What to Replace Alcohol with in Cooking

For those recovering from addiction, alcohol is not a very good option to be added to their meals; it just adds to the temptation and increases addicts’ chances of relapsing. The good part is that there are different alternatives that can be used in place of alcohol during meal preparation.
If your recipe contains alcohol, you can substitute it with something that is closest in taste to the recipe you are making. The result might not be the same in terms of taste, but it is better to stay away from alcohol if you are still recovering from your addiction. Here are some of the alternatives to alcohol that you can use while cooking.

  • Amaretto: The perfect replacement for this can be almond extracts. For 2 tablespoons of Amaretto, you can use ¼ or ½ tablespoons of almond extracts instead.
  • Anisette: The best substitute is the herb form of anise or fennel. You can use Anise Italian soda syrup as well.
  • Beer: This can be best replaced by chicken, beef or mushroom broth, ginger or white grape juice.
  • Brandy: Brandy can be easily replaced by water in some cases. However, to avoid compromising the flavor altogether, you can use apple cider, apple juice, white grape juice, and diluted peach syrup as well.
  • Champagne: Cranberry juice, white grape juice and apple cider (all sparkling) can act as perfect substitutes for champagne. If you cannot get your hands on any of these, use ginger ale.
  • Cognac: Cognac can be best replaced by apricot juice, peach juice and pear juice.
  • Grand Marnier: Orange juice in concentrated form is the best substitute as long as it is used in equal proportion.
  • Hard Cider: You can replace this with apple cider or apple juice.
  • Kirsch: You can use juice or syrup of raspberries, cherries, currants, boysenberries, and cider as a replacement of kirsch.
  • Peach Brandy: Peach preserves or the liquid of the canned peaches can be an ideal choice for replacing this brandy.
  • Peppermint Schnapps: You can use both peppermint and mint extracts (non alcoholic) as a replacement in addition to mint leaves or peppermint syrup.
  • Port-Wine and Sweet Sherry: Both apple juice and orange juice can be used to replace these alcoholic drinks in meals. Use in equal proportions as a substitute to get the right taste.
  • Red Wine: This can be replaced by grape juice, tomato juice, cranberry juice, grape jelly, beef broth, liquid from vegetables and water. However, you can also use non-alcoholic wine with vinegar as well.
  • Rum: Use pineapple juice, white grape juice, water, apple juice, apple cider or any other syrup flavored with almond extracts as a possible substitute for rum.
  • Savory: Use thyme, sage or marjoram as possible substitutes.
  • Sherry and Bourbon: You can use peach syrup, pineapple juice, orange juice and vanilla extracts as substitutes for both these drinks.
  • Tequila: Tequila can best be replaced by cactus nectar or cactus juice.
  • Sweet Vermouth: This can be replaced by a mixture of lemon and water, balsamic vinegar, apple juice and grape juice.
  • Dry Vermouth: The best replacement for this is white wine vinegar, non-alcoholic white wine or white grape juice.
  • Whiskey: Whiskey in meals is usually required in a very small proportion, so there really is no substitute that can be used without changing the taste of the meal.
  • White Wine: The best substitute is without a doubt the non-alcoholic wine with a tablespoon of vinegar added to it. You can also use apple, tomato and white grape juice, ginger ale, chicken broth, liquid drained from water or plain water as well.

These items are as the best substitutes for the above mentioned alcoholic drinks. However, when it comes to cooking, it will take a bit of trial and error on your part to determine which substitute would sit well with the recipe you are making. If you are cooking for an extra occasion and you have not experimented with the substitutes beforehand, you can consider using alcohol. However, make sure that you add a limited amount. You should also experiment with the ingredients to get the hang of the flavors of these items and make your foods delicious and alcohol-free.

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