A speciality of France, Calvados is a little hard to come by! However, if you have ever tried it, you might want to have some more of it! In that case, let’s talk about some calvados substitutes that satisfy your taste buds.
Calvados is not just for drinking. It serves as an excellent ingredient in many tasty recipes. But if you are out of it, try some alternatives. Apple cider vinegar, unsweetened apple juice, apple butter, pear brandy, and white wine are some of the best calvados substitutes.
Calvados is a distilled version of apple cider vinegar. However, it is special that the apple used for making this brandy is explicitly sourced from the Normandy parts of France.
With its fruity and slightly alcoholic taste, this apple brandy is many people’s favorite. So if you are one of them and are out of it, keep reading to find some amazing calvados substitutes.
10 Best Calvados Substitutes
Calvados, as I said, maybe a little hard to come. But if your recipe asks for it, here are some amazing calvados alternatives you can absolutely rely on!
1. Any Type Of Brandy
If you cannot find calvados, try using any other type of brandy easily available. Try getting a brandy with a base flavor of apple or pears for the best taste.
If your recipe calls for less than one cup of calvados, most other brandy will work as a calvados substitute. While using any other brandy as a calvados substitute, you can substitute with the same amount.
2. Hard Apple Cider
Hard apple cider has a more alcoholic content than normal apple cider vinegar and lacks a sweet taste. Hence hard apple cider performs well as a calvados substitute in most recipes.
Hard cider has a strong alcoholic taste to it. However, when cooked, the taste of alcohol will settle down and won’t be affecting the overall taste of the recipe.
While using hard apple cider as a calvados substitute, use equal amounts of hard cider as that of calvados.
3. Unsweetened Apple Juice
If you are looking for a readily available and cheap calvados substitute, unsweetened apple juice is something you should try! It very well brings a slight fruity taste to your dish and hence can be used as a calvados substitute.
However, if you miss the alcoholic taste, you can add a little cognac or any of your favorite vodka to your dish. If your recipe calls for less than one cup of calvados, I recommend you use unsweetened apple juice in the same proportions as calvados.
This way, your dish will taste amazing without a hole in your pocket.
4. Apple Butter
If you are cooking a dessert that asks for some calvados and you don’t have any, don’t add anything else but rely on some apple butter! With its creaminess and fruity taste, apple butter works well as a calvados substitute in most sweet dishes.
Apple butter doesn’t have a pure apple taste and is often accompanied by the flavors of spices like cinnamon or cardamom. However, if you are cooking a sweet dish, these spices will complement the overall flavor of your dish in a positive manner.
5. Pear Brandy
Now that we have seen some apple-flavored calvados substitutes, let’s look at a different yet great pear brandy substitute! With its fruity and alcoholic taste, pear brandy works great as a calvados substitute in most recipes.
Especially if you are making some pudding or want to mix it with a drink, pear brandy will work as great as calvados. Moreover, pear brandies are much more available and cheaper than calvados.
6. Apple Essence
Want to make your dish smell and taste better without the touch of calvados? In such cases, use some apple essence as a calvados substitute. Apple essence works great as a calvados substitute in dishes such as cakes and pudding.
However, if you plan to add it to a drink, follow it up with an alcoholic drink like any other brandy or vodka. Apple essence, however, will not be a great calvados substitute to add to any drinks.
This is because of the fact that the apple essence is extremely concentrated and will have a strong taste and aroma. So even a single drop might add too much flavor to your drink and affect it badly.
7. Apple Juice
If you cannot find any of these above substitutes, try using simple apple juice as a calvados substitute. Apple juice will impart a slightly sweet taste to your dish without ruining the overall taste.
However, while picking apple juice from the store, make sure to pick one with less sugar content. However, if you are cooking a sweet dish, add less sugar to the recipe than needed to balance the sweetness.
8. White Wine / Red Wine
Wine isn’t the best calvados substitute. However, if you just need a pinch of calvados to finish your dish, red/ white wine effectively serves as a calvados substitute. Wine doesn’t come with an apple flavor.
However, the wine will manage the proportion of alcohol you need in your recipe. So if you have nothing else in hand, go for red/ white wine instead of calvados.
9. Plain Apple Vinegar
If you cook a sour or savory dish, you can use plain apple vinegar as a calvados substitute. Plain apple vinegar has a sour taste and won’t be a great fit for sweet dishes.
However, plain apple vinegar can be used in the same amount as that of calvados in dishes like salad bowls or soups, which are a little tangy.
10. Apple Jack
Apple Jack has been here for a really long time. It is made by fermenting hard apple cider. The resulting mixture has very little water content and has a strong taste. Apple Jack, just like calvados, is alcoholic and has a fruity taste and hence can be used as a calvados substitute.
Apple Jack has a very high concentration of alcohol in it and a fruity, dry flavor. Apple Jack will be a great option if you need a calvados substitute for drinking rather than for cooking.
A Short Recap For The Best Calvados Substitute
That was an extensive read on calvados and their substitutes. The following points will make things easy for you to remember about calvados substitutes:
Best Calvados Substitutes In Terms Of Flavor–
- Hard Apple Cider
Best Calvados Substitutes That Are Easily Available–
- Apple Juice
Calvados Substitutes Should Be Least Considered-
- White Wine
How To Use Calvados Substitutes In A Recipe
10 Best Calvados Substitutes You Can Try!
- Any Type Of Brandy
- Hard Apple Cider
- Unsweetened Apple Juice
- Apple Butter
- Pear Brandy
- Apple Essence
- Apple Juice
- White Wine / Red Wine
- Plain Apple Vinegar
- Apple Jack
- Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
- Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
- Use the substitute in the required amount and proceed to make the dish according to the recipe.
With their fruity and alcoholic taste, calvados has ruled the culinary world for a long time. It is not just a culinary ingredient but also great to enjoy as a standalone drink. However, if you are out of it, try getting a bottle.
If that’s hard, get any of these Calvados substitutes. Most of them work in a pinch as a calvados substitute. However, the unique taste of calvados is just unmatchable!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What can I use instead of Calvados?
Apple cider vinegar, unsweetened apple juice, apple butter, pear brandy, and white wine are some of the best Calvados substitutes.
Is Calvados the same as brandy?
Calvados is a type of apple brandy.
Does Calvados taste like apples?
Calvados does have a tint of apple and pear taste.
Is Calvados the same as Cognac?
No. Calvados and cognac are two different types of drinks.