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Alcohol Cooking Substitutions

Use this alcohol substitution and conversion chart to select ingredient substitutes when you do not want to use alcohol or you do not have the alcohol on hand for your recipe. Substitutes will not necessarily mimic the flavor of the original ingredient. The intention is to add some acidity and contrast as well as intensify flavors. If you are baking for guests and special occasions, you may want to experiment with the recipe first before serving it to your guests.

When making substitutions for alcohols, it is important to keep the volume of liquid in the recipe the same as originally called for. Depending on the recipe, apple juice or chicken broth often makes a good substitution for wine. When using flavored liqueurs, extracts can be substituted if you make up the balance of the liquid with water. For example, if a recipe calls for 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier you could use 1/2 teaspoon orange extract. Just be sure to get the same level of orange flavor. This may take some experimentation.

Ingredient

Description

Substitution

Amaretto

Italian almond-flavored liqueur.

Almond extract (1/2 teaspoon almond extract for 2 tablespoons of Amaretto); or Italian soda syrup.

Anisette

An anise-flavored liqueur.

Anise Italian soda syrup; or fennel.

Beer or Ale

Various types.

Non-alcoholic beers. For light beers, substitute chicken broth; ginger ale; or white grape juice. For heavier beers, use a stronger beef, chicken or mushroom broth or stock.

Bourbon

A distilled spirit made from fermented grain mash.

Vanilla extract; orange or pineapple juice; or peach syrup.

Brandy

Liquor made of distilled wine or fruit juice.

Scotch; bourbon; brandy extract; white grape juice; apple cider or apple juice; diluted peach or apricot syrups. If a particular flavor is specified, use the corresponding fruit juice, such as apple, apricot, cherry, peach, raspberry etc. or grape juice. Corresponding flavored extracts can be used for small amounts. 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of brandy or rum extract for 2 tablespoons of brandy. When liquid amount is critical to the recipe, use water or fruit juices corresponding to flavor of brandy (use same amount of liquid as the indicated in the recipe).

Calvados

Apple brandy.

Apple juice; unsweetened apple juice concentrate; apple cider; or apple butter.

Chambord

Black raspberry liqueur.

Raspberry juice, syrup or extract.

Champagne

Sparkling white wine.

Sparkling cranberry juice; sparkling white grape juice; sparkling apple cider; ginger ale; or white wine.

Cherry Brandy

A liqueur flavored with cherries.

Syrup from a can or jar of cherries.

Cherry Liqueur

A liqueur flavored with cherries.

Syrup from a can or jar of cherries.

Claret

Light red wine or Bordeaux.

Non-alcoholic wine; diluted currant or grape juice; or cherry cider syrup.

Coffee Liqueur

High-alcohol, high-sugar beverage with added coffee flavoring.

Espresso; non-alcoholic coffee extract; or coffee syrup. To replace 2 tablespoons of liqueur, use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of chocolate extract mixed with 1 teaspoon of instant coffee, which has been mixed in 2 tablespoons of water.

Cognac

Aged, double-distilled wine or fermented fruit juice. Cognac is considered the finest brandy.

Peach, apricot or pear juice; other less expensive brandies; Scotch; or whiskey.

Cointreau

French, orange-flavored liqueur.

Orange juice concentrate; or regular orange juice that has been reduced to a thicker consistency. To replace 2 tablespoons of liqueur, use 2 tablespoons of orange juice concentrate or 2 tablespoons of orange juice with 1/2 teaspoon of orange extract.

Crème de Cacao

A sweet chocolate liqueur flavored primarily by the cocoa bean and the vanilla orchid.

Powdered white chocolate combined with water; or vanilla extract and powdered sugar.

Crème de Cassis

A blood-red, sweet, black currant flavored liqueur.

Black currant Italian soda syrup or black currant jam.

Crème de Menthe

Thick and syrupy, sweetened mint liqueur. Comes both clear and green.

Mint extract; mint Italian soda syrup; spearmint extract; oil of spearmint diluted with a little water or grapefruit juice. If green color is needed, add a drop of green food coloring.

Curacao

Liqueur made from bitter Seville oranges.

Orange juice frozen concentrate; or reduced fresh orange juice. To replace 2 tablespoons of liqueur, use 2 tablespoons of orange juice concentrate or 2 tablespoons of orange juice with 1/2 teaspoon of orange extract.

Framboise

French raspberry liqueur.

Raspberry juice; or raspberry syrup.

Frangelico

Italian hazelnut liqueur.

Hazelnut; or almond extract.

Galliano

Golden Italian anise liqueur.

Licorice extract.

Gewurztraminer

A sweet white wine. The aroma is a flowery, spicy one, with particular odors of roses and lychees.

White grape juice combined with lemon juice.

Grand Marnier

French liqueur, orange-flavored.

Orange juice frozen concentrate; or reduced fresh orange juice. To replace 2 tablespoons of liqueur, use 2 tablespoons of orange juice concentrate or 2 tablespoons of orange juice with 1/2 teaspoon of orange extract.

