Best Substitutes for Sherry in Cooking

If you run out of cooking sherry and can’t get a replacement right away, there are various cooking sherry replacements you may use.

This article looks about sherry replacements for cooking, both dry and sweet.

What Is Cooking Sherry?

Cooking sherry is a kind of sherry that has been modified to make it suitable for cooking a variety of foods in the kitchen. Sherry is a fortified wine derived from grapes, but cooking sherry has been treated with a variety of chemicals, including salt, which affects both its taste and shelf life.

A typical bottle of true sherry, which often contains higher alcohol such as brandy, may be stored for many years. However, once opened, it is only usable for around 10 days.

Cooking sherry may not have as strong a taste as genuine sherry, but it can be stored in your pantry for far longer after opening than conventional sherry.

Cooking sherry is quite salty, thus it does not create an enjoyable drink like genuine sherry. While the prolonged shelf life appeals to busy home cooks, the salty taste may be difficult to regulate in a dish.

The good news is that there are various sherry substitutes if you’re out of it or don’t like the flavor it lends to a meal. We also searched for non-alcoholic replacements in case you’re seeking for an alcohol substitute.

Top 5 Cooking Sherry Substitutes

You may replace dry white wine, dry vermouth, or white wine for cooking sherry since they have a comparable taste and flavor. Chicken stock and fruit juice are two more sweet (non-dry) choices.

1. Dry White Wine

When cooking, it is fairly commonplace to use a dry white wine. Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and Semillon are among the finest. Many dishes ask for a crisp taste, so even the most devoted chefs will have a bottle of dry white in their cupboard at all times.

Dry whites are often served with chicken, pig, shellfish, and even dishes with mushrooms. They go well with a variety of sauces and marinades.

White wine is also a common ingredient in many recipes since it aids in the deglazing of pans. Deglazing is an important cooking method for releasing brown particles of food that have been stuck to the bottom of your pan. These chunks are bursting with flavor and may significantly improve the taste of your sauce when included.

Dry white wine can help you accomplish this.

Overall, dry white wine works well as a replacement for cooking sherry. It’s sharp and tasty without being overbearing, and it may give your food a sweet, acidic kick.

2. Dry Vermouth

Many home chefs are unaware that vermouth may be used for more than simply a delicious cocktail. This iconic Manhattan ingredient is also a fantastic cooking agent and a wonderful substitute for cooking sherry in most recipes.

Vermouth is a fortified wine, hence it is in the same category as sherry. Vermouth, in particular, is an aromatized wine, which means it contains extra spices and herbs.

Dry vermouths, as opposed to sweet vermouths, have a stronger herbaceous taste, making them ideal for cooking. This item may be used in any recipe that asks for white wine or cooking sherry.

Because dry vermouth has a stronger flavor than other cooking wines, start slowly and taste as you go. Begin with a touch less than the recipe asks for and adjust as needed depending on the taste of your food.

This sherry substitute is especially delicious in fish recipes, but it also works well in chicken and pig meals.

3. Chicken Stock

Chicken stock is a popular non-alcoholic replacement for sherry in cooking. Because chicken stock may be used in so many various dishes, most experienced chefs have it on hand at all times.

Not only can you use chicken stock to make traditional chicken soup, but it’s also a common foundation for sauces, stews, and marinades. It’s also ideal for deglazing when sherry or wine aren’t available.

Many sherry-based foods, such as risotto, polenta, and marinara, may be simply substituted with chicken stock.

Not only is chicken stock non-alcoholic, but it is also less costly. Furthermore, it is available in a variety of forms. You may purchase chicken stock at the grocery store, or have a jar of bouillon on hand to make it in seconds. Many professional cooks appreciate the ability to prepare their own chicken stock.

Chicken stock is now available in low-sodium varieties, giving it a healthier alternative to cooking sherry. Many people also commend chicken stock for its health benefits, such as enhancing joint health and increasing collagen formation.

4. Apple Cider & Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider may be substituted for cooking sherry in any soup, stew, marinade, or sauce recipe. Similarly, apple cider vinegar may be a good substitute. In both situations, you’ll want to use a little less sherry than the recipe asks for since the tastes are stronger.

Because apple cider vinegar has a greater taste profile than both cooking sherry and apple cider, start with half of the recipe’s amount. If the recipe asks for a cup of cooking sherry, start with half a cup of apple cider vinegar and work your way up. You may just use water to make up the difference.

Many culinary professionals believe that apple cider vinegar is the greatest non-alcoholic replacement for cooking sherry, so give it a go. Because of its acidic characteristics, you may also use it to deglaze your pan.

