also much cheaper than Calvados, so it’s a more affordable option.

Brandy extract has a slightly sweeter taste than Calvados, which makes it a better choice for desserts and baked goods.

Brandy extract can be used in many different types of recipes. Here are a few ideas:

Baked Apples: This recipe uses brandy extract to add a delicious layer of flavor to baked apples.

Apple Cake: This simple cake is perfect for a quick dessert. The brandy extract gives the cake a delicious flavor and moist texture.

Mulled Wine: This traditional winter drink is made even better with just a hint of brandy extract.

Champagne Punch: This fruity punch tastes just like champagne. The brandy extract gives it an extra “punch” of flavor.

Berry Dessert: This delicious dessert combines fresh berries with brandy extract. It is the perfect combination of sweet and tart!

Check Best Non-alcoholic Brandy substitutes

10. APPLE EXTRACT – A great alternative for Calvados

Apple extract is a type of extract that is made from apples. It is used in many different products, such as cosmetics, food, and beverages.

Apple extract has a sweet and fruity taste, and it is often used to add flavor to food and drinks. It is also a source of antioxidants, which can help protect the body against disease.

Apple extract is very similar to Calvados, but it has a slightly sweeter taste. It can be used in place of Calvados in most recipes, and it is a great choice for those who enjoy the benefits of apple extract without the alcohol content.

11. Use smoky flavored APPLE BUTTER to replace Calvados

Apple butter is a kind of fruit spread that is made from apples. It is typically made by cooking apples down until they are a thick and smooth paste.

It has a sweet and smoky flavor, and it can be used on toast, bagels, pancakes, and other foods; it can also be used in cooking, such as in sauces or baked goods.

If you’re looking for a substitution for Calvados in a recipe, apple butter is a great option. It has a similar flavor to Calvados, but it’s less expensive and easier to find.

To substitute apple butter for Calvados, use ¾ cup of apple butter in place of 1/3 cup of Calvados. Increase the quantity of the recipe’s other liquids to make up for the lost volume.

If you don’t have apple butter on hand, you can make easy homemade apple butter in your slow cooker.

All you require is 20 minutes of prep time and eight hours of cooking time for this slow cooker apple butter recipe.

Try using apple butter to add a new flavor to your morning toast or in baked goods such as muffins and coffee cake.

12. PEAR BRANDY – A ideal substitute for Calvados

Pear brandy is a type of brandy that is made from pears. It has a sweet and fruity taste, and it is often used to add flavor to food and drinks. It is also a source of antioxidants, which can help protect the body against disease.

sweet and fruity pear brandy is a very famous alternative for calvados

When substituting pear brandy for Calvados in a recipe, use an equal amount. Because they are both brandies, the flavors will be similar, and the substitution will be undetectable.

Pear brandy is considered a fruit liqueur because it is made from the distillation of pears.

13. EAU DE VIE – a popularar alternative for Calvados

Eau De Vie is a french colorless fruity note beady that can easily substitute for Calvados. It is a popular digestif. Eau de vie is also used in french cuisine for deglazing.

14. try LAMBIG to replace Calvados

Lambig is distilled cider Breton liquor similar profile to Calvados. It is the main ingredient in making pommeau de Bretagne.

15. use TARTE TATIN as Calvados Substitute

Tarte Tatin is a French dessert that is made of an upside-down pastry that is filled with apples. It is a dish that was invented by mistake. It all started with the Tarte au Citron (a lemon tart), and it ended up like this.

Non alcoholic substitute for calvados

There are several non-alcoholic substitutes for Calvados, including apple cider, apple juice, and even sparkling apple cider.

Any of these would be a suitable option for someone looking for a non-alcoholic alternative that still has a bit of apple flavor.

Non-alcoholic apple-flavored liqueurs such as

Dekuyper’s Apple Pucker, DeKuyper Royal Crown, and Dekuyper Sour Apple Pucker provide some apple flavor but are usually not enough to make a good substitute for Calvados.

Baking Apples

If you want to add a more pronounced apple flavor to your dish, try using baking apples in place of the Calvados.

To use this substitute, you would replace the Calvados with an apple of your choosing. This substitute will give you a more pronounced apple flavor that will complement a variety of dishes.

Substitute for Calvados in an apple tart

There are a few substitutes for Calvados in an apple tart. You can use brandy, cognac, or rum instead.

If you really want to use Calvados, substitute half of it with apple brandy, but please make sure not to replace the whole amount.

Calvados substitute baking

There are many reasons to substitute baking with Calvados.

For one, Calvados has a lower acidity than baking and produce a more pronounced flavor profile. Secondly, the alcohol in Calvados will help to keep your baked goods moist for longer.

Finally, the sweetness of Calvados will add an extra layer of flavor to your baked goods that other substitutes can’t match.

Conclusion for what is a good substitute for Calvados

There are a number of substitutes for Calvados, but they all have their own unique flavor profiles. If you prefer something more traditional, try apple cider or white wine. For an earthier taste profile, go with rum or brandy.

Some people enjoy the medicinal quality that comes from using gin as a substitute for Calvados in recipes like mulled wine and hot toddies. Whichever one you choose to use, just remember to keep it at 40% ABV so that your drink is still safe for consumption by children and adults alike!

FAQs Related to Calvados & its alternatives

Q1. Does Calvados taste like apples?

Calvados resemble apple and pear with smooth, rich apple brandy that has a mellow taste and a slightly sweet aftertaste. The texture is slightly oily, but in a good way, and it goes down smoothly.

Q2. What is a good substitute for apple brandy?

One possible substitute is Calvados, a French apple brandy. Another option is to use hard cider instead of apple brandy.

If neither of those is available, you can use any type of hard fruit liquor, such as vodka, rum, or whiskey.

In addition, feel free to add a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar or maple syrup if you’re feeling adventurous.

Q3. Is Calvados similar to applejack?

Calvados is similar to applejack in that both are made from apples.

Calvados, however, is a protected name for an apple brandy produced in the Normandy region of France. Applejack, when made in the traditional American manner (by slowly freezing hard apple cider until some of the water freezes and is removed), can be called apple brandy or applejack.

Q4. Is Calvados the same as apple brandy? 

No, Calvados is a type of apple brandy.

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