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What Can You Substitute For Apple Cider Vinegar?

If you’re wondering what to substitute for apple cider vinegar, you have a few options. Instead of using plain old vinegar, you can try lime juice, lemon juice, sherry vinegar, or white wine vinegar. If you’d prefer a different taste, you can use more apple juice. Consider these substitutes if you’re concerned about what apple cider vinegar tastes like. These will work just as well in many applications.

Apple Cider Vinegar Nutritional Facts

What is Apple Cider Vinegar?

Acidic, tangy, or tartare best describe apple cider vinegar’s flavor. It has a dry, woody aftertaste despite being slightly sweet. The flavor has been compared to apple juice from concentrate but without the sweetness. The flavor of apple cider vinegar varies depending on the apples used in its preparation, and it can range from sweet to sour or even spicy in some cases.

For centuries, apple cider has been used as a medicinal remedy, and it contains compounds and nutrients that may be beneficial to the body.

Substitutes for Apple Cider Vinegar

1. White Wine Vinegar

If you aren’t a fan of apple cider vinegar, you can substitute white wine vinegar with sherry or red wine vinegar. While sherry vinegar has a more robust flavor than white wine vinegar, you can use it in recipes that call for white vinegar. This vinegar is lightly sweet and medium-bodied and will not overpower other flavors in the recipe. Since sherry vinegar is dark in color, you’ll have to use more vinegar in your recipe than you would with white wine vinegar. However, you can still use it in various ways, including dressings.

If you’d prefer to avoid the strong taste of white wine vinegar, you can substitute it with apple cider vinegar. This vinegar is milder in flavor but has similar acidity properties, and it works well for marinades and pickles but shouldn’t be used in delicate sauces. Apple cider vinegar is also better for reducing belly fat than white wine vinegar and is often used in a 1:1 ratio.

2. Lime Juice

You can substitute apple cider vinegar in many recipes, including those for salads. However, lime juice isn’t as common as lemon juice. If you’re looking for a lemon-like flavor without all the extra sugar, you can substitute lemon juice. While lemon juice has a similar acidity, lime juice is more tart and has a more pronounced flavor. Alternatively, you can use vinegar, though this substitute tends to be harsh.

While apple cider vinegar is easily found in supermarkets, you can also use lime juice as a substitute. Lemons are similar to apples in acidity, and their juice can enhance the flavors of many dishes. Since it’s acidic, it’s great for salad dressings. But you’ll have to buy it from a store or a specialty store if you want a more distinct lime flavor.

3. Lemon Juice

If you’re looking for a substitute for apple cider vinegar but don’t have any at home, you can use lime juice. Lemon juice is quite similar to apple cider vinegar, and both are acidic and fruity. You can substitute one tablespoon of lemon juice for one of two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Lemon juice is the most common substitute for apple cider vinegar, and you can purchase it at any store.

There are several reasons to use apple cider vinegar, including its benefits for your health. It’s a naturally occurring product, a byproduct of the fermentation of apples. Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, a preservative, and a flavoring agent. However, lemon juice is slightly more acidic than apple cider vinegar, which contains citric acid, a weaker acid found naturally in citrus fruits. When used in cooking, acids help break down protein and make food easier to digest. They’re also known for their disinfecting effects.

4. Sherry Vinegar

Sherry vinegar is an excellent alternative to apple cider vinegar in recipes. While it is slightly sweeter and not as sharp as apple cider vinegar, it is still quite acidic. While it is suitable for savory dishes, its flavor is different from apple cider vinegar. You can use it the same way as apple cider vinegar, substituting 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar for 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar contains less than one-fifth the acidity of sherry wine, and its flavor is similar to rice wine vinegar. Both of them are also relatively inexpensive and readily available in most kitchens. To reduce their acidity, apple cider vinegar can be reduced by adding a small amount of brown sugar. Apple cider vinegar is excellent for soups, meat, salads, and pasta and is not as strong as sherry vinegar.

5. Orange Juice

If you cannot find fresh orange juice, you can substitute it with orange extract. Orange extract is a highly concentrated form of orange juice, and it is usually processed and then frozen to increase its shelf life. Although it tastes similar to orange juice, it lacks the nutrients and health benefits of the fruit. You can use it sparingly, and for the best results, use it in small amounts. Here are some substitutes:

Instead of orange juice, you can use tangerine juice, lemon juice, or lime juice. Citric acid, lemon juice, or grapefruit juice will provide the same acidity. Orange extract, lemon juice, or lime juice are also suitable substitutions. If you cannot find orange juice, you can also use tangerine juice. But tangerine juice has a higher acidity. You can also try adding extract or concentrate from fresh orange. But make sure to add it in small amounts and taste it after each addition.

