How to Replace Sherry in Recipes

Sherry is a brandy-fortified wine used in cooking to add acidity and depth of flavor. While an appropriate replacement for sherry in cooking depends upon the specific recipe, chicken broth or plain water are often acceptable substitutes. White wine, red wine, wine vinegar or champagne may also be suitable alternatives if the flavor or sweetness corresponds with the flavors of your dish. If you do not wish to add alcohol to your dish, fruit juices are a viable substitute, although the depth of flavor will not be the same.

Apple juice is an acceptable substitute for sweet sherry.
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Step 1

Combine 1/2 cup of cider vinegar and 1/2 cup of water with 2 tbsp. table sugar and 1 tsp. of lemon juice as a substitute for 1 cup of sherry wine.

Step 2

Add 2 tsp. of vanilla extract to replace sherry in your recipe. If you prefer alcohol-free vanilla, you can purchase pure, non-alcoholic vanilla extract from a health food store or specialty market.

Step 3

Use an equivalent amount of hard apple cider or French vermouth to replace sherry in stews, sauces or soups that require some cooking time.

Step 4

Substitute equal amounts of freshly squeezed orange juice, apple juice or canned pineapple juice if your recipe calls for a sweet sherry.

Things You'll Need

  • Cider vinegar

  • Water

  • Sugar

  • Lemon

  • Vanilla extract

  • Hard apple cider or vermouth

  • Fruit juice


If your recipe calls for a small amount of sherry, you can opt to leave it out entirely and increase the amount of the other liquids if necessary.

The high amount of salt added to cooking sherry to extend its shelf-life alters the taste and makes it unsuitable for drinking or cooking.

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