There are plenty of non-alcoholic substitutions available to all the young cooks out there, so don’t despair! These combinations will give your dish the same texture and flavour without the worry. Check out the substitutions below to see what common but useful pantry staples you should keep on hand for situations such as these:

Red Wine Substitutes

  • Red Wine Vinegar – it sounds alcoholic, but it’s not really. It’ll provide the same acidity to your dish without the worry or minute alcohol content.
  • Grape, Pomegranate or Cranberry Juice – These juices are acidic enough to be a good substitute for red wine. Their fruity flavour also adds to the dish!
  • Chicken, Beef or Vegetable Stock – These will add flavour to your dish, though not as much as red wine, and they’re not as acidic. To enhance the flavour, add a tablespoon of vinegar per cup of stock.

White Wine Substitutes

  • White Wine Vinegar – if you need dry white wine, white wine vinegar will work just as well.
  • Lemon Juice – Dilute the lemon juice with equal amounts of water and add to any dish.
  • White Grape Juice – If you need a sweeter wine, use white grape juice. To add a little flavour, add a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice per cup of grape juice.
  • Chicken or Vegetable Stock – Like with red wine substitutes, these stocks can provide the necessary flavour without the need for wine.

Rice Wine Substitutes

Rice wine is very popular in Asian cooking. It’s made from fermented glutinous rice, and may be called several things, like Shaoxing, mirin, or sake. But never fear, there are substitutions!

For one, you may be able to find specifically non-alcoholic versions of the above mentioned wines, especially mirin. Rice Wine Vinegar isn’t an exact replacement for rice wine, unlike our other substitutions.

  • Apple Juice or White Grape Juice – these juices are better substitutes than rice wine vinegar. Their acidity acts as a tenderizer, much like rice wine will, though the flavour will not be exactly the same.
  • White Grape Juice & Lemon Juice – mixed together, this combo works great to re-create mirin.

Sherry Substitutes

Sherry is a fortified wine from Spain, used in many recipes for soups and sauces. To substitute sherry in a recipe, use equal amounts of balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar. 

Other Liquor Substitutes

Occasionally, you’ll come across a recipe that needs bourbon, brandy, rum, or vodka. For most of these, you can find non-alcoholic extracts of the liquors which make great substitutions, but you can also create your own with regular pantry staples!

  • Bourbon Substitutes
    • Per 2 tablespoons of whiskey – 1 1/2  to 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.
  • Brandy Substitutes
    • Per 2 tablespoons of brandy – 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of raspberry extract.
    • 2 tablespoons of water, white grape juice, or apple juice.
  • Rum Substitutes
    • Per 2 tablespoons of rum – 2 tablespoons of white grape juice, pineapple juice, or apple juice.
    • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of almond or vanilla extract.
  • Vodka Substitutes
    • Per 2 tablespoons of vodka – 2 tablespoons of water, apple cider, or white grape juice mixed with lime juice.

– Emily Hotton


About Food – Rice Wine Substitute
Gourmet Sleuth – Substitutes for Alcohol in Cooking
The Kitchn – Non-Alcoholic Substitutes for Red & White Wine
Skillet – Rice Wine, Rice Wine Vinegar, Rice Vinegar