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Alcohol Cooking Substitutions

If you arrived here via a search engine, don't miss my full article on Cooking With Alcohol, which includes important information about how much alcohol remains in cooked foods and caution when using alcohol in frozen foods along with tips and hints to help you make the right substitution choice. The chart below gives suggestions for substitutes for various alcoholic ingredients in your recipes. Remember, if you substitute, you will not get the intended result, but it should be close enough to perhaps entice you to try the real thing.

Alcoholic Ingredient




Italian almond-flavored liqueur

Almond extract.

Beer or Ale

Various types.

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. Non-alcoholic beers may also be substituted.


Liquor made of distilled wine or fruit juice.

Scotch or bourbon. 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.


Apple brandy

Apple juice concentrate or juice.


Black raspberry liqueur

Raspberry juice, syrup or extract.


Sparkling white wine.

Sparkling white grape juice, ginger ale, white wine.


Light red wine or Bordeaux.

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


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

Other less expensive brandies may be substituted, as well as Scotch or whiskey, or use peach, apricot or pear juice.


French, orange-flavored liqueur.

Orange juice concentrate or regular orange juice that has been reduced to a thicker consistency.


Liqueur made from bitter Seville oranges.

Orange juice frozen concentrate or reduced fresh orange juice.

Creme de Menthe

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

Mix spearmint extract or oil with a little water or grapefruit juice. Use a drop of food coloring if you need the green color.


French raspberry liqueur.

Raspberry juice or syrup.


Italian hazelnut liqueur.

Hazelnut or almond extract.


Golden Italian anise liqueur.

Licorice extract.

Grand Marnier

French liqueur, orange-flavored.

Orange juice frozen concentrate or reduced fresh orange juice.


Italian grape brandy.

Grape juice or reduced red wine.


Pomegranate syrup, sometimes alcoholic.

Pomegranate syrup or juice.

Hard Cider

Fermented, alcoholic cider.

Apple cider or juice.


Syrupy Mexican liqueur made with coffee and cocoa beans.

Strong coffee or espresso with a touch of cocoa powder.

Kirsch (Kirchwasser)

Colorless liqueur made of cherries.

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

Red Burgundy

Dry French wine.

Non-alcoholic wine, red wine vinegar, grape juice.

Red wine

Sweet or dry wine.

Non-alcoholic wine, beef or chicken broth or stock, diluted red wine vinegar, red grape juice diluted with red wine vinegar or rice vinegar, tomato juice, liquid from canned mushrooms, plain water.


Liquor distilled from molasses or sugar syrup.

For light rum, use pineapple juice flavored with almond extract. For dark rum, use molasses thinned with pineapple juice and flavored with almond extract. Or use rum extract flavoring.


Fermented rice drink.

Rice vinegar.


Flavored, colorless liquor.

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


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

Orange or pineapple juice.

Southern Comfort

Bourbon mixed with peach liqueur.

Peach nectar mixed with a little cider vinegar.


Liquor made of the agave plant.

Cactus nectar or juice.

Triple Sec

Orang-flavored liqueur.

Orange juice frozen concentrate or reduced fresh orange juice.


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

For sweet, use non-alcoholic sweet wine, apple or grape juice or balsamic vinegar. For dry, use non-alcoholic white wine, white grape juice or hite wine vinegar.


Distilled liquor.

Bourbon, Scotch and whiskey may be used interchangably. 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, water. For marinades, substitute 1/4 cup vinegar plus 1 Tbsp sugar plus 1/4 cup water


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