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Substitute for Dry Sherry in Cooking

Dry Sherry is a type of wine that contains a small amount of residual sugar. It is produced by the complete fermentation of grapefruit. Sherry is a white wine from Andalusia, Southern Spain. This is because its production is restricted to specific regions due to the area’s soil, humidity, etc. These factors are what influence the. Unique taste, texture, and flavor of dry Sherry.

Sherry is primarily made from palomino grapes and fortified with grape brandy. Usually, it is used to add flavor to recipes. This is due to its sweet aroma and nutty flavor. There are various types of dry Sherry; Fino, Manzanilla, Amontillado Oloroso, etc. However, Sherry for cooking contains extra preservatives and higher sodium content. This makes it unsuitable for drinking. When using Sherry in food it is advised to skip the use of salt. It can be used in soups, sauces, and slow-cooked beef recipes.

Due to a variety of reasons, we may require a substitute for dry Sherry in cooking. It could be due to the exhaustion of the available dry Sherry in our kitchen. It could be the preference of using non-alcoholic ingredients in dishes. This article has put these, and other factors into consideration. It will be highlighting five substitutes for dry Sherry in cooking.

Use of dry Sherry in recipes

Dry Sherry is used in a variety of recipes. Some of them include;

  1. Sherry mushrooms
  2. Turkey gravy
  3. Chicken and broccoli stir fry
  4. Creamy Sherry chicken
  5. Sherry truffle

Substitute for dry Sherry in cooking

The following are five excellent substitutes for dry Sherry in cooking to suit your needs.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar


Apple cider vinegar is a very popular ingredient is available in almost every kitchen. It is no new fact that it is required for a number of uses both in and out of the kitchen. This strong liquid used in cooking (amongst other uses) is produced from fermented apple juice. It is made by crushing apples and squeezing out the juice, thus it has a color and consistency similar to Apple juice. The difference is that apple cider vinegar is more acidic.

When used in cooking, it is diluted first. This is done to avoid it overpowering the taste of the dish. Apple cider vinegar has a strong acidic odor, hence the need to be diluted before use. When substituting apple cider vinegar for Sherry, use half part vinegar and half part water, and one tablespoon of sugar. One tablespoon of this mixture is equal to ¼ cup of Sherry.

Vanilla extract



This substitute is specifically used in sweet dishes. Most times when we hear vanilla extract, we think of baked goods and pastries in general. However, they are also used in cooking. Vanilla extract is a solution produced by soaking and percolating vanilla pods in an ethanol and water mixture. It has a dark brown color and a thick consistency. The extract also had a strong aroma.

An equal amount of vanilla extract should be used as a substitute for Sherry in cooking. Mix 2 teaspoons of water with two tablespoons of vanilla extract to substitute.

Fruit Juice

Fruit Juice


Here you can choose any fruit juice of your choice such as; orange, pineapple, apricot, or peach juice. Fruit Juice is made by extracting the natural liquid contained in fruits. They could be light or thick. This depends on the properties of the fruit. They also have a high nutrient content. This, therefore, makes them a nutritious substitute for dry Sherry.

If the juice is thick, you can dilute it with water to achieve the desired consistency. It is recommended to make use of freshly extracted juice rather than buying juices from the store. This is because you tend to get a stronger and healthier flavor from freshly squeezed juice.

Red/ Champagne wine vinegar



The base wine in champagne vinegar is combined with bacteria and allowed to age and ferment into acetic acid. Red wine vinegar on the other hand is made by fermenting red wine. This is bottled afterward. It is often aged before bottling to reduce its intensity.

Both substitutes have a smooth elegant flavor. When substituting, you may choose to dilute it or use it in small amounts. Just like apple cider vinegar, wine vinegar has a high acid content, thus diluting it for minimal usage is necessary. This is to ensure that the wine blends well into the flavor of the dish. Use it in the same way you would use Sherry in cooking.

Port wine



This is a Portuguese fortified wine. It is also known as “Vinho do Porto”. This wine is richer, sweeter, heavier, and higher in alcohol. This is due to the distilled grapes added to it for fortification and to halt the fermentation before all the sugar is turned into alcohol. By implication, this substitute is suitable for sweet and creamy dishes.

The properties of this substitute make it ideal for creamy soups, sauces, stews, and poultry generally. An equal amount of port wine can be substituted for Sherry.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use red wine vinegar instead of dry sherry?

Yes. However red wine vinegar has a high acid content and therefore will need to be diluted before being used in cooking.

What is similar to dry Sherry?

Any dry fortified wine will serve the purpose. They have similar characteristics and as such can be used to substitute dry Sherry. Some of them include; white vermouth, maderis, Pinot Blanc, etc.

What does dry Sherry do in cooking?

It adds a sweeter taste and flavor to a dish.


Dry Sherry is a popular wine used in cooking. However, due to certain preferences or reasons, we tend to seek a substitute. This article has put together five substitutes for dry Sherry in cooking. This was done by putting into consideration the most common needs of consumers generally. I do hope you found this helpful.