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5 Must-Try Substitutes for Galliano in Your Drinks

If you’ve found yourself thumbing through your favorite cocktail recipe only to realize you’re fresh out of one key ingredient, it can throw a significant wrench in your mixology plans.

Galliano, the golden-hued herbal liqueur famously featured in the classic Harvey Wallbanger, as well as other popular cocktails, is a great example.

It’s not always something commonly found in the home bar, and its unique flavor can be hard to replicate.

However, there are substitutes that not only bridge the flavor gap but may even add their own twist to a timeless creation. Here are five stand-ins you can confidently reach for when Galliano is not at hand.

Key Takeaways:

  • When substituting Galliano, consider the sweetness and body of the substitute to ensure balance in your cocktail.
  • Start with a one-to-one ratio when substituting Sambuca, Herbsaint, Ouzo, Anisette, or Yellow Chartreuse for Galliano.
  • Adjust the amount according to taste if needed.
  • These substitutes offer versatility and can add a unique twist to classic cocktails.

5 Best Galliano Substitutes to Try

1 – Sambuca

Sambuca is an Italian anise-flavored liqueur that is, like Galliano, clear and typically served after a meal as a digestif. It shares a similar anise flavor but is not as sweet or as herbal.

Sambuca is noted for its strong black licorice taste, which can present with slight hints of elderflowers. It’s sweeter than Galliano, and when used to substitute, this is crucial to consider.

Usage tips

When using Sambuca to replace Galliano, you’ll want to use half the amount called for, then adjust to taste. This is because Sambuca’s sweetness can easily overpower a drink. For instance, if a cocktail recipe asks for 1 oz of Galliano, start with 0.5 oz of Sambuca.

2 – Herbsaint

Herbsaint is an anise-flavored liquor from New Orleans. It’s similar to absinthe and is often considered an American alternative due to the absinthe ban in the early 1900s.

Herbsaint has a prominent anise flavor with herbal undertones and a slightly spicy finish. It’s less sweet than Galliano but still brings a complex herbal richness to cocktails.

Usage tips

When substituting, start with a one-to-one ratio, and then add more if desired. For example, if a drink requires 1 oz of Galliano, start with 1 oz of Herbsaint. The result may be slightly less sweet but is a great alternative for simpler cocktails.

3 – Ouzo

Ouzo is a Greek anise-flavored aperitif that is clear and turns milky when mixed with water, a phenomenon known as the ouzo effect.

Ouzo is strong in anise flavor with a notable spice and a pleasant sweetness. It’s similar to Galliano in terms of anise presence but lacks the herbal complexity and vanilla sweetness.

Usage tips

To swap Ouzo for Galliano, you can start with a one-to-one ratio. Expect a clearer anise note but less sweetness. For instance, 1 oz of Ouzo to substitute for 1 oz of Galliano should work in most cases.

4 – Anisette

Anisette, a transparent, anise-flavored liqueur, is also a staple in Mediterranean cocktail culture. It’s sweet and often enjoyed as a digestive.

Anisette’s profile is similar to Sambuca, with heavy anise notes. Yet, it’s lighter in body and sweetness compared to Sambuca, and this can make a difference in cocktails that rely heavily on sweetness and body provided by Galliano.

Usage tips

When using Anisette, aim for a one-to-one substitution, much like with Ouzo. An example would be swapping 1 oz of Anisette for 1 oz of Galliano.

5 – Yellow Chartreuse

Yellow Chartreuse is a milder, sweeter variant of the original Chartreuse (green). It’s a naturally occurring yellow color, with a flavor that’s less aggressive than its green counterpart.

Yellow Chartreuse offers complex herbal flavors, mild sweetness, and a slight anise note that can come through in cocktails. It bears similarity to Galliano in its herbal complexity but offers a less pronounced anise flavor.

Usage tips

For recipes calling for Galliano, substituting with Yellow Chartreuse at the same amount should work well. Start with a one-to-one ratio. For example, 1 oz of Yellow Chartreuse in place of 1 oz of Galliano.

Harvey Wallbanger - Galliano Substitute Punch

Harvey Wallbanger – Galliano Substitute Punch

This punch is a tasty alternative to the classic Harvey Wallbanger, using Yellow Chartreuse as a substitute for Galliano. It's perfect for large gatherings and sure to be a hit with your guests!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people


  • Punch bowl
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Ice cubes
  • Ladle


  • 2 cups vodka
  • 1 cup triple sec or Cointreau
  • 1/2 cup Yellow Chartreuse
  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1 cup cranberry juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • Ice cubes for serving


  • In a punch bowl, combine vodka, triple sec or Cointreau, Yellow Chartreuse, pineapple juice, orange juice, and cranberry juice.
  • Stir well to combine.
  • Add fresh lime juice and stir again.
  • Add ice cubes to the punch bowl.
  • Use a ladle to serve the punch into individual glasses filled with ice cubes.
  • Garnish with orange slices or pineapple wedges, if desired.
  • Enjoy your Galliano substitute punch!


  • For a lighter version, feel free to use club soda or sparkling water instead of the vodka.
  • You can also add a splash of grenadine for a sweeter taste.
  • Adjust the amount of ingredients according to your taste preference. If you want a stronger anise flavor, add more Yellow Chartreuse. For a sweeter punch, increase the amount of triple sec or Cointreau.


Serving: 1cup
Keyword Galliano Substitute
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5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating