10 Best Balsamic Vinegar Substitutes You Can Try!

Note- This post may contain affiliate links, we earn from qualifying purchases made on our website. If you make a purchase through links from this website, we may get a small share of the sale from Amazon and other similar affiliate programs.

A balanced flavor like balsamic vinegar is difficult to find. Have you run out of it and are looking for the same? If you are, you are in the right place, as we are here to discuss the substitute for balsamic vinegar. 


Balsamic vinegar is rich and glossy with a syrup-like consistency, distinctive, complex flavors, and a tart aftertaste. It adds natural sweet and sour elements with hints of wood from the aged barrels.

Let’s get right to the point: what can you use instead of balsamic vinegar?

Some of the best balsamic vinegar substitutes are malt vinegar, sherry vinegar, and combinations like grape jelly, red wine vinegar, and soy sauce.

This was just an overview. Now let’s delve deeper into all the balsamic vinegar substitutes and understand how we can replace them in recipes.

10 Best Balsamic Vinegar Substitutes

Individual Substitutes You Can Try

1. Malt Vinegar

Malt vinegar and balsamic vinegar both have acidic properties in them. It contributes to the dish’s tartness.

Due to the use of barley in the fermentation process, malt vinegar has a faint beer flavor, whereas balsamic vinegar has a high sugar content from the grapes used in making it. 

Malt vinegar has virtually no sugar. You could add some sugar to get closer to the flavors of balsamic vinegar.

2. Sherry Vinegar

Sherry vinegar has a complex flavor profile with the right amount of acidity and sweetness. It is pocket friendly compared to balsamic vinegar. Compared to balsamic vinegar, it has a thinner consistency.

It is mainly used in flavored soups such as French onion, hearty stews, or roasted meats. It can also make a marinade or salad dressing.

A 1:1 ratio substitution is already adequate if you are using Sherry vinegar. If you feel it is too heavy, mix it with olive oil.

3.Balsamic Vinaigrette

If you have a Balsamic vinaigrette in your pantry, then there is no need to worry.

It already contains balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and some seasonings, making it the best substitute for balsamic vinegar in recipes. 

It works best in place of a marinade, drizzle, or dressing. For this particular substitute, try a 1:1 ratio.

4. Caramelized Red Wine Vinegar

red wine

It is the best option to use as a substitute as it has a rich syrup flavor and is processed the same as balsamic vinegar.

It has a less intense flavor as it ages less than balsamic vinegar. It works perfectly as drizzles and glazes.

The substitution ratio is 1:1

5. Soy Sauce

Soy sauce is a good choice for simulating vinegar’s acidity due to its fermented flavor. The flavor of soy sauce is very straightforward.

It cannot accurately capture the flavor of balsamic vinegar on its own. It usually entails adding another acidic ingredient and a sweetener.

It can be combined with lemon juice, molasses, and even grape jelly to match the flavor of soy sauce.

If you don’t have anything to use as a substitute, then you can use these combos that can be made very quickly.

Combo Substitutes You Can Try!

6. Red Wine Vinegar + Sugar/Honey/Maple Syrup

Red wine vinegar

Red wine vinegar has a similar grape-sweet taste to that of balsamic. When you add a little sweetness to it gives flavor just like balsamic acid.

Red wine vinegar is made from fermented red wine and rice, while maple syrup derives from the sap of certain trees. Maple syrup is naturally sweet, whereas red wine vinegar has a slightly acidic bite.

If you do not have any maple syrup in your pantry, you can substitute it for honey if you prefer a healthier option. 

7. White Vinegar + Sugar

You can try white vinegar as a substitute if you don’t have red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or any vinegar. It is a good substitute because it has mild vinegar that is neither overly sweet nor overly sour.

You can use white vinegar with sugar, depending on how sweet you want the balsamic substitute. In the end, cook it to get the desired consistency.

