Orange Flower Water Substitute

As we have read a thousand times in school, oranges are a great source of Vitamin C and some other essential nutrients. Whenever we feel hungry and are too lazy to cook, we can just grab one of these delicious fruits from the bowl!

However, the perks of oranges are not limited to only its fruity goodness. It also extends to other forms of flavorful ingredients like extracts and spirits. One of them is the orange flower water which adds the taste and aroma of real fruits in every dish or beverage.

But what if you can’t find it in the market? How to prepare the recipe without it? Fear not! We have brought you several solutions for the orange flower water substitute to keep going with your culinary mission!

What Is Orange Flower Water?

Orange flower water is a transparent liquid used mainly for its beautiful fragrance. As its name implies, it gives out a pleasant aroma similar to that of an orange. So you can use to enhance the aesthetic values of your interior, appearance or some cuisine!

This was most prominently found in the households of Morocco and other Mediterranean countries. The people of these localities used it to increase the appetizing appeal of their traditional dishes, especially desserts.

For instance, the French used orange flower water for pompe à l’huile and the Spanish used it in King Cake. Then its popularity crossed borders, across the continents to Europe, America and the Middle East!

It is usually prepared by distilling fresh orange blossoms – a beautiful flower with the citrus aroma. Because of its significance in the process, this liquid is also known as orange blossom water.

You must crush these flowers with a mortar and leave the paste for a couple of hours. Then blend it with distilled water with continuous stirring and keep it covered for two weeks. After straining the water and storing it in sterilized jars, you can use it for cooking or interior aesthetics!

What Are Some Of The Orange Flower Water Substitutes?

If orange flower water is unavailable around you at the moment, there are still many ways to attain the same flavor and aroma! Here are five easy substitutes for the lovely orange blossom water to enjoy its beautiful fragrance and sometimes, even its very appetizing taste.

1. Orange Extract

The simplest option to choose for replacing orange flower water is to rely on the next best thing – some orange extract! It definitely adds the delicious citrus flavor in foods while also generating the all familiar smell of a fresh orange.

This should be very easy to find in any grocery shop or one of the spices. So you don’t have to worry too much about finding it available in markets. All you have to do is head to the shop and purchase one or two vials from the shelves!

Funnily enough, the process of preparing orange extract is quite similar to that of orange flower water! Only here, instead of distilling the water, one would need to distill the peels in juices.

However, remember that it is much stronger in flavor than orange flower water. So add only two to three drops of the extract in each dish. Besides, it doesn’t bring much liquid in the food so you may need to add more water than usual. You can use it to prepare mouth-watering desserts, beverages and even some sauces!

2. Flavored Liqueur

For some reason, if you fail to manage orange extract, you can start looking for liqueurs made in orange flavor! These are basically drinks with a strong sweet taste.

The taste may seem a little bitter and quite strong sometimes. For instance, triple sec can be highly sweet, Cointreau can be bitter and Grand Marnier can be a blend of spicy sweetness! That is why you should use such liqueurs in small amounts.

3. Orange Bitters

As the name suggests, orange bitters infuse a bit of bitterness to your dishes. But that should not cause much worry since some of them also focus on being fruity and sweet as well!

The most common ingredients of orange bitters include juice and zest or rind of oranges. They might also have some spices like coriander, cinnamon and cardamom to bring new dimensions to the taste palette.

Since they are more bitter than other options discussed on this list, you need to use them in even more negligible amounts. Besides, you must also add a lot of water to drown the bitterness, highlight the citrus taste and achieve the same consistency as orange flower water.

4. Rosewater

While all the orange-related items of the market have gone to vacation, rely on another flower famous for its sensational fragrance! Of course, we are talking about the timeless beauty and scent of roses. By distilling their petals, rosewater is formed which thankfully has the same potency of orange flower water!

Similar to the charm of its central ingredient – the rose, this solution is also delicate and strong at the same time. So, ideally, you should use only ⅛ to ½ of a teaspoon of this solution each time, like you would with the orange flower. Only this time, the resulting smell will be of rose instead of orange.

5. Homemade Solutions

When nothing is available on the shelves or all the stores in your locality are closed for some occasion, rely on the good old household solutions! You can blend grated orange zest with other juices, or boil orange zest for a while to achieve a fragrant palatable solvent like orange flower water.


Learning culinary skills and experimenting with the wide range of ingredients available to us is quite exciting! Don’t let the unavailability of just one ingredient stop you from making that delectable dish. Even if you were going to give up, now you have five more reasons to keep going!

So see which one of these options works the best for your dish and turns out to be the most suitable orange flower water substitute. We hope it turns out to be as tasty, aromatic and impeccable as the original one would!

Leave a Comment