Don’t you hate it when you have the perfect dish in mind that may require a bit of alcohol to serve a guest who is a teetotaler? If you’re wondering what to do in such situations, Tastessence comes to your aid, telling you about some alcohol cooking substitutions that you could use.
Alcohol Doesn’t ‘Cook-out’!
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Nutrient Data Laboratory, some percentage of alcohol remains in your food depending on the method of cooking used.
– Alcohol in boiling liquid: 85%
– Flamed alcohol: 75%
– Stored overnight (no heat applied): 70%
– Baked for 25 minutes without stirring the mixture: 45%
– Baked/simmered (depending upon time): up to 40%
Is there anything that can’t be made better with some boozy goodness? We don’t think so! The ardent lovers of alcohol believe that from popcorn to a sorbet, everything deserves some of this intoxicating love. Be it coq au vin or boeuf bourguignon, your dish may be incomplete without some alcohol. Sometimes, they might be marinated on meat to tenderize it and make it melt-in-your-mouth.
But what about those who can’t have alcohol? Should they be deprived of this miraculous transformation? As usual, Tastessence has answers to all your problems! We have scoured the earth to get you some really good alcohol substitutes that you could use in your cooking.
Alcohol Substitutes in Cooking
Aren’t you just transported to Italy every time someone mentions amaretto? This sweet, almond-flavored liqueur is ideal for ice creams and the famous Italian cake, wait for it, tiramisu.
Substitute: ¼ to ½ teaspoon of non-alcoholic almond extract for 2 tablespoons Amaretto.
Well, the name says it all! It is a distilled alcohol made from corn. We do believe the only companion it may need is ice (or may be not!), but the world uses a touch of it for desserts and some savory dishes.
Substitute: Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to 4 tablespoons of apple juice for every 4 tablespoons of Bourbon.
Yet another gift given by the Brits to the world! It is made by fermenting apple juice. Its tart flavor goes really well in savory dishes. We personally think pork and cider are a match made in heaven!
Substitute: Use apple juice in place of cider in quantities equal to that of the cider in the recipe.
This is basically an alcohol produced by distilling wine. Ideally used in the flashy flambé dishes and used in festive desserts like Christmas pudding and Christmas cakes. Brandy can be made from fruits other than grapes too, and is called ‘fruit brandy’.
Substitute: Add 2 tablespoons apple juice or apple cider to 2 tablespoons of water for every 2 tablespoons of brandy.
This wine is exclusively produced in the Italian city of Marsala. From risotto to tiramisu, this wine is used almost everywhere in Italian cuisine.
Substitute: Use 2 tablespoons of grape juice along with ½ teaspoon of fruity vinegar for every 2 tablespoons of the wine.
This sweet-sour Japanese rice wine is mostly used as a condiment in Japanese cuisine. It has a high sugar content and a low alcohol content. It is used to make teriyaki sauce, and sometimes used in making sushi.
Substitute: Ideally, it can be substituted with equal volumes of grape juice with a few drops of lemon juice.
Cuba libre, mojitos, piña colada, fruitcakes, rumballs―all fun things have a bit of rum in them. In the Caribbean, it is used in marinades of some dishes (don’t you just love the Caribbeans?).
Substitute: You can use white grape juice, pineapple juice, or apple juice in equal liquid amounts as mentioned in the recipe. Can also add ½ to 1 teaspoon of non-alcoholic rum, almond or vanilla extract to it.
This is basically a Japanese rice wine. It might be called a wine, but the process of making it and its taste is quite similar to beer.
Substitute: You can use equal parts of white grape juice with 1-2 teaspoons of a low acid vinegar such as rice vinegar or fresh lemon juice.
It is a fortified wine made almost exclusively in Spain. This wine is one of the most common alcohols used in cooking.
Substitute: You can use 1 tablespoon of apple juice and 1 tablespoon of grape juice for every 2 tablespoons of sherry. You can also use 1 tablespoon of vinegar and 1 teaspoon of sugar in 1 tablespoon of chicken broth for every 2 tablespoons sherry.
This is an orange-flavored liqueur, produced almost exclusively in France. It is well-known for its contribution to the world of cocktails, but make their transition into desserts really well! This substitute can be used for other orange-flavored liqueurs as well.
Substitute: You can use 2 tablespoons of orange juice concentrate or 2 tablespoons of orange juice with ½ teaspoon of orange extract, for every 2 tablespoons of the alcohol.
You can also use orange zest or orange marmalade if orange extract is not available.
‘Coffee-flavored rum with a hint of vanilla’―could there be anything better than that? This invention is sure close to perfection. This substitute can be used for other coffee- or chocolate-flavored liqueur.
Substitute: 2 tablespoons of Kahlua can be substituted by a concoction of ½ to 1 teaspoon chocolate extract and ½ to 1 teaspoon of instant coffee powder dissolved in 2 tablespoons of hot water.
For most of us, this liqueur is synonymous with Black Forest cake. This is a colorless cherry-flavored liqueur made by the distillation of morello cherries.
Substitute: Use 2 tablespoons of cherry syrup or juice from cherries for 2 tablespoons of kirsch.
Do we seriously need to explain red wine to you? If you love a bottle of red, you can sit with it (just a glass) after a really long day and if you have some cheap stuff you got as a gift, why not use it in cooking and turn it into the coq au vin.
Substitute: You can use 1 tablespoon of chicken broth and 1 tablespoon of red grape juice for every 2 tablespoons of the alcohol.
It is a fruit-flavored alcohol quite similar to gin, and can be used in almost anything from cocktails to ice creams.
Substitute: You can replace 2 teaspoons of Schnapps for a teaspoon of the corresponding fruit flavor.
No matter what the problem, the trusted Tequila has a way of taking it away (only to be back with a hangover the next day). A dash of this and lime juice in your chicken and voila! You get yourself a really fun dinner.
Substitute: You can replace tequila with equal amounts of cactus juice or nectar. In a marinade, you might add a dash of white vinegar or a few squirts of lime to it.
White Wine, Sweet
Be it fish or chicken, there’s something about a good glass of wine that makes these flavors sing in your mouth! However, if you can’t have some wine, try its substitute to help accentuate the flavors.
Substitute: Equal volumes of white grape juice and 1 tablespoons Karo corn syrup can be added in place of the wine.
Another option is to use 1 tablespoon of white grape juice and 1 tablespoon chicken broth in place of every 2 tablespoon of the wine.
For marinades, you can use 4 tablespoons of vinegar and 1 tablespoon sugar in about 4 tablespoons of water. For sparkling white wine, you can use equal volumes of sparkling grape juice or sparkling apple cider.
(Note: You can adjust the quantities of the ingredients mentioned above to modify it as per your taste.)