Sherry Alternatives for Cooking: 15 Best Substitutions (Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic)

Whether you’re on a tight budget or looking for a tastier alternative to culinary sherry for your recipes, there are plenty of on to discover The Best Substitutes for Cooking Sherry.

substitute for cooking sherry

Culinary sherry is an inexpensive fortified wine often used in cooking to add flavor and depth to a variety of dishesIt is made from grapes, usually light-bodied white grapes, mixed with brandy to increase the alcohol content. Due to its oxidative nature, culinary sherry often has a nutty flavor and can be found in many stores for a reasonable price. Its distinctive flavor makes it a popular ingredient in marinades, stews, soups, and sauces.

If you’re looking for a substitute for sherry in a recipe, you can choose from both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options.

What’s the best alcohol substitute for cooking sherry?

The best alcohol substitutes for culinary sherry are dry vermouth, brandy, dry white wine, Shaoxing cooking wine, hard cider and drinking sherry. View more information about each option.

1. Dry Vermouth

dry vermouth

Dry vermouth is a good substitute for cooking sherry without the extra salt。 It is slightly bitter and sweet with a vegetal flavor.

To make a substitution, substitute dry vermouth for cooking sherry in a 1:1 ratio. Avoid using sweet vermouth in savory dishes because it leaves a sweet taste.

2. Brandy


Brandy is a good substitute for culinary sherry when preparing fire recipesThe flavor it leaves on food depends on the fruit used to make the brandy. If you don’t want the extra flavor, use unflavored brandy.

Brandy has a high alcohol content and is only used in dishes that require a long cooking time; it gives the alcohol enough time to evaporate.

When substituting sherry for cooking, use sparingly as brandy is too strong.

3. Dry white wine

dry white wine

Dry white wine is a good substitute for culinary sherry when preparing chicken or seafood dishes。 Glaze the pan with dry white wine to add extra flavor to your meat.

Use dry white wine in a 1:1 ratio instead of cooking sherry. Just be sure to taste first to see if the dish needs salt.

4. Shaoxing cooking wine

Shaoxing cooking wine

If you’re looking for a vinegary, slightly spicy sherry alternative with a hint of caramel, Shaoxing cooking wine is the perfect substitute. Shaoxing cooking wine is a Chinese fermented rice wine.

Like cooking sherry, Shaoxing cooking wine has added preservatives and salt. It has a well-balanced seasoning that makes it a great alternative to savory dishes. However, it has a strong smell of alcohol, so it’s best to avoid using it in large quantities.

5. Hard Cider

hard cider

Hard cider is a good substitute for culinary sherry. Hard cider is fermented cider that you can substitute for cooking sherry in a 1:1 ratio. However, hard cider does not taste as good as culinary sherry. It just adds an acidic and fruity element to your recipes.

6. Drink Sherry

drink sherry

Drinking sherry is also a good substitute if you run out of cooking sherry and have an emergency recipe to tackle。 It enhances the flavor of dishes and reduces the sodium in cooking sherry.

Drinking sherry is not commonly used in the kitchen because it is expensive and has a short shelf life. You can substitute drinking sherry for cooking sherry in a 1:1 ratio.

What’s the best non-alcoholic substitute for cooking sherry?

The best non-alcoholic substitutes for cooking sherry are chicken stock and lemon, apple cider vinegar, vanilla extract, fruit juice, rice wine vinegar or champagne vinegar, chicken stock and vinegar, white vinegar and water, balsamic vinegar, and coffee or coffee syrup. Read on to discover more about each option.

1. Chicken Soup and Lemon

Chicken Soup and Lemons

Chicken stock and lemon is an easy and convenient substitute for cooking sherry since you probably already have these ingredients stashed in the fridge or pantry.

To prepare this mixture and substitute cooking sherry in your dishes, add a small portion of chicken broth to a mixing bowl and squeeze some lemon juice for acidity. Taste the mixture to see if salt is needed.

2. Apple cider vinegar

apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is another great substitute if you run out of cooking sherry。 It’s ideal for sauces, marinades, stews and soups.

If your recipe calls for a small amount of cooking sherry (a tablespoon or two), use full-strength apple cider vinegar. However, if more cooking sherry is needed, dilute the apple cider vinegar with water. A glass of sweet sherry is equivalent to half a glass of apple cider vinegar and half a glass of water.

For recipes that call for more than half a cup of cooking sherry, apple cider vinegar is the best non-alcoholic option. If the recipe calls for sweet sherry, add sugar to the apple cider vinegar and water mixture.

