Apple cider is a non-alcoholic drink made from apples. This unfiltered and unsweetened beverage is extracted from whole apples, including apple trimmings, apple core, and oddly sized and misshaped apples.
Apple cider has a tangier flavor than commercial apple juice and is sometimes pasteurized or exposed to UV light to extend its shelf life. It is used in many recipes, including stews, roasted turkey, chicken and dumplings, donuts, jelly shots, ad biscuits. If your recipe calls for apple cider and you don’t have any at home, you’re probably wondering what can you use instead.
So, what’s the best substitute for apple cider vinegar? Lemon juice is the best apple cider substitute. Lemon juice has a high acid content like apple cider and its citrusy flavor adds a similar aroma to recipes. Other suitable apple cider substitutes include rice wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, sherry vinegar, white wine vinegar, and orange juice.
This article will list the best apple cider substitutes. We’ll also tell you what apple cider is and whether apple cider vinegar and apple cider are the same things.
What Is Apple Cider?
In the United States and Canada, the term apple cider is used for an unsweetened non-alcoholic drink made from apples. Apple cider is usually called just “cider” in the US and shouldn’t be confused with an alcoholic drink known as cider in other countries.
Fresh apple cider is made from whole apples and has a cloudy appearance and tangy flavor. Traditional, raw apple cider is still common, but companies started to boil and add preservatives to apple cider to make it shelf stable without refrigeration.
Apple cider is seasonally produced in autumn, can be used in sauces, stews, and baked goods, and is also heated and mulled.
Is Apple Cider Vinegar the same as Apple Cider?
No, apple cider vinegar isn’t the same as apple cider.
Apple cider vinegar is made from fermented apple juice by adding bacteria and yeast to the juice to start the alcoholic fermentation process. Later, the alcohol is converted into vinegar thanks to acetic acid-forming bacteria.
Apple cider, also known as soft cider, sweet cider, or cider is a non-alcoholic drink made from crushed whole apples. It’s minimally filtered and sometimes pasteurized to extend its shelf life.
6 Best Substitutes for Apple Cider
Several ingredients have a similar flavor and consistency as apple cider and can be used to substitute apple cider in recipes.
1. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is the best apple cider substitute. It naturally has a high acid content like apple cider and its citrusy flavor adds a similar aroma and freshness to recipes.
Use fresh lemons to squeeze juice at home or buy already squeezed juice at a supermarket or fruit store. Lemons are readily available throughout the year and lemon juice is a great replacement for apple cider in sauces and dressings.
2. Rice Wine Vinegar
Rice wine vinegar or rice vinegar is a suitable apple cider substitute. It’s made from fermented rice and has a sweet, acidic taste similar to apple cider vinegar.
Use rice wine vinegar as a substitute for apple cider when making salad dressings, soups, rice dishes, and stir-fries. Substitute rice wine vinegar for apple cider at a 1:1 ratio.
3. Sherry Vinegar
Sherry vinegar, known as Vinagre de Jerez in the USA, is a gourmet wine vinegar made from Sherry. It’s manufactured in the Spanish province of Cadiz and must age in American oak for at least six months.
Sherry vinegar tastes different than apple cider and has a complex, nutty flavor and delicately sweet aroma. Use sherry vinegar as a replacement for apple cider when making sauces, soups, and stews.
4. White Wine Vinegar
White wine vinegar is a fermented and oxidated white wine with a light and fruity aroma. It has a similar flavor as apple cider and won’t color your food, which makes it a great choice for recipes.
Substitute white wine vinegar for apple cider at a 1:1 ratio when making recipes with poultry, dairy, seafood, and fish.
5. Apple Juice
Apple juice is one of the closest substitutes for apple cider. It’s also made from apples and has a pleasant, sweet, and refreshing flavor, and clear appearance.
Apple juice isn’t as acidic as apple cider, but it can be used as a replacement for apple cider to flavor meat and make sauces and dressings. If you decide to use apple juice as a substitute, choose an unsweetened juice to better mimic the flavor of apple cider in recipes.
6. Balsamic Vinegar
Balsamic vinegar is made from fresh grape juice, including skins, stems, and seeds. It’s dark in color, concentrated, and has a sweet, nutty, and fruity flavor.
Use balsamic vinegar instead of apple cider when making stir-fries, meat dishes, salad dressings, and dips. Substitute ½ a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar for every tablespoon of apple cider in the original recipe.
Can I Substitute Apple Juice for Apple Cider in a Recipe?
Yes, you can substitute apple juice for apple cider in recipes. Apple juice and apple cider are made from apples and have a similar fruity flavor.
Make sure to use unsweetened apple juice to achieve the original flavor of the recipe.
Can I Use Vinegar Instead of Apple Cider?
Yes. White vinegar is one of the most readily available substitutes for apple cider. White vinegar has a sharp flavor and lacks the fruity aroma of apple cider, but it still works as a substitute in stews, marinades, and sauces.
Apple cider is a popular drink throughout the holiday season and is also used in many recipes. This non-alcoholic beverage is made from whole apples and has a fresh, crisp, and sweet flavor.
If a recipe calls for apple cider and you don’t have any at home, there are many other ingredients you can use instead. Lemon juice is the best substitute for apple cider, but you can also use rice wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, sherry vinegar, apple juice, orange juice, red wine vinegar, white vinegar, or champagne vinegar.