The 5 Greatest Calvados Substitutes

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Calvados is a French apple brandy manufactured in the Normandy area.

It may be purchased as a bottled distilled product or as a distillate that is diluted with water before bottling.

The finished brandies are at least 40% ABV, however several are promoted at 4346%.

Calvados is also made in the Aube region, with many product variants.

Calvados is often consumed as an aperitif or after-dinner drink, but it is also used in cuisine.

It is used as a foundation in certain bitters and may be used to various cocktails.

If you can’t locate Calvados or don’t want to use it due to cost or flavor, keep reading for five alternatives to this famous apple brandy.

What is Calvados?

The 5 Best Substitutes for Calvados

Calvados has a rich and fragrant taste that is well-known and valued in the culinary world.

It has a rich history that dates back to the 15th century A.D., when apple brandy was originally made at Monasteries.

The eau de vie (meaning “water of life”) is distilled from fermented cider and has a minimum alcohol concentration of 40%.

Calvados is mostly produced in the French provinces of lower Normandy (Normandie) and higher Brittany (Bretagne).

Calvados is one of numerous eaux de vie available in France.

Armagnac, Cognac, and Slivovitz are among the others.

Each has a distinct taste character derived from the various fruits utilized during fermentation.

Calvados’ moderate taste should be considered while blending.

Calvados is used in dishes such as Baked Alaska, Boston Cream Pie, and Applejack Rabbit.

Depending on the maturing method, calvados has a rich, nuanced taste with overtones of wood, fruit, spices, aniseed, caramelized sugar, or vanilla.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Calvados

Calvados is an important component in many French pastries due to its distinct taste character.

It is either difficult to locate or pricey, which may be a deterrent for some cooks.

Many alternatives, however, approximate the woody and fruity flavors of Calvados for a fraction of the price.

The following are 5 of the greatest Calvados substitutes.

1 – Applejack

Applejack is a sort of alcoholic beverage that has been around for almost 200 years.

It is created from hard apple cider that has been fermented twice to remove the water.

After then, the product is held in oak barrels to settle and mellow over time.

Applejack has a high ABV (alcohol by volume) concentration of roughly 25-40%.

As a consequence, the spirit is a smooth golden-brown liquid with a fruity but dry taste.

For people who love apple-flavored spirits, it is often suggested as an alternative to Calvados.

Applejack is still uncommon, so your best chance is to taste it at top cocktail establishments in major metropolitan areas.

2 – Armagnac

Armagnac is a sort of brandy from the southwest corner of France.

It gets its name from the fact that it is distilled in the Armagnac area.

This brandy has been manufactured since the 15th century.

This drink’s alcohol concentration must be at least 54%.

When comparing apple brandy to Armagnac, the former has a more sweeter flavor.

This is due to the fact that it is distilled from fermented apples, while Armagnac is manufactured from grapes and pears.

The taste profile of apple brandy is similar to that of Calvados, with one notable exception: it may be somewhat acidic.

Armagnac, on the other hand, is a little more sophisticated.

It has a lovely scent and a dry aftertaste.

Each brandy has a silky texture with notes of nuts and fruits.

3 – Apple Juice or Apple Cider

If you’re anxious to cook a dish that asks for Calvados but can’t locate it anywhere, apple juice or apple cider will suffice.

Apple juice is widely accessible in most grocery shops and supermarkets worldwide.

It may be substituted for Calvados in any recipe.

Apple juice may produce a fruitiness akin to that seen in Calvados.

The tastes will be somewhat reduced since apple juice is not as powerful.

As a result, if your recipe demands a low-alcohol level, you may want to consider using apple juice or cider.

4 – Apple Butter

If you desire a less potent product than apple juice or apple cider, apple butter is an option.

It is a culinary spread that is used on bread, biscuits, and other items.

Because of spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, apple butter has a distinct taste character.

Additionally, it is created with boiled down apples to achieve a thick and creamy consistency.

Apple butter may be used in place of Calvados in sauces and marinades for meats and vegetables.

It may also be used in baking, such as apple treats and pies.

5 – Pear Brandy

Pear brandy is the last but not least.

Pear brandy is particularly popular in Europe, namely France, Italy, and Spain.

It is known by a variety of names depending on where it is grown, such as Poire Williams in France and Mirabelle in Germany.

The advantage of pear brandy over apple brandy is that it is considerably simpler to find.

It is often less expensive, although the taste profile may not be as powerful.

Pear brandy has a fruity taste with honey and spice overtones.

Before being bottled, it is frequently distilled many times.

As a consequence, the liquid is amber in color and has a stronger taste than apple brandy.


Calvados is a powerful apple-flavored distilled alcohol that may enhance various foods and drinks.

Nonetheless, it is difficult to locate and pricey if purchased from a traditional liquor shop or bar.

However, there are five Calvados replacements that can help you obtain the same tastes without spending too much money.

Applejack, Armagnac, apple juice or cider, pear brandy, and apple butter are examples.

The greatest Calvados alternative depends depend on the drink or meal that you are cooking.


What is a substitute for Calvados in apple tart?

Calvados is a Normandy apple brandy. You may use another apple brandy instead. If they are not available, brandy, Cognac, or black rum might be substituted. If you don’t want to drink alcohol, leave out the brandy and double the vanilla extract; nevertheless, the tart receives its name and flavor from the brandy, so the taste will be different.

Is Calvados similar to brandy?

Calvados is a brandy or eau-de-vie called for its birthplace in Normandy. Calvados, unlike most other notable French brandies such as cognac and Armagnac, is created from apple cider rather than wine. It may also be produced with pear cider or perry on occasion.

What is the difference between Calvados and apple brandy?

Apple Brandy is a French product. Calvados, the Normandy area of France where the liquor originated, is the most prevalent Apple Brandy. Calvados is traditionally prepared from cider apples, although it may also be created from pears growing in the same area.

Is apple Jack like Calvados?

Applejack is comparable to calvados, a Normandy apple brandy to which it is sometimes likened. Calvados, on the other hand, is produced from cider apples, whilst applejack is created from Winesap apples.

What is the closest thing to Calvados?

However, there are five Calvados replacements that can help you obtain the same tastes without spending too much money. Applejack, Armagnac, apple juice or cider, pear brandy, and apple butter are examples.

Can I use sherry instead of Calvados?

By the way, sherry may be substituted for Calvados.

Why is Calvados so expensive?

Calvados Pays d’Auge is distilled twice in a pot still, similar to those used for Cognac, and originates from the heart of Calvados country. It’s a more costly and time-consuming procedure. Those brandies branded just Calvados, on the other hand, are not always inferior.

What does Calvados taste like?

What is the flavor of Calvados? Calvados tastes mostly of apple and pears, but it also has flavors of apricot, baking spices, sweet pastries, and flowers.

Is Calvados a brandy or Cognac?

Calvados is an Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) apple brandy. It can only be created in Normandy, much as Cognac is a distinct brandy that can only be distilled from white wine produced in a certain location using unique grapes. Calvados, on the other hand, is not made from wine grapes.

Do you drink Calvados straight?

Although it’s usual in Normandy to drink Calvados straight — even swirl it into your morning coffee! — many American bartenders praise its flexibility as a cocktail component.

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