Adding alcohol to various food recipes usually enhances their flavor, whether it is a savory recipe or a dessert. Cooking sherry is no exception to that rule. There might be situations where you don’t have it handy. So, I have brought you the best cooking sherry substitutes.
Though cooking sherry is great alcohol to use in different recipes, some recipes specifically call for it. Although, not everyone would want to invest in a bottle of cooking sherry. So, the good news here is that you can use various great substitutes for cooking sherry.
At this point, I think you must be wondering what you can actually use in place of cooking sherry. The best substitutes for cooking sherry are sherry vinegar, dry white wine, apple cider vinegar, brandy, vanilla extract, and dry vermouth.
However, before introducing the best substitutes for cooking sherry to you, let me tell you some more about the ingredient itself. Once you know what it tastes like, it will be much easier for you to pick your favorite substitute.
Quick Peek: Cooking Sherry
In this section, you will learn all about cooking sherry. You will get to understand where it comes from, what it tastes like, and also about which recipes it is mostly used in, and its nutritional values.
What Is Cooking Sherry?
Sherry, in general, is a fortified wine. That means it is made with fermented grapes and has distilled alcohol added to it. Sherry originated in Spain and is made from white grapes, mainly palomino grapes.
The difference with cooking sherry is that it has salt added to it, along with potassium metabisulfite and potassium sorbate. This is done to increase the shelf life of the sherry. Cooking sherry is also said to be of lower quality than drinking sherry.
Describing Cooking Sherry: Flavor And Texture
Cooking sherry has a liquid consistency, just like any other alcoholic drink. It has a golden color and a sweet aroma.
When we talk about the flavor, cooking sherry is very close in taste to dry drinking sherry. It has a slightly nutty flavor but is extremely salty. The salt content in cooking sherry is so much that it leaves the sherry undrinkable.
Uses Of Cooking Sherry
Cooking sherry is used in both savory and sweet recipes. It is used to deglaze pans and is added to sauces to enhance their flavor. Other than that, it can be added to soups and stews. It can be used for braising and is added to desserts like Christmas pudding and mince pie.
Cooking Sherry On The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope
Usually, cooking sherry is used in various recipes in very small quantities. So, it does not really impart any nutritional benefits to a recipe. However, let me still tell you about the nutritional values of cooking sherry.
A two-tablespoon or 30 grams serving of cooking sherry contains 45 calories. Out of them, sherry contains no amount of fats and a very small amount of carbohydrates. Cooking sherry also lacks proteins. It does contain a high amount of sodium.
Why Use A Substitute For Cooking Sherry?
As cooking sherry has various uses in the kitchen and imparts flavor to any dish it’s used in. You may wonder why there is a need to use a substitute for the same. There are many reasons to use cooking sherry in a recipe, for sure.
However, there are some reasons why you can also consider using a substitute for the same. Firstly, cooking sherry has no other use other than adding it to various recipes. The flavor of cooking sherry is extremely salty.
It is salty to the extent that it cannot be consumed as it is. So, for this reason, if you do not want to invest in a bottle of cooking sherry, you can use substitutes that might be more easily available and have more uses.
On top of that, good-quality cooking sherry can be a little pricey sometimes. So, if you feel buying cooking sherry to just use in food recipes is too expensive an investment, you can use various substitutes that are more budget-friendly.
Lastly, if you just seem to be all out of cooking sherry, instead of buying more, you can consider using a substitute for the same. Many of the substitute options are so common that you might already have them at home.
Now that you know so much about cooking sherry, I am sure you are ready to pick your favorite substitute for the same. So, without any further ado, let me directly introduce you to the best substitutes you can use in place of cooking sherry.
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7 Best Cooking Sherry Substitutes
This section has all the best substitutes you can use in place of cooking sherry. You will get to understand what the flavor profile of each substitute is and how exactly they will work in different recipes. You will also get to understand the ratio of substitution for each substitute.
1. Dry White Wine
Dry white wine has a perfect balance of acidity and sweetness. When added to different recipes, it adds a combined flavor of the two, which works well in place of cooking sherry, as a substitute.
Dry white wine is a staple in many homes. It is a staple in various French and Italian dishes to add dry white wine to finish the dish with a crisp taste. The best dry white wines that will work are Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay.
Dry white wine particularly works well with seafood and poultry dishes. You can use dry white wine for deglazing, just like using cooking sherry. For substitution, you can follow a simple 1:1 ratio.
2. Sherry Vinegar
Sherry vinegar has the same balance of sweetness and acidity in it as cooking sherry does. Though a little more intense in flavor, if you are looking for an acidic substitute option, sherry vinegar is the best substitute.
Sherry vinegar will give your food a slightly sweet and acidic taste. Sherry vinegar will give the best flavor; however, in case you have trouble finding it, you can also try using white vinegar or white wine vinegar.
