Non-Alcoholic Substitute for Grand Marnier

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Crepes Suzette, a famous French dessert, often includes Grand Marnier.
Crepes Suzette, a famous French dessert, often includes Grand Marnier. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Grand Marnier is a distilled orange-flavored liqueur made by macerating orange peels in brandy or grain alcohol. The natural sugars in the fruit help flavor and sweeten the liqueur. Grand Marnier is often used in classic French dessert dishes like Crepes Suzette, or to flambe oranges that are added to desserts such as creme brulee. It is also commonly used in savory dishes like orange chicken or Grand Marnier shrimp, and often found behind the bar to add a bit of orange flavor to cocktails. Some orange-flavored substitutes are available when alcohol is simply not an option.

Cooking

Even though alcohol burns off when cooking, you can still achieve the same flavor depth that Grand Marnier provides with nonalcoholic substitutes. Mix 2 tablespoons of unsweetened orange juice concentrate and 1/2 teaspoon of orange extract together to take the place of 2 tablespoons of Grand Marnier. The juice mix is a concentrated orange flavor sweetened by the sugar in the extract for a perfect deep-orange flavor for your dish.

Baking

Replace Grand Marnier in a dessert recipe with the same amount of orange juice concentrate enhanced and sweetened with a bit of orange zest and a teaspoon of orange marmalade. The orange zest adds a fresh flavor and the marmalade helps keep your dessert moist.

Cocktails

Replace Grand Marnier in your favorite cocktail with the juice or syrup from your favorite brand of orange-segment fruit cup. Juices and syrups used in fruit cup are usually slightly thicker than regular fruit juice, which will mimic the consistency of the liqueur. The concentrated orange flavor will replace the Grand Marnier.

General Substitute

If you're in a pinch for a quick substitute for Grand Marnier in a drink or food recipe, unsweetened orange juice concentrate always does the trick. Orange juice concentrate retains all the flavor of the fruit without the water. It's commonly found in frozen form needs to be thawed. If you have ordinary orange juice on hand, heat a cupful over a low flame until it has thickened and is reduced by half for the equivalent of a half cup of concentrate.

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