3. Vanilla extract

vanilla extract

Vanilla extract is a good substitute for recipes calling for sweet sherry。 The more vanilla extract you use, the greater the difference in flavor to your dishes.

4. Juice


Juice is another great substitute for sweet sherry, especially for fruity baked desserts. For example, use pineapple, orange, apricot, or peach juice. If the juice is too thick, dilute with water until the desired consistency is reached.

When substituting cooking sherry, be sure to use fresh-squeezed juice rather than packaged alternatives. Packaged juices contain preservatives that can alter the flavor of a recipe.

5. Rice wine vinegar or champagne vinegar

rice vinegar

If your recipe calls for a small amount of cooked sherry, substitute rice wine vinegar or champagne vinegarBe sure to use these ingredients in moderation, however, or they can change the flavor of your recipe.

6. Chicken Stock and Vinegar

chicken soup

Make Your Own Cooking Sherry Substitute at Home Using Chicken Stock and Vinegar. Mix 1 cup of chicken broth with 1 cup of white vinegar in place of 1 cup of cooking sherry. You don’t need to add any salt to this recipe as the vinegar already contains preservatives and has a very salty taste.

7. White vinegar and water

white vinegar

White vinegar is a good substitute for cooking sherry because it has the same sour taste。 However, it is stronger, so it should be diluted with water before adding it to your recipes.

To substitute 1 cup cooking sherry, mix ½ cup white vinegar with ½ cup water. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar per cup for a sweeter mixture.

8. Balsamic vinegar

balsamic vinegar

If you need a heavier substitute for cooking sherry in a recipe, then balsamic vinegar is the right choice。 It has the perfect balance of sweetness and acidity to add a nutty and sweet flavor to your dishes. For a mellower flavor, dilute the balsamic vinegar with water.

9. Coffee or coffee syrup


Coffee or coffee syrup is a great substitute for culinary sherry in desserts。 It’s sweeter in chocolate desserts because it complements the chocolate flavor.

common problem

Discover more helpful information on cooking sherry and its substitutes:

What are some commercial alternatives to dry sherry?

Commercial alternatives to dry sherry include White Vermouth, Dry Madeira, Marsala, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Blanc, and Semillon。 You can also substitute a small amount of dry sparkling wine for dry sherry.

What are some commercial alternatives to sweet sherry?

Commercial alternatives to sweet sherry include Port, Sweet Vermouth, Sweet Madeira and Marsala, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Malbec, Merlot, Shiraz and Zinfandel. These brands are not sweetened, but you can use them if your recipe calls for a small amount of sweetened sherry.

What can I substitute for the cream sherry?

The best alternative is Dolce Marsala and Madeira. If your recipe calls for only a pinch of cream sherry, use sweet vermouth.

Can you refrigerate cooking sherry?

Yes, cooking sherry can be kept in the refrigerator for up to several weeks。 Store in an airtight container and use within three days of opening for best quality.

What is the difference between cooking sherry and drinking sherry?

The main difference between cooking sherry and drinking sherry is their alcohol content. Cooking sherry has a much lower alcohol content, usually around 10-15% alcohol, while drinking sherry can range from 15-22% alcohol. Due to the longer aging time in oak barrels, drinking sherry also has a more complex flavor profile.

What is the difference between dry sherry and sweet sherry?

There are several differences between dry sherry and sweet sherry. Dry sherry has less sugar than sweet sherry, so it tastes drier and more tart. Sweet sherry has more sugar and is therefore slightly sweeter. Dry sherry is usually aged longer than sweet sherry, giving it a richer flavour. Sweet sherry tends to be used primarily in cooking or as an addition to desserts.

Is there a homemade option for the cream sherry?

Yes there are options for homemade cream sherryFor example, mix equal parts white wine and brandy, or use a mixture of dry sherry, sweet vermouth, and a tablespoon of orange bitters. For a sweeter version, use equal parts cream sherry and white port.

Can you use red wine vinegar for cooking sherry?

Yes, it is possible to use red wine vinegar to make culinary sherry. You can substitute an equal amount of red wine vinegar for recipes that call for cooking sherry. It brings subtle acidity and sweetness to dishes.

in conclusion

If you’ve run out of cooking sherry and have an emergency recipe to tackle, you may want to use a substitute. Some alcohol substitutes you can use include dry white wine, dry vermouth, and Shaoxing cooking wine. You can also use non-alcoholic alternatives such as apple cider vinegar, fruit juice, and chicken broth. However, these substitutes may not taste the same as cooking sherry. Use them sparingly, because the more you use, the more you change the flavor of the recipe.


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