Skip to Content

Mix Classic Cocktails: 5 BEST Calvados Substitutes

Look, finding the perfect Calvados substitute can sometimes feel like a mixology marathon.

Sure, it’s a top pick for cozying up classic cocktails, but what to do when it’s MIA from your liquor cabinet? No stress.

We’ve been there, done that, and got the teeshirt – or, more appropriately, the cocktail shaker.

That’s why we’re spilling the beans on the five best stand-ins for this apple brandy.

Each brings its own flair without losing the essence that makes your drinks a hit.

Ready to shake things up? Let’s dive in and keep those spirits high, both in mood and in glass!

What is Calvados?

what is calvados

Calvados is a type of French apple brandy that is made from fermented apples.

It is produced in the Normandy region of France and has a strong apple flavor with notes of oak and vanilla.

Calvados can be enjoyed on their own or used in cocktails.

It is also a popular ingredient in cooking and can be used to add flavor to meat dishes, desserts, and sauces.

When cooking with Calvados, it is important to use them sparingly, as the alcohol content can cause the dish to become overcooked.

Calvados is a versatile spirit that can be used in many different ways.

Whether you enjoy it neat or use it in your favorite recipes, Calvados is sure to add a touch of French flair to your drinking and dining experience.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Calvados

For many people, Calvados is the go-to drink for special occasions.

But what if you’re looking for something different? Here are five substitutes for Calvados that are sure to please.

1 – Applejack


For many people, the fall season conjures up images of crisp mornings and colorful leaves.

And what would autumn be without apples? A favorite fruit of the season, apples are often used to make delicious pies and cider.

However, apples can also be used to create potent alcohol known as applejack.

Historically, applejack was made by freezing cider and then removing the ice, a process that concentrated the alcohol.

Today, applejack is typically made by distilling cider or fermented apple juice.

The result is a strong, slightly sweet liquor that is perfect for sipping on a cold fall day.

So next time you head to the cider mill, be sure to pick up a bottle of applejack.

2 – Apple Juice

apple juice

Apple juice is a popular beverage made from the juice of apples.

It is generally safe to consume, but there are some potential risks to be aware of.

The most common side effect of drinking apple juice is an upset stomach.

This is because the acidity of the juice can irritate the digestive system.

Some people may also experience diarrhea or constipation after drinking apple juice.

In rare cases, apple juice can cause an allergic reaction.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include hives, swelling, and difficulty breathing.

If you experience any of these symptoms after drinking apple juice, seek medical help immediately.

Overall, apple juice is a healthy and delicious beverage that is safe for most people to consume.

3 – Apple Cider

apple cider

There’s something special about apple cider.

It’s not just the crisp, refreshing taste or the fact that it’s made from a fruit that has been enjoyed for centuries.

There’s something about apple cider that feels autumnal, like fires in the fireplace and leaves falling from the trees.

Apple cider is traditionally made by crushing apples and then allowing the juice to ferment.

This can be done with a press or simply by using a blender or food processor.

The fermentation process gives apple cider its characteristic tartness and also produces carbon dioxide, which gives the beverage its slight fizziness.

Although it’s most commonly associated with fall and winter, apple cider can be enjoyed all year round.

It can be warmed and spiced in the winter for a cozy drink.

In the summer, it can be poured over ice for a refreshing treat.

4 – Pear Brandy

pear brandy

For many people, the mention of pear brandy conjures up images of old men sipping from glasses in a smoky tavern.

However, this potent spirit has a rich history that extends far beyond its modern-day associations.

Pear brandy dates back to the Middle Ages when it was first distilled in the region that is now known as Alsace.

Since then, it has been enjoyed by royalty and peasants alike, and today it remains a popular drink in many European countries.

Although it is sometimes overshadowed by its more famous cousin, cognac, pear brandy is a unique and intriguing spirit that is well worth seeking out.

Those who take the time to explore it will be rewarded with a complex and deeply satisfying flavor experience.

5 – Apple Essence

apple essence

As soon as you open a bottle of apple essence, the sharp, fruity aroma is sure to tantalize your senses.

This concentrated flavor extract is made by combining water and alcohol with the natural essence of apples.

While it can be used in baking or added to cocktails, apple essence is most commonly used to make homemade cider.

When added to cider, it provides a delicious boost of flavor and aroma.

And, because it is alcohol-free, it can be enjoyed by everyone.

So whether you’re looking to add some extra flavor to your baking or want to make your cider at home, apple essence is a great option.


In conclusion, Calvados is a unique drink with a strong flavor that can be difficult to replace.

However, these five substitutes provide similar flavors and can be used in many of the same ways.

Each substitute has its own unique properties that may make it more or less suitable for a particular dish or recipe, so be sure to experiment to find the perfect match.

With a little creativity, any of these substitutes can help you create delicious dishes and drinks that are sure to impress.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Calvados

Searching for alternatives to Calvados? You've come to the right place! We've compiled a list of the top 5 substitutes that will flawlessly replicate the unique essence of this renowned French apple brandy.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Applejack
  • Apple Juice
  • Apple Cider
  • Pear Brandy
  • Apple Essence


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword substitutes for calvados
Did you make this recipe?Mention @AmericasRestaurant or tag #americasrestaurant!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating