Non-Alcoholic Substitutions for Alcohol in Cooking

SUBSTITUTES FOR ALCOHOL IN COOKING

Amaretto – Almond extract (1/2 teaspoon extract for 2 tablespoons of Amaretto) or Amaretto syrup such as Davinci.

Anisette – Anise Italian soda syrup or fennel.

Apple Brandy – Apple juice, unsweetened apple juice concentrate, apple cider, or apple butter.

Apricot Brandy
– Syrup from a can of apricots in heavy syrup, or apricot preserves.

Beer or Ale
– A strong chicken, beef or mushroom broth, or non-alcoholic beer.

Beer or Ale (Light)
– Chicken broth, white grape juice or ginger ale.

Bourbon – 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.

Brandy – 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 recipe calls for brandy)

Calvados – Apple juice, unsweetened apple juice concentrate, apple cider, or apple butter.

Chambord – Raspberry juice, syrup or extract.

Champagne – Ginger ale, sparkling apple cider, sparkling cranberry juice, or sparkling white grape juice.

Cherry Liqueur or Cherry Brandy – Syrup from a can of cherries in heavy syrup, or cherry syrup such as Davinci, Syria or cherry preserves.

Claret – non-alcoholic wine, diluted grape juice or cherry cider syrup.

Coffee Liqueur
– 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. Can also substitute expresso, non-alcoholic coffee extract or coffee syrup.

Cognac – Apricot, peach or pear juice.

Cointreau – 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
– Powdered white chocolate combined with water, or non-alcoholic vanilla extract and powdered sugar.

Crème de cassis
– Black currant syrup or black currant jam.

Crème de menthe
– non-alcoholic mint extract, mint Italian soda syrup, spearmint extract, or spearmint oil with a little water added. If green color is needed, add a drop of green food coloring.

Curacao – 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 – Raspberry juice or raspberry syrup.

Frangelico – Hazelnut or almond extract.  Or hazelnut flavored syrup.

Galliano – Licorice extract.

Gewurztraminer -White grape juice combined with lemon juice.

Grand Marnier – 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 – Grape juice.

Grenadine – non-alcoholic grenadine or pomegranate syrup.

Hard Cider – Apple juice or apple cider.

Kahlua
– 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. Can also substitute expresso, non-alcoholic coffee extract or coffee syrup.

Kirsch – Cherry cider or black cherry, raspberry, boysenberry, currant, or grape juice or syrup. Substitute same amount of liquid as called for in the recipe.

Licorice or Anise Liqueur – Anise extract, seeds or fennel.

Mirin – White grape juice combined with lemon juice or lemon zest.

Muscat – White grape juice combined with powdered sugar.

Ouzo – Anise extract, seeds or fennel.

Orange Liqueur – Orange juice concentrate, orange juice, orange zest or orange marmalade.

Peach Brandy – Syrup from a can of peaches in heavy syrup, or peach preserves.

Peppermint Schnapps
– non-alcoholic mint or peppermint extract, peppermint Davinci syrup, or mint leaves.

Port – Concord grape juice with some lime zest added, cranberry juice with some lemon juice added, or grape juice concentrate. Substitute orange juice or apple juice for lighter ports.

Red Burgundy – Red wine vinegar, grape juice or non-alcoholic wine

Red Wine, sweet or dry
– non-alcoholic wine with a tablespoon of vinegar added to cut the sweetness, grape juice, cranberry juice, grape jelly, tomato juice, beef broth, liquid drained from vegetables, or water. Use equal amounts of liquid as called for in the recipe.

Riesling – White grape juice with a pinch of powdered sugar added.

Rum – White grape juice, pineapple juice, or apple juice in equal liquid amounts as called for in the recipe. Can also use these juices with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of rum, almond or vanilla extract added.

Sake – Rice vinegar.

Sambuca – Anise extract, seeds or fennel.

Schnapps – To replace 2 tablespoons of schnapps, add 1 teaspoon of a corresponding flavored extract.

