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Top 5 Effective Apple Cider Vinegar Substitutes

Lisa Price
Last Updated on
by Lisa Price

If you’re looking for to replace apple cider vinegar, then you’ve come to the right place.

Here, you’ll see why the best apple cider vinegar substitute are:

  • Champagne vinegar
  • Sherry vinegar
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Rice Wine vinegar
  • Malt vinegar

If you need a perfect replacement for apple cider vinegar, the trick is finding something that has an exciting flavor but does something different than apple cider vinegar. Otherwise, you might end up with an alternative that has no other qualities.

Sometimes, apple cider vinegar has adverse side effects even when someone isn’t allergic to it. It mainly causes digestive issues, such as indigestion. But it can also impact your potassium levels and interact negatively with certain prescription drugs.

Finding a fun and unique substitute for apple cider in recipes is one of those satisfying experiences that makes you feel like a master chef. Don’t pass up the opportunity to try a new thing and make your recipe even more interesting than before.

Apple cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar Alternatives

Here are five of the top apple cider vinegar alternatives that are available.

Most of them can be found at local grocery stores. Otherwise, it’s easy to order ingredients online these days. Whatever your preferred shopping method, there is an option out there for you.

1. Champagne Vinegar

champagne vinegar is easily the best apple cider vinegar substitute
champagne vinegar

Champagne vinegar is a delightful substitute for apple cider vinegar. It’s a bit milder than apple cider vinegar, known for its strong and pungent taste. It has a more floral quality, making the flavor profile vastly different.

It’s always unpleasant when a recipe that calls for some type of vinegar only tastes like that kind of vinegar. Well, you don’t have to worry about that with champagne vinegar. And because it’s so mellow compared to other vinegar, it doesn’t overpower a recipe.

Champagne vinegar made the list for a few reasons: its pleasant flavor and accessibility. It’s not difficult to find champagne vinegar at a local grocery store or an online market. And it adds a nice variety to a recipe without overpowering it.

The great thing about champagne vinegar is using a fundamental one-to-one replacement ratio. No complicated math is involved; you simply put the champagne vinegar in place of the apple cider vinegar. Since it’s so easy to work with, there shouldn’t be any problems using it as a replacement.

Champagne vinegar can replace apple cider vinegar at any time. Whatever dish you might be making, champagne vinegar will make a great replacement and add a certain amount of zest that you can’t get from other substitutes.

It is especially effective in chicken dishes. Whether grilled, baked, or stir-fried on the stovetop, champagne vinegar has a great way of bringing the flavor out of cooked chicken and complimenting it exquisitely.

2. Sherry Vinegar

Sherry Vinegar is also a good replacement for apple cider vinegar
Sherry Vinegar

Sticking with the theme of alcohol and vinegar, sherry vinegar is an excellent substitute for apple cider vinegar. In the right situations, it will consistently outperform its apple-based compatriot. No matter what you think of sherry, you should know that sherry vinegar is divine.

Sherry vinegar is different from apple cider vinegar in a few key ways. Most importantly, it has a much different flavor profile. It’s a bit more pronounced and probably more complex overall. Since sherry vinegar is an aged liquid, it has a much richer taste. It isn’t very sweet and can almost have a nutty flavor.

Where apple cider vinegar is very acidic, sherry vinegar has a much smoother taste. And instead of using something like red wine vinegar, sherry vinegar has more interesting notes that the blander vinegar options are lacking.

Good sherry vinegar comes from the Sherry Triangle. It’s not easy to find in stores, but you can order it online. Because of online shopping, it’s effortless to get your hands on, which makes it an even better substitute for apple cider vinegar.

The great thing about sherry vinegar is that you can use however much of it you want. You can replace apple cider vinegar with a one-to-one ratio if that’s what sounds good. Or you can add it to taste. A splash more here or there can add a nice flavor to whatever you’re cooking.

And, of course, you can use sherry vinegar in almost anything. If the recipe calls for apple cider vinegar, you can swap it out for sherry vinegar. It works well with any meat you might be cooking or as an addition to macaroni and cheese. It’s also an excellent ingredient to throw in a soup of some kind for something a little different.

3. Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar
Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar is one of the classic vinegars out there. It’s used in everything from salad dressings to stir-fries. It has a unique flavor that’s easy to recognize. Though sharp and very concentrated, balsamic vinegar is still pleasant and effective.

It works well as an apple cider replacement because it mimics the potency of apple cider vinegar while presenting an entirely different sort of flavor. It’s also an effective appetite suppressant filled with probiotics, making it a healthy substitute for apple cider vinegar.

Like the other substitutes we’ve seen, you can use a simple one-to-one ratio to replace your apple cider vinegar. You can also add more or less depending on how potent you prefer the vinegar taste in your food. It’s really up to you.

Balsamic vinegar can replace almost any recipe that you might use apple cider vinegar in. It works best, however, in cold recipes. Things like salad dressing respond well to balsamic vinegar, and the flavor is unbeatable. It has such a unique tanginess that it’s almost better than apple cider vinegar.

4. Rice Wine Vinegar

Rice Wine Vinegar
Rice Wine Vinegar

Fermented rice is an age-old ingredient that can be used in a myriad of ways. One of those ways is rice wine vinegar or rice vinegar. It’s smooth with a nice flavor that’s a little bit sweet and milder than apple cider vinegar.

Rice vinegar has been popular in Asian countries for centuries. It’s almost a staple ingredient in dishes like sushi, stir fry, vegetables, and others. It has a similar taste to apple cider vinegar, but the overall effect is a different and pleasant experience.

If you’re using rice vinegar as a replacement for apple cider vinegar, you need to use it a little bit more. You can add to taste if you’re feeling confident. Otherwise, a one-and-a-half to one ratio should work reasonably well.

Rice vinegar makes a great substitute because it’s easy to find. You can indeed find it at an Asian market, but it’s also readily available at most grocery stores. Even local markets tend to carry it. You don’t have to go to a big chain market to get your hands on some.

The best recipes to use rice vinegar in are stir-fries and soups. You can obviously use it however you’d like, but the most effective use would be in those dishes.

5. Malt Vinegar

Malt Vinegar
Malt Vinegar

Malt vinegar is made up of malted grains of barley. It has a tart flavor, and in some countries, it’s used as a condiment.

Malt vinegar is entirely different from apple cider vinegar, but it works outstanding as a flavorful replacement. Part of what makes it so effective is that it’s not too hard to find, and it’s an exciting addition to any dish.

Malt vinegar has a strong taste, although it’s not technically as potent as apple cider vinegar. You can probably use a one-to-one ratio, but it really depends on how you feel about the vinegar’s flavor. You can always add a dash more if that sounds good to you.

You can use malt vinegar as a substitute for any recipe. It doesn’t matter if you’re cooking or tossing a salad, malt vinegar is a great addition that will make your recipe even more flavorful.

There are a couple of questions to consider when looking for an apple cider vinegar replacement.

Can You Substitute Apple Cider Vinegar for White Vinegar?

Yes, you can use white vinegar in place of apple cider vinegar. Though not as pungent as apple cider vinegar, it’s a potent replacement.

What Can You Substitute for Apple Cider Vinegar in BBQ Sauce?

You can use a couple of different things in BBQ sauce to replace apple cider vinegar, including red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar.

About Lisa Price
Lisa Price
Lisa is Food Champ's resident fitness enthusiast and nutrition expert. She holds a nutrition degree in her home state of Florida and works for a large health system to ensure sound nutrition and dietetics information is passed on to all members.
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