"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > General Cooking
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-01-2012, 08:33 AM   #1
Assistant Cook
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 1
Substitutions for alcohol

I teach high school foods. We are always looking for non-alcoholic substitutions. What do you suggest for cooking sherry?


gogosews is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 08:52 AM   #2
Executive Chef
Hoot's Avatar
Site Moderator
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: The edge of the Great Dismal Swamp
Posts: 3,307
Welcome to D.C.!
I would try apple juice or cider (non-alcoholic). White grape juice might be worth trying as well. It would depend on what you are using it in. Both will add some sweetness. I am sure others will be along shortly with more recommendations.

I used to be a racist, but I don't have much interest in it since Dale Earnhardt got killed.
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.
Good judgement comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgement.
Hoot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 08:54 AM   #3
Certified Pretend Chef
Andy M.'s Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 41,083
I don't think there are non-alcoholic subs for alcohol in cooking. The flavor booze brings is just part of the picture. In addition, alcohol serves to release certain flavor compounds that are only soluble in alcohol. Your best bet is to choose recipes that don't call for it.

If you need to replace the liquid the booze represents, use water, chicken broth etc. depending on the recipe.
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 09:02 AM   #4
Master Chef
Chief Longwind Of The North's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA,Michigan
Posts: 9,197
I would think you may be able to substitute with a wine vinegar, plus a little sugar to balance out the sourness of the vinegar.

Balsamic vinegar, the thick, gooey kind, might also work.

Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
“No amount of success outside the home can compensate for failure within the home…"

Check out my blog for the friendliest cooking instruction on the net. Go ahead. You know you want to.- http://gwnorthsfamilycookin.wordpress.com/
Chief Longwind Of The North is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 09:26 AM   #5
Master Chef
jennyema's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Boston
Posts: 9,199
Originally Posted by gogosews View Post
I teach high school foods. We are always looking for non-alcoholic substitutions. What do you suggest for cooking sherry?
It depends on what you are making. Often you can just leave it out.

And Andy's right about the fact that alcohol is used for more than just it's own flavor.
Less is not more. More is more and more is fabulous.
jennyema is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 11:43 AM   #6
Head Chef
GLC's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Near Austin, Texas
Posts: 1,216
Brown swamp water for cooking sherry. Sorry. It's just that cooking sherry is so nasty. Good sherry is the proper substitute. Don't cook with something you wouldn't drink.

But I think it depends on the recipe. If it's Boeuf Bourguignon, non-alcoholic wine or grape juice with some wine vinegar to cut the sweetness sort of works and the merest touch of liquid smoke to fill in for the oak barrel . If it's cognac or another liquor or liqueur, there are extracts of nearly all of them. If you can accept the tiny amount of alcohol in other extracts, these should not be a problem.

Otherwise, I think it's a matter of your recipe coming out tasting a bit different, but the alcoholic product in the original added depth and flavor, and you might add a somewhat different depth and flavor with balsamic vinegar, bitters, and other things.
"Kitchen duty is awarded only to those of manifest excellence..." - The Master, Dogen
GLC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 11:59 AM   #7
Master Chef
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Galena, IL
Posts: 7,973
I'm with just leave it out for the most part.

BUT, for deserts there are flavorings, vanilla extract type things, and syrups meant for coffees. This is for where a recipe calls for liqueur or brandy. Use more sparingly than the recipe calls for, they will be sweeter and have no alcohol to balance the sweetness.

For savories, use them sparingly or they'll make it too sour, there are balsamic, white wine, and sherry vinegars. Where you might use a quarter cup of white wine, for example, you'd just use a dash of white wine vinegar.
Claire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 12:53 PM   #8
Executive Chef
Whiskadoodle's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Twin Cities Mn
Posts: 2,923
I mostly don't cook with alcohol.

I used to have a web page bookmarked for substitutes. Can't put my finger on it today. So here's a different one. Maybe you can copy/paste condense it to the more common ones you find in recipes.

Alcohol Substitutions In Cooking, How To Substitute Alcohol

I would think look for a different recipe, such as if someone wants to learn CHicken Marsala, which would be a primary ingredient, I would steer them towards Orange Chicken or Pineapple chicken or something way different. The students should learn that cooking and menu making is flexible.

However, I don't think cooking with alcohol is the issue, more is it age appropriate in today's schools. So hiding / substituting / avoiding may not be the best answer. Kids don't like to be played down-to either. Here's a big bottle of grape juice vs here's wee dram of good irish whiskey. Teaching responsible use is better. But the school powers that be probably don't want you to use it in class at all. Which is why I would go for an entirely different recipe. Then there is no debate.
Whiskadoodle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2012, 01:14 PM   #9
Chef Extraordinaire
Addie's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: East Boston, MA
Posts: 18,767
They now make alcohol free wines.

Non-Alcoholic Wine | Wine Shop | Total Wine & More

Hope this would be acceptable to your needs.
Illegitimi non carborundum!
I don't want my last words to be, "I wish I had spent more time doing housework"
Addie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2012, 07:59 AM   #10
Executive Chef
CraigC's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 4,701
Makes you wonder whether folks from cultures that use alcohol quite a bit in their cooking actually change things up. I seriously doubt it. Reminds me how foolish the Dept. of Agriculture looks, putting specifications on curing requirements on things like proscuitto being imported. The Italians have been curing and eating it, their way, for hundreds of years. I think they know what they're doing. There is a taste and texture difference between the good stuff and the export stuff.

Emeralds are real Gems! C. caninus & C. Batesii.
CraigC is offline   Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:32 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.