The Ultimate Guide to the Top 9 Galliano Substitutes

The 9 best Galliano substitutes

Galliano is a popular sweet Italian herbal liqueur known for its distinctive vanilla-anise flavor and subtle citrus and woody herbal undertones. However, if you find yourself without Galliano in your liquor cabinet, but still want to enjoy the flavors it offers, there are several alternatives you can choose from. In this article, we will explore the nine best Galliano substitutes.

1. Pernod

Originally from France, Pernod is an anise-flavored liqueur that can serve as a suitable substitute for Galliano. With its strong, dry taste, Pernod is often used in savory dishes such as sauces and casseroles. While it shares the aniseed flavor of Galliano, Pernod is less sweet and lacks the vanilla undertones. To compensate, you may want to add some extra sweetness to your recipe, such as sugar or honey. Additionally, if the vanilla flavor is essential to your dish, consider adding some vanilla extract as well.

2. Anisette (Anise)

Anisette, also known as anis, is a colorless liqueur commonly enjoyed in Mediterranean countries. It has a sweet, syrupy consistency and a strong aniseed flavor. As a substitute for Galliano, Anisette works well in cake and dessert recipes. It is not as strong as Galliano, with a lower alcohol content, but has a more pronounced anise flavor. However, it lacks the herbal undertones found in Galliano.

3. Sambuca

Sambuca, another Italian liqueur, is an anise-flavored spirit with hints of herbs and berries. Available in clear, red, and black varieties, Sambuca is similar to Galliano in its anise and herbal flavor profile. It is slightly sweet and has a high alcohol content, making it a viable substitute. However, the berry flavors in Sambuca may not work with all dishes, especially those with delicate flavors such as fish or light sauces. To mimic the vanilla flavor of Galliano, consider adding some vanilla extract when using Sambuca in desserts.

4. Ouzo

Ouzo, a popular liqueur in Greece and Cyprus, offers a strong licorice flavor reminiscent of Galliano. It is often consumed as an aperitif and has a high alcohol content. When using ouzo as a substitute for Galliano, it is advisable to reduce the amount by half due to its intense flavor. To balance the strong taste, you can sweeten your dish with sugar or honey and add some vanilla extract to mimic the flavor profile of Galliano.

5. Fresh orange juice

For those looking for non-alcoholic alternatives to Galliano, fresh orange juice can be an excellent substitute. Citrus juices, including orange juice, have a strong flavor that complements both sweet and savory dishes. While orange juice lacks the anise and vanilla flavors of Galliano, these elements can be substituted in other ways. This substitution is convenient because most households already have fresh oranges or orange juice on hand.

6. Raki

Raki, which comes from Turkey, shares a strong anise flavor with Galliano. However, raki has a much higher alcohol content, up to 90%. When using raki as a substitute, it is crucial to exercise caution due to its potency. It is recommended to start with a reduced amount, at least half of what the recipe calls for.

7. White Wine

White wine is a popular cooking ingredient known for its delicate flavor that adds depth and intensity to casseroles and sauces. While its flavor is quite different from Galliano, white wine can be a suitable substitute if you are looking for a more subtle flavor. If you want to mimic the flavor profile of Galliano, you can incorporate anise and vanilla flavors into your dish while using white wine as the base. This substitute works particularly well if the anise and vanilla flavors are not essential to the recipe.

8. Star anise, fennel or aniseed

If you prefer a non-alcoholic option that still captures the essence of Galliano, look no further than your spice drawer. Star anise, fennel, and aniseed are common spices that can be used to replace the anise flavor of Galliano. Whole spices are recommended for the best flavor. Aniseed can be toasted and ground into a powder, while star anise should be used whole. Remember to remove them before serving.

9. Licorice & Vanilla Extracts

For another non-alcoholic option, a dash of licorice and/or vanilla extract can be a quick and easy substitute for Galliano, providing the anise and vanilla flavors characteristic of Galliano. Licorice extract can be found in specialty stores or online, while vanilla extract is a common pantry staple. When using extracts, start with a small amount and adjust to taste, as they can be quite potent.
In conclusion, while nothing can perfectly replicate the unique flavor profile of Galliano, there are several viable substitutes. Pernod, anisette, sambuca, ouzo, fresh orange juice, raki, white wine, star anise, fennel, aniseed, licorice and vanilla extracts all offer different flavor profiles that can enhance your recipes. When substituting Galliano, think about the specific flavors and undertones you want to replicate and adjust other ingredients accordingly. With these alternatives, you can still enjoy the essence of Galliano in your favorite dishes and cocktails.


What is Galliano?

Galliano is a sweet Italian herbal liqueur known for its vanilla-anise flavor and subtle citrus and woody herbal undertones.

Can I substitute Galliano in recipes?

Yes, if you don’t have Galliano available, there are several alternatives that can be used as substitutes to replicate its flavors.

What are the best alternatives to Galliano?

The best substitutes for Galliano include Pernod, Anisette, Sambuca, Ouzo, white wine, fresh orange juice, raki, star anise, fennel, aniseed, licorice and vanilla extracts.

Can I use nonalcoholic substitutes for Galliano?

Yes, if you prefer non-alcoholic substitutes, options such as fresh orange juice, star anise, fennel, aniseed, licorice and vanilla extracts can be used to replicate the flavors of Galliano.

How should I adjust quantities when using substitutes?

When using substitutes, it’s important to consider the intensity of the flavors. For stronger substitutes such as Pernod, Anisette, Sambuca, and Raki, you may want to reduce the amount by half. For milder substitutes, such as white wine or fresh orange juice, you can use the same amount as in the original recipe.

Can substitutes fully replicate the taste of Galliano?

While substitutes may offer similar flavors, it’s important to note that nothing can perfectly replicate the unique flavor profile of Galliano. However, the suggested substitutes can provide a close approximation and enhance your recipes with their own distinct characteristics.