Remember that apple cider and apple cider vinegar are best used in savory dishes. Sweet cooking sherry is likely to be called for in a sweet dish. You may use apple cider in this scenario, but you will need to add some sugar.

5. White Vinegar

Is there anything that white vinegar can’t fix? The list of applications seems to be endless. White vinegar may be used for cleaning, cooking, and even as a stomach treatment. It’s also ideal for preparing homemade pickles. It may also be used in lieu of cooking sherry.

The nicest thing about utilizing white vinegar is that it is a common home chemical that you most likely already have in your cabinet. The disadvantage is that it cannot be used as a replacement for sherry.

To make white vinegar in a recipe, blend it with water and sugar. Try half a cup of vinegar, half a cup of water, and two teaspoons of sugar for one cup of cooking sherry.

While white vinegar is a frequent and practical substitute, the taste is unlikely to be a perfect match. Nobody except you will notice the difference, but it will undoubtedly help you produce a great sauce or marinade.


Many foodies prefer cooking over baking because you can simply make changes to the recipe without destroying the meal. While baking is generally a rigorous science, cooking is an art form with plenty of leeway.

This means that creative, imaginative cooks like you may quickly switch out items to change up the taste, make a meal healthier, or fill in for a missing component.

The components listed above are some of the finest cooking sherry substitutes. They all have the same overall taste profile and may be used in many of the same ways: deglazing, sauces, marinades, and more.

If you’re seeking for some additional alternatives, consider the following honorable mentions:

  • Drinking Sherry
  • Brandy
  • Fruit Juice
  • Vanilla Extract (watered down!)
  • Chinese Cooking Wine
  • Marsala
  • Red Wines (for sweet cooking sherry)

Remember that cooking isn’t about being flawless. It’s all about creating delicious meals! So, even if you don’t always have a fresh bottle of traditional sherry on hand to experiment with powerful tastes, you can always experiment with comparable components.

Take a few cupboard goods and one of these substitutes from this list and start to cooking.


Can I substitute red wine vinegar for cooking sherry?

It’s simple to understand why red wine vinegar is a popular replacement for sherry vinegar. It has a same deep, rich taste and may be utilized similarly.

Can I use white wine vinegar instead of sherry?

White wine vinegar has a softer taste than sherry vinegar, although the two may be used interchangeably. It goes well with meats, soups, roasted vegetables, and pickles. You could sprinkle it over raw food, but it won’t taste like sherry vinegar.

How is cooking sherry different from wine?

The basic sherry is fortified with brandy, which is added after the sherry has matured. This makes the alcohol concentration 17%. Most typical wines have an alcohol concentration of about 12%. With a total fat level of zero and a total carbohydrate count of just four grams, cooking sherry is a light accent to any meal.

What vinegar is closest to sherry?

Vinegar of Rice and Wine

This vinegar, sometimes known as ‘rice vinegar,’ is the most similar in flavor profile and acidity level to sherry vinegar.

Can I use apple cider vinegar instead of sherry?

2 cups or more. Add a pinch of sugar to the apple cider vinegar for a sweet sherry replacement.1 cup of dry sherry would be replaced with 2 cups of water. This is most likely the greatest non-alcoholic replacement, particularly for proportions of 12 cup apple cider vinegar and 1

What is a non-alcoholic substitute for sherry in cooking?

Non-alcoholic alternatives

Red Wine Vinegar – An good substitute for sherry in meat preparations, red wine vinegar has the fruity overtones of cooking sherry but with less alcohol level. Before adding red wine vinegar to foods, it should be diluted with water.

What is a substitute for dry sherry?

Sherry vinegar, white wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar

White wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and sherry vinegar are all good choices. What is the proportion? 1 tablespoon vinegar may be substituted for 14 cup dry sherry.

Does sherry vinegar taste like red wine vinegar?

vinegar made with sherry

It has a sweeter taste than red wine vinegar, so keep any extra sweetness in the original recipe in mind. In general, sherry vinegar may be used in lieu of red wine vinegar at a 1:1 ratio. Due to its milder flavor, you may need to add a bit extra.

Is sherry vinegar and balsamic vinegar the same?

Fermented sherry wine is used to make sherry vinegar. Balsamic vinegar, on the other hand, is prepared by patiently boiling down wine grapes into a syrup and then fermenting it in oak barrels. As a consequence, the vinegar becomes heavier and thicker.

Does sherry taste like wine?

The majority of sherries include nutty, dried fruit, and saline characteristics. The world of sherry is significantly more complex and diverse than it is characterized as a cooking wine or a sweet dessert wine, and many bottles match incredibly well with food.

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