Sherry vinegar can be used in almost all recipes in place of cooking sherry. Although as it does have a more intense flavor as compared to cooking sherry, use only half the amount while using it as a substitute for cooking sherry.
3. Dry Vermouth
Dry vermouth is a fortified wine, just like sherry. It has an intense flavor and is usually flavored with various herbs and spices. Though it has a more intense flavor than cooking sherry, it can work well as a substitute for the same.
Vermouth usually comes in two types- dry and sweet. In terms of flavor, dry vermouth has a perfect balance of acidity and sweetness. These flavors, when combined together, work perfectly in place of cooking sherry.
Although, the flavor of dry vermouth is a little sharper than that of cooking sherry. So, when you want to use it as a substitute for cooking sherry, start by using half the quantity. In case you feel the flavors are not intense enough, you can add more.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is made by fermenting apple juice. It has an extremely tangy and tart flavor which can resemble that of cooking sherry. So, it can be used as a substitute for the same.
Apple cider vinegar generally has a very tart flavor as compared to cooking sherry. So, it will not work too well as a substitute for cooking sherry in dessert recipes as it will make them extremely sour.
As the flavor of apple cider vinegar is more tart than cooking sherry, it is best to use a smaller amount while using it as a substitute for the same. The best way to use apple cider vinegar is by adding half the quantity as compared to cooking sherry.
Brandy is made from distilled white wine. This gives it a flavor that is very similar to that of cooking sherry. So, brandy can be used as a substitute for cooking sherry in various recipes.
Brandy comes in various flavors. So, to use it as a substitute for cooking sherry, it is best to use unflavored brandy as that will not change the overall flavor of your dish. Other than that, brandy can be added to any recipe.
Brandy also has a higher alcohol content as compared to cooking sherry. So, make sure you dilute it with some water before using it in any recipe. For substitution, use half the quantity of brandy as compared to cooking sherry.
6. Vanilla Extract
Vanilla extract has a sweet flavor that improves the overall flavor of all desserts it is used in. Though it may not work in all ways, vanilla extract can be used as a cooking sherry substitute in dessert recipes.
Vanilla extract is very commonly used in making desserts. If you are looking to use something in place of cooking sherry just to enhance the flavor, vanilla extract is definitely a good option.
As it comes in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic forms, you can choose which one would work better in your recipe. Moreover, it is extremely concentrated, so you need a very small amount to replace cooking sherry.
7. Chicken Stock
Chicken stock has a meaty and earthy flavor that works well with all savory dishes. When combined with an acidic ingredient, chicken stock can work well as a substitute for cooking sherry.
Chicken stock cannot be used in dessert recipes for sure, as it will end up giving them a lingering meaty flavor. However, in savory recipes, it will be a good option to use it. As it lacks acidity, you will have to pair it with an acidic agent.
A tablespoon of lemon juice in your chicken stock will usually do the trick. As far as substitution goes, you can use a combination of chicken stock and lemon juice in place of cooking sherry in a 1:1 ratio.
Short Recap For Best Cooking Sherry Substitutes
I hope you found this article informative and were able to pick your favorite substitute. But, since this is a tricky ingredient, I think I want to break it down further to make it easier for everyone to pick their best substitute.
Best Cooking Sherry Substitute For Savory Food:
- Dry Vermouth
- Dry White Wine
Best Cooking Sherry Substitutes For Desserts:
- Dry White Wine
Substitutes For Cooking Sherry That You Should Consider Using Last:
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Chicken Stock
- Vanilla Extract
How To Substitute Cooking Sherry
Cooking Sherry Substitutes
- Dry White Wine
- Sherry Vinegar
- Dry Vermouth
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Vanilla Extract
- Chicken Stock
- 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 proceed to make the dish according to the recipe.
I am sure you must be saturated with all the information you have received today for the best substitutes for cooking sherry. While cooking sherry is a great ingredient to work with and enhances the flavors of various recipes, it is an investment to buy a bottle.
Since cooking sherry has no other uses, and of course, it is not used for all recipes, many people may not find it worth buying a bottle for the same. So, in cases like these, using a substitute will definitely be a great idea.
Having said that, not all the substitute options given above will work in all recipes. However, depending on what you want to prepare, you can choose the substitute that works best for you. I am sure you will be equally satisfied with a substitute!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can drinking sherry be used for cooking?
It will give your food a different flavor as compared to cooking sherry, but drinking sherry can be used for cooking.
Where can I find cooking sherry?
Cooking sherry is easily available in supermarkets, usually around vinegar.
Is there alcohol in cooking sherry?
Yes, cooking sherry does contain alcohol in it.
Are cooking sherry and sherry vinegar the same?
No, cooking sherry and sherry vinegar are both different from each other.