Sherry is normally served as an aperitif, and also added to certain dishes. Sherry comes from the Jerez region of Southern Spain. It is prepared using white grape varieties like Palomino, Moscatel, and Pedro Ximenez. When the grapes get fermented, brandy is added to make the wine stable. There are different types of sherry, and these include Fino, Manzanilla, Jerez Dulce, Oloroso, Amontillado, and Palo Cortado to name a few. Sherry can be used in cooking dishes such as soups, stews, as well as desserts but what you get as cooking sherry is not the same from the regular version that is used for drinking. It is always best to use regular sherry because sherry has salt and other additives. Unlike the regular sherry, cooking sherry is not meant for drinking. If you need to prepare a recipe that calls for sherry, it is important to follow the measurements carefully, or use in moderation. There are times that you may run out of sherry but the good news is that there are alternatives you use in place of cooking sherry. While coffee or coffee syrup as well as other substitutes can be used in place of sherry the substitutes work best in baked goods with chocolate.
Apple Cider Vinegar
One of the best alternatives for cooking sherry is Apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is one of the best available substitutes for sherry. When using apple cider vinegar make sure that you dilute it with an equal amount of water before you use it. If your recipe calls for a cup of sherry, you can replace it with half a cup of apple cider vinegar that is diluted with an equal amount of water. Simply add a tablespoon of sugar, in order to enhance the flavour. Apple cider vinegar as a substitute works best for marinades, soups, stews, and sauces, and not for desserts. If the recipe requires a bit of sherry you can use an equal amount of apple cider vinegar.
Another good substitute for cooking sherry are alcoholic beverages. You can substitute alcoholic beverages such as dry red or white wine in place of cooking sherry. Some beverages you can consider include port wine, Marsala wine, or Madeira. You can make use any of these wines instead of cooking sherry for your meals. Simply replace a cup of sherry with an equal amount of any of these wines in your meals. You can also consider an unflavoured brandy, in some recipes brandy goes really well. However, dry vermouth is preferred as a sherry alternative in a wide range of meals. Alcoholic beverages are ideal for creamy soups, sauces, stews, and poultry and can be used in almost any dish that requires the use of cooking sherry.
Also on our list of substitutes for cooking sherry are vanilla beans. Vanilla beans are mainly used in sweet dishes and if your recipe calls for two tablespoons of sherry, use two teaspoons of vanilla extract as an alternative. You can also use alcoholic or non-alcoholic vanilla extract for the same purpose. If you need to compensate for the liquid part, use some water together with your vanilla extract. Simply replace two tablespoons of sherry with two teaspoons of vanilla extract mixed with four teaspoons of water. Vanilla beans can be used in almost any meal that requires the use of cooking sherry.
Apricot juice also makes a great alternative for cooking sherry. In some recipes, you can substitute sweet sherry with other fruit juices as well. Apricot juice is ideal for desserts, especially baked goods with fruits. An equal amount of orange, pineapple, apricot, or peach juice can be used instead of cooking sherry in your recipes. If your juice is thick, you can simply dilute it with water, before using it. It is always best to use fresh juice instead of store-bought juice as an alternative.
Red Wine Vinegar
Red wine vinegar or champagne wine vinegar are ideal options in place of cooking sherry. They can be used in place of cooking sherry in most recipes. You may need to dilute your red wine vinegar or use it in small amounts. Consider adding your red wine vinegar with chicken broth. If you want a cup of cooking sherry simply use two tablespoons of vinegar mixed in a cup of chicken broth. You can use any of these substitutes instead of cooking sherry but make sure that the substitute go well with the intended flavour of your dish. Keep in mind that most savoury dishes need dry sherry and sweet sherry is mostly used in desserts so if you decide to use vinegar as a substitute make sure that you choose the appropriate one.
Dry Sherry Substitutes
There are a number of dry sherry substitutes you can consider in place of cooking sherry. When you are in need of an ingredient substitute, the most obvious substitute is something similar. Since sherry is a fortified wine, it is important to remember that any other fortified wine will work in its place. It is best to purchase another dry fortified wine such as white vermouth and use it in place of cooking sherry. Dry versions of Madeira as well as masala are also good alternatives. You can substitute a dry white wine like sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, pinot blanc, or Semillon in place of cooking sherry. Dry sparkling wines also work well if you use small amounts. Dry wines can be added in almost any dish that requires cooking sherry.
Sweet Sherry Substitutes
Sweet sherry substitutes such as sweet, fortified wine which are generally rich and sweet, such as sweet vermouth, sweet madeira and red wines are other substitutes to cooking sherry you can consider. Red wines such as cabernet sauvignon, grenache, malbec, merlot, shiraz, or zinfandel also work well as cooking sherry substitutes but lack sweetness. You can also consider sweet dessert wines such as muscat, gewurztraminer, or sauternes. These wines will work well in your recipes if you add a small amount in your meals in place of cooking sherry.