Sherry – Apple juice, orange juice, pineapple juice, or non-alcoholic vanilla extract.

Southern Comfort – Peach flavored nectar combined with a small amount of cider vinegar.

Sparkling Wine – Ginger ale, sparkling apple cider, sparkling cranberry juice, or sparkling white grape juice.

Sweet Marsala Wine – Grape juice and added sugar

Tequila – (this is made from the Agave plant…so maybe a little Agave nectar…) Cactus juice or nectar.

Triple Sec – Orange juice concentrate, orange juice, orange zest or orange marmalade.

Vermouth, Dry – White grape juice, white wine vinegar, or non-alcoholic white wine.

Vermouth, Sweet – Apple juice, grape juice, balsamic vinegar, non-alcoholic sweet wine, or water with lemon juice.

Whiskey – If a small amount is called for, it can be eliminated.

Vodka – White grape juice or apple cider combined with lime juice or use plain water in place of the vodka.

White Burgundy – non-alcoholic wine, white grape juice combined with white wine vinegar.

White Wine, sweet or dry
– non-alcoholic wine with a tablespoon of vinegar added to cut the sweetness, white grape juice, apple juice, apple cider, tomato juice, chicken broth, liquid drained from vegetables, ginger ale, or water. Use equal amounts of liquid as called for in the recipe.

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29 Comments Add yours

  1. littlesky says:

    I love this list. I am LDS (Mormon) and we don’t consume alcohol so this list is a big help when using recipes that contain alcohol.

    I love all the recipes you post. You are an inspiration. You changed my meal plans from things like a slice of deli turkey and a slice of low fat deli cheese…to lentil soup and desserts.

    You make me feel normal when I eat food now. I can’t thank you enough!

    1. Linda says:

      Thank you so much for the kind words. I’m gad you are finding inspiration and variety in how you can eat – makes life more pleasurable, that’s for sure!

  2. Katharine says:

    Linda, what I want to know is how long did it take you to personally test each of these substitutions?

    Love ya!

  3. CaSaundra says:

    This is really helpful for someone who is underage and cannot buy alcohol, even though many recipes call for it! I usually have to have either my mom or dad get it, but this list is a great help! Thanks 🙂

  4. Tammy says:

    Seems like I learn something new from every post you make! Thank you for this!

  5. Marisa says:

    Great post! Don’t have a problem using alcohol in dishes, but it is a pain to have to go buy a bottle of something if you only need a tablespoon or so.

  6. Deb says:

    Just found your blog and will add it to my Google Reader. Especially appreciate that you had the wisdom to post this list of alcohol substitutes. I live in a happily sober household where we’re trying to cook and eat healthy foods. We don’t keep booze in our pantry for a good reason. I think a lot of healthy cooking bloggers would be surprised to learn how many of their readers are recovering alcoholics trying to undo years of damage to their bodies. I get so tired of substituting chicken broth for white wine. I wish more healthy cooking chefs would just keep alcohol out of their dishes; surely there are plenty of other flavors in the world to choose from! Thanks for letting me vent. …I know I’m probably just preaching to the choir but, boy golly, it feels good to rant a little!

  7. Kim says:

    Thank you so much for this list! I have developed an acute allergy to even the smallest amounts of alcohol, and I love to cook. This list will really save me.

  8. Carol says:

    I am a Mormon too. Thank you so much. I like to put all the recipes I like in a folder. I could not find a list like this so it left out alot of tasty looking dishes. I can know try all those recipes! Thanks.
    Carol

  9. caralyn says:

    Thanks so much for this list! I don’t have anything with alchohol, so this will be a great help with recipes that call for it.

  10. Larry says:

    I saw your list for nonalcoholic substitues. However, absent from your list is a substitute specifically for Chicken Marsala. Is the reason for the omission that there isn’t one?