Grappa

Italian grape brandy.

Grape juice; or reduced red wine.

Grenadine

Pomegranate syrup, sometimes alcoholic.

Non-alcoholic grenadine; or pomegranate syrup or juice.

Hard Cider

Fermented, alcoholic cider.

Apple cider; or apple juice.

Kahlua

Syrupy Mexican liqueur made with coffee and cocoa beans.

Strong coffee; espresso with a touch of cocoa powder; coffee or chocolate-flavored liqueur. To replace 2 tablespoons Kahlua: use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon chocolate extract or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon instant coffee in 2 tablespoons water.

Kirsch (Kirchwasser)

Colorless liqueur made of cherries.

Black cherry, raspberry, boysenberry, currant, or grape juice or syrup; or cherry cider.

Licorice or Anise Liqueur

A liquorice based liqueur.

Anise Italian soda syrup; or fennel.

Mirin

A kind of rice wine similar to sake.

White grape juice combined with lemon juice or lemon zest.

Muscat

A sweet sparkling wine.

White grape juice combined with powdered sugar.

Ouzo

An anise-flavored spirit.

Anise Italian soda syrup; or fennel.

Orange Liqueur

An orange flavored liqueur.

Orange juice concentrate; orange juice; orange zest; or orange marmalade.

Peach Brandy

Alcoholic drink distilled from fermented peaches.

Syrup from a can of peaches in heavy syrup; or peach preserves.

Peppermint Schnapps

A peppermint liqueur.

Mint or peppermint extract; mint Italian soda syrup; or mint leaves.

Port

A sweet red wine, but also comes in dry, semi-dry and white varieties.

Concord grape juice with a little lime zest; cranberry juice with a little lemon juice; or grape juice concentrate. Substitute orange juice or apple juice for lighter ports.

Red Burgundy

Dry French wine.

Non-alcoholic wine; red wine vinegar; or grape juice.

Red Wine

Sweet or dry wine.

Non-alcoholic wine with a tablespoon of vinegar added to cut the sweetness; grape juice; cranberry juice; grape jelly; red grape juice diluted with red wine vinegar or rice vinegar; tomato juice; diluted red wine vinegar; beef or chicken broth stock; liquid drained from vegetables; or plain water.

Riesling

A dry, semi-sweet, sweet and sparkling white wine.

White grape juice with a pinch of powdered sugar.

Rum

Liquor distilled from molasses or sugar syrup.

Rum extract; white grape juice, apple juice, apple cider flavored with almond extract; or plain water. For light rum, use pineapple juice flavored with almond extract. For dark rum, use molasses thinned with pineapple juice and flavored with almond extract.

Sake

Fermented rice drink.

Rice vinegar.

Sambuca

An Italian anise-flavored, usually colorless liqueur.

Anise Italian soda syrup; or fennel.

Schnapps

Flavored, colorless liquor.

Use corresponding flavored extract such as peppermint, peach, etc.

Sherry

Fortified dessert wine, sweet or dry, some with a slightly nutty flavor.

Vanilla extract; apple, orange or pineapple juice; or peach syrup.

Southern Comfort

Bourbon mixed with peach liqueur.

Peach nectar mixed with a small amount of cider vinegar.

Sparkling Wine

A wine with significant levels of carbon dioxide in it making it fizzy.

Ginger ale; sparkling apple cider; sparkling cranberry juice; or sparkling white grape juice.

Tequila

Liquor made of the agave plant.

Cactus juice or nectar.

Triple Sec

Orange-flavored liqueur.

Orange juice frozen concentrate; reduced fresh orange juice; orange zest; or orange marmalade.

Vermouth, Dry

Wine-based drink infused with herbs, sweet or dry.

Non-alcoholic white wine; white grape juice; or white wine vinegar.

Vermouth, Sweet

Wine-based drink infused with herbs, sweet or dry.

Non-alcoholic sweet wine; apple or grape juice; balsamic vinegar; or water with lemon juice.

Vodka

A clear liquid which consists of mostly water and ethanol purified by distillation.

White grape juice; apple cider mixed with lime juice; or plain water.

Whiskey (whisky)

Distilled liquor.

Bourbon, Scotch and whiskey may be used interchangeably. Small amounts may be eliminated. Large amounts cannot be effectively substituted.

White Burgundy

Dry French wine.

Non-alcoholic wine; white grape juice diluted with white wine vinegar.

White Wine

Sweet or dry wine.

Non-alcoholic wine; chicken broth or stock; diluted white wine vinegar or cider vinegar; white grape juice diluted with white wine vinegar; ginger ale; canned mushroom liquid; plain water; white grape juice with a pinch of powdered sugar added. For sweet white wine: use white grape juice plus 1 tablespoons Karo corn syrup. For marinades, substitute 1/4 cup vinegar plus 1 tablespoon sugar plus 1/4 cup water.

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