The Internet and cable cooking shows have allowed home cooking to expand far beyond the recipes you would have been able to find 30 or 40 years ago. This has introduced cooks to new ingredients, but some of those ingredients may be hard to find. Luckily, there are several substitutes for one such ingredient, orange flower water.
Orange flower water is an extract made from bitter orange blossoms. It has more fragrance than taste, but it is still considered a food flavoring. It is related to neroli oil, which is the other substance that results from processing the flowers to make orange flower water.
Substitutes include grated orange peel: grate the zest — the top orange layer — off a clean, organic orange or use store-bought peel. Other substitutes are orange extract, orange liqueur and unsweetened orange juice concentrate. You can also use rose water or vanilla extract.
To create your own orange flower water substitute; finely chop or grate an orange peel and immerse it in sweet white wine for one day. Use the strained liquid in place of orange flower water. Be aware, though, that alcohol can remain in a recipe even after cooking, and Drugs.com notes those taking disulfiram, also known as Antabuse, should avoid any foods containing alcohol.
References and ResourcesThe Cook’s Thesaurus: Extracts and Flavoring Oils
Baking911.com: The Pantry: Substitutes--Flavorings
What’s Cooking America: Alcohol Burn-Off in Cooking