    1. Linda says:

      I haven’t found or read about a sub…however there is a recipe that I came across that I’ve wanted to try and sound pretty good!

      http://www.reluctantgourmet.com/blog/chicken-recipes/mock-chicken-marsala-recipe/

  11. Leslie says:

    I have an old family recipe for Blackberry Wine Cake that calls for 1 cup of Blackberry Wine in the cake and 1/2 up of Blackberry Wine in the Frosting Glaze. Is there something I can use to substitute for this that will give it the same flavor but without the alcohol? It was my husband’s Grandmother’s recipe and no one else in the family has ever tried it without the wine, but I do not drink or cook with alcohol.

    1. Linda says:

      I would try blackberry juice, if you can find it or make your own by pureeing the fruit, cooking with a little water, and then straining it. (2 qts berries, 1/2 cup water…boil for a couple minutes, strain.)

      (This commercial one looks good, actually http://www.localharvest.org/unsweetened-tart-blackberry-juice-C11338 ).

      Then maybe a drop of brandy or rum extract to give that bite-flavor that you’d be missing. Won’t be exact, but pretty darn good!!!

  12. another Linda says:

    I don’t use alcohol either but still love good food! I found this marsala wine substitute at http://wine.lovetoknow.com/wiki/Substitute_for_Marsala_Wine::

    1/4 c white grape juice
    1 T vanilla extract
    2 T sherry vinegar

    Thanks for your helpful and extensive list.

  13. Ashby says:

    I love this list because I am allergic to alcohol and have to be very careful about cooking, especially since the alcohol doesn’t burn out completely!

  14. Hi – can you please tell me how much sugar to add to the grape juice when making a sub for sweet marsala? Thanks so much

  15. Vicky Anderdon says:

    your list said if you use a small amount of whiskey omitted this is for Tennessee BBQ and whiskey is one of the main ingredients for seasoning the meat and the sauce what can I use to substitute for the whiskey

    1. Linda says:

      I’ve searched around and people say that using very STRONG brewed smoky tea is a good sub in recipes. Definitely won’t be the SAME!! But might give that slight flavor that it lacks without whiskey. This was one that was mentioned: http://www.stashtea.com/smokey-Shop-by-Flavor-Tea/b/3005673011

  16. Don Walker says:

    Does anyone know how much powdered sugar to use for the muscat wine substitution? I can’t find quantities or ratios or anything anywhere!

    1. Linda says:

      One recipe said (for if you only had white wine but needed muscat) to add 1/3 cup sugar. That seems excessive to add to juice, but maybe start at 1/4 cup?? I’ve never tasted either, so don’t know who sweet it really is!

  17. Erika says:

    This is such an awesome help! Curious if you have any ideas. I’m making a cake that has a whip cream filling. The recipe calls for contreau, but I think if I add orange juice, it will curdle. What would you recommend? zest? Orange extract? skip it?

    1. Linda says:

      Yes, I would add orange zest. You can add quite a bit before it gets bitter. I do this often with lemon zest and whipped cream. (Also, a little tip, if interested…, if the recipe calls for JUST whipped cream in the filling, I always add a teaspoon or so of vanilla pudding powder when whipping. Doesn’t change the taste and it stabilizes the whip, so it stays fluffy and won’t “weep”.)

  18. I don’t see a substitute for chocolate liqueur on here. Is there one?

    1. Linda says:

      Not one that translates exactly! I’ve used Davinci Gourmet sugar free Kahlua styrup where I’ve needed something…or they do have a fully sugared Tiramisu one that is good, but gives a few notes of other flavors. https://www.kerryfoodservice.com/kerry/en/Shop-Our-Products/Flavoring-Syrups-%26-Sauces/Classic-Syrups/DaVinci-Gourmet%C2%AE-Classic-Syrup—Tiramisu/p/2073738400047EA

  19. Joeyw-D says:

    The correct address for the Mock Chicken Marsals…it is delicious!!!!! https://www.reluctantgourmet.com/mock-chicken-marsala-recipe-2/

    1. Linda says:

      Thank you!!!

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