Alcohol Substitutions In Cooking

How To Substitute For Alcohol :

Alcohol Substitutions

Alcohol Substitution

Following is a general list of alcohol substitutions that can be used when cooking with alcohol is simply not an option.  Choose the alcohol substitutions that best matches the flavor of the dish you are making:

Also check out my article Alcohol Burn Off During Cooking to learn just how much alcohol is actually left in your foods after cooking with alcohol.  You will be surprised!

Amaretto – Non-Alcoholic almond extract. Substitute 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon almond extract for 2 tablespoons Amaretto.

Anisette – Anise Italian soda syrup or fennel. Also use the herbs anise or fennel.

Beer or Ale – Chicken broth, beef broth, mushroom broth, white grape juice, or ginger ale.

Bourbon – 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of non-alcoholic vanilla extract.

Brandy – Water, white grape juice, apple cider or apple juice, diluted peach or apricot syrups.  Substitute equal amounts of liquid.

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

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 – Juice from peaches, apricots, or pears.

Cointreau – Orange juice or frozen orange juice concentrate.

Creme de menthe – Spearmint extract or oil of spearmint diluted with a little water or grapefruit juice.

Grand Marnier or Orange-Flavored Liqueur – Unsweetened orange juice concentrate or orange juice.  Substitute 2 tablespoons unsweetened orange juice concentrate or 2 tablespoons orange juice and 1/2 teaspoon orange extract for 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier.

Kahlua – Coffee or chocolate-flavored liqueur.  Substitute 1/2 to 1 teaspoon chocolate extract or substitute 1/2 to 1 teaspoon instant coffee in 2 tablespoons water for 2 tablespoons Kahlua.

Kirsch – Syrup or juices from cherries, raspberries, boysenberries, currants, or cider.  Substitute equal amounts of liquid.

Peppermint Schnapps – Non-alcoholic mint or peppermint extract, mint Italian soda syrup, or mint leaves.

Port Wine, Sweet Sherry, or Fruit-Flavored Liqueur) – Orange juice or apple juice.  Substitute equal amount of liquid.

Rum (light or dark) – Water, white grape juice, pineapple juice, apple juice or apple cider, or syrup flavored with almond extract. Substitute equal amounts of liquid.

Sake – Rice vinegar.

Sherry or Bourbon – Orange or pineapple juices, peach syrup, or non-alcoholic vanilla extract.  Substitute equal amount of liquid 1 to 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.

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

Tequila – 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.


Check out my article about Cooking with Wine

Claret – Diluted grape juice or cherry cider syrup.

Gewurztraminer – White grape juice combined with lemon juice.

Grappa – Grape juice.

Port Wine – 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 Wine – Red grape juice, cranberry juice, chicken broth, beef broth, vegetable broth, clam juice, fruit juices, flavored vinegar.  Substitute equal amount of liquid.

White Wine – Water, chicken broth, vegetable broth, white grape juice, ginger ale, white grape juice.

Sweet White Wine – White grape juice plus 1 tablespoons Karo corn syrup.  Substitute equal amount of liquid.



Comments and Reviews

22 Responses to “Alcohol Substitutions In Cooking”

  1. Bannah Hanover

    Thanks for this lists to replace with the alcohol that some recipes call for. I really do appreciate this.

  2. Janice Christensen

    This is a great reference list. Thank you for compiling it!

  3. Tami Gifford

    Thank you so much for posting these substitutions. I have found this very helpful in converting recipes I normally could not enjoy.

  4. Zoetta Day

    What can I use in substitution for rice wine??? Thanks

  5. Kevin

    Any idea what I can substitute limoncello for. Any recipe idea

    • Linda Stradley

      Maybe a lemonade concentrate, Torino Lemon Syrup, or lots of lemon zest.

  6. Drucella durall

    Is lemon flavor vodka the same thing as lemoncello?

  7. Debra Baker

    “FINALLY!!!” My delima is over for how and what to use to substitute liquor in recipes I’d like to make! We don’t drink liquor, and don’t want to be associated with it in ANY way! THANK YOU EVER SO MUCH‼️Deb💞

  8. Ingrid E Wittenberg

    For Rum cake, your substitution list didn’t include rum extract. I would think that would be a good sub for rum mixed with equal amount of liquid, but what liquid works best?

  9. Susan Gagnier

    What would you recommend for a chicken Marsala substitute? Also, isn’t red grape juice much too sweet to substitute for burgandy? Thanks!

    • Whats Cooking America

      You could substitute a blend of vinegar and chicken broth. I would recommend tasting the liquid first to make sure you like the flavor before adding to your chicken.

  10. Ellen

    Great list! Got one for gin in brine for pork chops? Thanks.

  11. Avi Erbst

    Thank you for the list, but what is the ratio or substitution? I have a recipe that calls for 1/2 cup of bourbon, how much vanilla extract would I use?

  12. Chef Rouzbeh

    I realy thank you for replacment of liqure’s .Great Job

  13. Grace

    Substitution for orange cognac?

  14. Jeanie Dean

    I am going to use pineapple juice and almond extract to replace one cup of rum, how much almond extract do I need to add to the pineapple juice?

  15. Pb

    Most grateful for this information as i have liver disease and had now for the second time in my life nearly had a ‘fatal’ 🙂 cooking incident with alcohol and happened to found this page. Powerful Powerful Powerful information.

  16. Brian I Killatrick

    What would b considered more than a “small amount” for whiskey in dessert recipie? Thx


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