8. Grape Jelly + Red Wine Vinegar + Soy Sauce

Grape jelly

This combination provides the precise umami flavor we seek in balsamic vinegar. The perfect balance of sweet and savory flavors is achieved by combining grape jelly, red wine vinegar, and soy sauce.

You can take a 1 ½ ratio with one tablespoon of Grape Jelly, Red Wine Vinegar, and ½ tablespoon of soy sauce to make it similar to balsamic vinegar.

9. Soy Sauce + Lemon Juice + Molasses

You must be wondering how soy sauce, lemon juice, and molasses can be a substitute for balsamic vinegar. 

As I told you before, balsamic vinegar tastes like molasses, and soy sauce is adequate as a base. These both have a similar color and consistency to balsamic vinegar. 

Given this, lemons are a great choice to add a tangy touch. While they are bitter and sour, the taste is not overpowering, and once added to the mixture, you cannot taste the lemon flavor a lot. 

Following the 1:1:1 ratio substitution, incorporate one teaspoon each of soy sauce, lemon juice, and molasses.

10. Lemon Juice + Lime Juice + Sugar

Lemon Juice, lime juice, and sugar are used as an easily accessible substitute for balsamic vinegar.

Take lime and lemon as they provide the acidic feel like vinegar, and take sugar or any sweeteners like molasses, maple syrup, and even honey to make this.

You have to use them in equal parts, i.e. 1:1:1

A Short Recap of Balsamic Vinegar Substitutes

That was an extensive read on Balsamic Vinegars and their substitutes. The following points will make things easy for you to remember about balsamic oil and its substitutes:

Best Balsamic Vinegar Substitutes In Terms Of Flavor and Texture –

  • Balsamic Vinaigrette
  •  Caramelized Red Wine Vinegar

Best Balsamic Vinegar Substitutes That Are Easily Available

  • Lemon Juice + Lime Juice + Sugar

Best Balsamic Vinegar Substitutes Should Be Least Considered

  • Malt Vinegar

How To Use Balsamic Vinegar Substitutes In A Recipe


10 Best Balsamic Vinegar Substitutes You Can Try!

Some of the best balsamic vinegar substitutes are malt vinegar, sherry vinegar, and combinations like grape jelly, red wine vinegar, and soy sauce.
No ratings yet


  • Malt Vinegar
  • Sherry Vinegar
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Caramelized Red Wine Vinegar
  • Red Wine Vinegar + Sugar/Honey/Maple Syrup
  • White vinegar + Sugar
  • Grape Jelly + Red Wine Vinegar + Soy Sauce
  • White Vinegar + Sugar + Honey
  • Soy Sauce + Lemon Juice + Molasses
  • Lemon Juice + Lime Juice + Sugar


  • Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
  • Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
  • Use the substitute in the required amount and make the dish according to the recipe.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


Now that we are at the end of this article, I hope you found a good substitute for balsamic vinegar. All the mentioned options are ideal balsamic vinegar substitutes.

However, we both know that practically nothing can match balsamic vinegar’s tangy, sweet, and mellow flavor. Please let us know how the above balsamic vinegar substitutes worked for you. I hope to see you with some more good articles. Cheers!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I substitute apple cider vinegar for balsamic vinegar?

Yes, you can use apple cider vinegar as a substitute for balsamic vinegar, but add any sweeteners—honey, sugar, or brown sugar—to match the sweet taste of balsamic vinegar.

What is the difference between balsamic vinegar and regular vinegar?

Balsamic vinegar is made by aging pressed grape juice in oak barrels, whereas regular vinegar is made with fermented alcohol.

Can I use lemon instead of balsamic vinegar?

Lemon cannot be a substitute for balsamic vinegar. Use lemon juice, lime juice, and sugar instead. Simply mix equal parts lemon and lime juice and sugar, then taste.

Is apple cider vinegar the same as balsamic vinegar?

Balsamic vinegar is typically obtained from fermented grape juice, while apple cider vinegar comes from fermented apple juice. No, these are both different.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating