If you do not want to use alcohol in your favorite recipes, you will be pleased to know that there are other ingredients you can use instead. Perhaps a recipe for braised beef calls for red wine. What can you use instead for the same rich flavor? Maybe you are making a dessert and the recipe tells you to add Kahlua. Can you substitute something else for the same delicious chocolate flavor? The answer is yes, you can usually use a similar flavored ingredient.
The exception to this rule is when the alcohol makes up more than twenty percent of the ingredients, in which case you should make something else because the recipe will not taste the same.
If a recipe calls for wine, you can decide what to replace it with depending on the recipe. White wine can be replaced with white grape juice. Add a tiny bit of white wine vinegar to get the right flavor. If the recipe specifies sweet white wine, use white grape juice with some powdered sugar dissolved in it.
For red wine, you can use red grape juice or red wine vinegar. If the recipe needs more than a couple of tablespoons of red wine, use the grape juice because vinegar will impart a bitter flavor.
Champagne in recipes can be replaced with sparkling white grape juice or sparkling apple cider. Try sparkling cranberry juice or ginger ale too, depending on the recipe. For port, which is a fortified red wine, try cranberry juice with some orange or lemon juice added to it or red grape juice with some lime zest. Remember that you can always use non-alcoholic wine in recipes calling for wine as an ingredient.
Beer and Liqueur Replacements
Try mushroom stock, beef stock, or non-alcoholic beer instead of beer in recipes. If you need to use a coffee liqueur such as Kahlua or Tia Maria in a dessert recipe, coffee syrup, espresso or non-alcoholic coffee extract work well. Use almond extract for Amaretto, syrup from a can of cherries for cherry liqueur or cherry brandy, and orange juice concentrate for Cointreau.
For replacing vodka in a recipe if you do not want to use alcohol, you can substitute apple cider with a few drops of lime juice or white grape juice. For sherry, try something sticky and sweet like peach syrup, orange juice, pineapple juice, or vanilla extract. Apple cider or apple juice with a few drops of almond extract is a good substitution for rum, as is white grape juice.
Use vanilla extract, peach syrup, orange juice or pineapple juice for bourbon, non-alcoholic brandy extract for brandy, and non-alcoholic vanilla extract mixed with some powdered sugar for Creme de Cacao.
Anise flavor Italian soda syrup makes a good replacement for anisette and raspberry syrup, juice, or extract can be used in the place of Chambord. Spearmint extract mixed with water can replace creme de menthe and apricot, pear, or peach juice can be used as a substitution for cognac in a recipe.
Successful Recipes without Alcohol
If you follow these tips, your recipe will come out as close to the original as possible. Maybe you do not like alcohol or perhaps do not want to buy a twenty-dollar bottle of a liqueur, which you do not drink for a recipe calling for two teaspoons of it, which is understandable!
Maybe you are cooking for kids, in which case you do not want to use alcohol in your chosen recipe. Whatever the case, it can be very handy knowing the best alcohol substitutions for recipes.