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How to Substitute Alcohol in Recipes

Created January 10, 2017
Alcohol as an ingredient adds richness to the flavor of many main dishes – coq au vin, beer-boiled bratwursts, chicken marsala. In desserts, alcohol adds depth and increases moistness – think cakes, brownies and truffles.

But what if you don’t have the particular spirit called for in a recipe?

In savory recipes, you can use a non-alcoholic version of wine or choose chicken broth instead of a white wine and beef broth instead of a red wine. The primary purpose is to replace the liquid volume in a recipe; it is not a flavor substitute, so expect a different taste.

Substitutions in baking are more complex. Some extracts can be used in place of alcohol, for example, rum extract plus water in place of rum. Other substitutes include coffee creamers and coffee syrups. However, amounts vary widely and are not equal. It’s best to test, beginning with small amounts and increasing as necessary.

Drink Measurement Equivalent
Beer 1 cup 1 cup non-alcoholic beer, apple cider or beef broth
Wine, Red 1 cup 1 cup non-alcoholic wine, apple cider, beef broth, tomato juice or water
Wine, White 1 cup 1 cup non-alcoholic wine, white grape juice, apple juice, chicken broth or water