Substitute for Apple Cider Vinegar: Our Top Picks!

SomethingSwanky is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.

Whether you’re in the middle of cooking a recipe that calls for apple cider vinegar and suddenly realize you’ve run out, or you simply can’t tolerate its unique tangy flavor, finding a suitable substitute for apple cider vinegar can be a culinary challenge. In this post, we’re going to explore some of the best substitutes that can deliver a similar flavor profile and offer a comparable level of acidity to apple cider vinegar, keeping your dish on track and your taste buds happy.

White Vinegar: A Basic but Reliable Substitute

White vinegar is a great substitute for apple cider vinegar. It has a similar level of acidity and a strong flavor that can stand in for the distinct taste of apple cider vinegar in most recipes. However, keep in mind that it has a more straightforward sour taste without the subtle sweetness of apple cider vinegar.

A bottle of white vinegar on a wooden table.

Red Wine Vinegar: A Fruity Alternative

If you are searching for a substitute for apple cider vinegar with a fruity flavor, red wine vinegar is a good option. It brings a robust, tangy flavor to the table, which makes it an excellent substitute, especially in salad dressings and marinades. Despite its bold flavor, it doesn’t overpower other ingredients, making it a valuable addition to your pantry.

A bottle of red wine vinegar next to a vine of red grapes.

Lime Juice: A Citrusy Stand-In

When it comes to a substitute for apple cider vinegar that offers a similar acidity level but with a refreshing twist, lime juice is a great replacement. Its citrus flavor and enough bite can replicate the tart taste of apple cider vinegar, making it an easy swap in many dishes. A tablespoon of lemon juice can be used in place of a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.

Fresh limes cut in half, sitting on a wooden cutting board.

Balsamic Vinegar: The Sweet Substitute

For those who prefer a substitute for apple cider vinegar with a touch of sweetness, balsamic vinegar is a great alternative. It offers a sweet flavor profile with a hint of fruity taste, similar to apple cider vinegar. Balsamic vinegar’s unique flavor makes it a great option in salad dressings or as a drizzle on roasted vegetables.

A bottle of balsamic vinegar next to a bowl of salad.

Rice Vinegar: The Asian Cuisine Specialist

Rice vinegar, also known as rice wine vinegar, is a good alternative for apple cider vinegar, especially in Asian dishes. It has a mild, slightly sweet flavor and less acidity than apple cider vinegar, making it a suitable substitute in recipes such as sushi rice or other Asian cuisine that call for a less aggressive vinegar.

Orange Juice: The Fruity Fresh Option

Orange juice can be a suitable substitute for apple cider vinegar in recipes that require a fruit juice-based acidity. It brings a fresh, fruity flavor to your dish, and when used in small amounts, can mimic the tart flavor of apple cider vinegar. However, it’s sweeter, so it’s best used in recipes where a hint of sweetness would be welcome.

A glass of fresh orange juice next to an orange.

Malt Vinegar: A Bold Substitute

If you’re looking for a substitute for apple cider vinegar with a bold flavor, malt vinegar is a good choice. This type of vinegar has a strong, distinct flavor, which can be an excellent replacement for apple cider vinegar in savory recipes. Just bear in mind that it’s a medium-sharp vinegar, so it might slightly alter the taste of your dish.

A bottle of malt vinegar on a kitchen countertop.

Sherry Vinegar: The Gourmet Choice

Sherry vinegar, made from Spanish sherry wine, is a less common but incredibly flavorful substitute for apple cider vinegar. It’s a great option if you’re looking for something with a similar level of acidity and a complex, slightly sweet flavor. It’s an excellent choice for enhancing the flavors in both simple and gourmet dishes.

Final Thoughts on the Best Apple Cider Vinegar Substitutes

While apple cider vinegar is a key ingredient in many recipes, it’s not irreplaceable. Whether you’ve run out of your last precious drop or you’re looking to switch things up a bit, there are plenty of substitutes. From white vinegar to sherry vinegar, and even orange juice or lime juice, you can find the right alternative that offers a similar taste and acidity level. Remember, the best apple cider vinegar replacement ultimately depends on your personal taste preference and the flavor profile of the dish you’re creating. Happy cooking!

« Previous Post

Coriander Substitute: Best Substitutes You Can Use for Cilantro

Next Post »

Alternative Balsamic Vinegar: Best Substitutes You Can Use

Leave a Comment