Close this search box.

What Are The Best Substitutes For Sherry In Cooking?



Picture 1
Photo by Kathy Lee on Unsplash


Sherry cooking wine is a distinct variety of sherry, particularly made for cooking and enhancing dishes.

It is similar to drinking sherry, but what separates it is the added salt and preservatives to ensure its long shelf-life after being opened. It contains few carbohydrates and no fat, but its 180 mg of sodium per serving makes it unattractive for drinking. Cooking sherry is a great flavor enhancer that every cook must have in their kitchen–but what happens if it runs out? The following are the best sherry substitute for cooking:

Alcohol content usually evaporates when boiled or simmered, leaving out its concentrated flavor. So when replacing cooking sherry, anyone could go with a non-alcoholic or alcoholic substitute. It all depends on how it will be used in the dish.


Non-alcoholic substitutes

  • Apple Cider Vinegar – One of the best substitutes because of its low sodium and fruity notes similar to the sherry. This should be diluted with water and added with a pinch of sugar before being used. This is a suitable alternative when cooking sauces, marinades, stews, and soups.
  • Red Wine Vinegar – An excellent replacement for sherry when cooking meat dishes, red wine vinegar has the fruity notes that cooking sherry offers but with less alcohol content. The red wine vinegar should also be diluted with water before being added to dishes.
  • Vanilla Extract – This packs fruity, spicy, and sweet flavors at the same time and delicate caramel notes similar to that in cooking sherry. This is an excellent substitute for desserts and sweet dishes. Be careful in using this as it only requires little amounts in cooking to avoid an imbalanced taste.
  • Fruit Juice – This is also suitable for sweet recipes and desserts. Some fruit juice flavors that can work as cooking sherry substitutes are orange, pineapple, apple, apricot, and peach.


Alcoholic substitutes

  • Dry Red or White Wine – Best used in deglazing pans, slow-cooking chicken, and cooking meat dishes, dry red and white wines are guaranteed to provide appetizing flavors just like how cooking sherry would. These are also the easiest alcoholic substitutes because there are no complicated processes needed to use them.
  • Shaoxing Cooking Wine – This is a fermented rice wine that has caramel notes. Just like cooking sherry, it differs from Shaoxing wine because of the added salt and preservatives. It does not require large amounts because of its strong alcoholic taste–a tablespoon or two is enough.
  • Brandy – Generally sweet, laced with floral and fruity flavors, which depends on the fruit it is made from. If this will be the substitute for cooking sherry, the dish requires to be cooked longer because of its high alcohol content. This is best suited for poultry, seafood, pork, and sauces.
  • Dry Vermouth – this is another great and commonly used alternative for cooking sherry. Bitterness and sweetness, along with botanical flavors. When using it as a replacement, avoid overly sweet dishes. This is ideal for chicken and seafood dishes, as well as stews.


There are many more alternative ingredients if you don’t have any Sherry cooking wine. You may select a cooking wine from the list above that suits your preferences, and they will ensure that the cuisine you wish to create tastes the same.

Related Posts