6. Balsamic Vinegar

If you mix a little honey or maple syrup into apple cider vinegar, you’ll get a balsamic vinegar-like result. You can replace apple cider vinegar with the mixture 1:1, but keep in mind that balsamic vinegar is significantly sweeter, so adjust the amount to taste. Because it’s much darker and opaque, it’ll change the color of a dish.

7. Malt Vinegar

Malted barley vinegar is made from fermented malted barley. This is the same method used to make beer, and it imparts a distinct yeasty flavor to malt vinegar. Malt vinegar is a mild, sweet vinegar that can be used in place of apple cider vinegar. On the other hand, the yeasty flavor may alter the flavor of your dish. Because barley contains gluten, malt vinegar is not the best choice for gluten-free people.

How to Make Apple Cider Vinegar at Home?

Apple scraps can make homemade apple cider vinegar, which is exceptionally healthy.


  • 6–8 apples cored and peeled
  • organic 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Water to cover


  • Butter muslin
  • 4 cup mason jar


  • Place the cores and peels in a large jar after using the apples to make an apple treat. I use a 4-cup mason jar, but the size of the jar can be adjusted depending on the number of apple scraps you’re using.
  • Fill the scraps halfway with water and add the sugar.
  • Cover the jar with a paper towel or a piece of butter muslin and secure it with a band. (You could also use a coffee filter.)
  • Allow the mixture to soak at room temperature for two weeks (I use the back of a cabinet shelf), then strain the liquid. Throw away the solids, which can be composted now.
  • Return the liquid to the jar, cover with a paper towel or butter muslin, and secure with a band. Continue to stir it every day for another four weeks.
  • Taste the vinegar to see if it has the desired acidity. If it does, store it in a tightly covered bottle. If not, keep it in the large jar for a few more days, checking every few days. (If the flavor doesn’t come outright, you can use it as a household cleaner.)

Apple Cider Vinegar Recipies

1. Salad with Apples and Sunchokes, Smoked Trout, and Cider Vinaigrette

The knobby, thin-skinned tubers known as Jerusalem artichokes (they’re not artichokes and have nothing to do with Jerusalem) have a seductively nutty, sweet flavor. In this elegant salad with two apple varieties—one sweet and one tart—and salty smoked trout, North Carolina chef Scott Crawford (of Standard Foods in Raleigh, NC) makes these root vegetables shine.

2. Braised Collard Greens and Pinto Beans with Bacon and Pepper

We skip the meat and focus on the sides, which are simple with garlicky braised greens and bacon-topped pinto beans. Serve with cornbread from a skillet: While the oven preheats, heat a cast-iron skillet on the stovetop and swirl in a couple of teaspoons of oil before adding the batter. If collards are unavailable, use stemmed curly kale or turnip greens instead, checking for doneness after 20 minutes. Substitute vegetable stock for chicken stock and 1 tablespoon canola oil for the bacon drippings for a vegetarian meal.

3. Salad with baby kale, butternut squash, and chicken

When putting together a quick lunch before school or work, precut vegetables, rotisserie chicken, and chopped pecans save time. A homemade dressing made with molasses, olive oil, cider vinegar, and Dijon mustard cuts down on sugar and calories. Butternut squash is high in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, making it one of the healthiest and most nutritious vegetables.

4. Swedish Meatballs on a Sheet Pan

During the week, a large batch of meatballs goes from comfort food to global twists. Pork adds richness, but you can use all beef if you prefer. If you aren’t using the remaining meatballs right away, freeze them in a zip-top bag for up to 2 months; thaw overnight in the refrigerator or in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes. For a quick dinner, serve with mashed potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts. Make a Greek-style sandwich with leftovers by layering them on Banh Mi Bowls.

5. Salad of sliced apples and fennel with crunchy spelled

Apples and fennel go together beautifully because their flavors are so complimentary. We love how the paper-thin slices entwine before being interrupted by bright parsley hits. Although canola oil may seem unusual, we wanted to keep the flavors simple and straightforward; you can always use olive oil if you want the vinaigrette to take center stage.

Why Would you Use an Alternative?

Although apple cider vinegar allergies are uncommon, some people may be sensitive. Because vinegar is a byproduct of fermentation, it contains some of the byproducts of that fermentation (such as salicylates or sulfites), so those with sensitivities to these elements may want to use an alternative.

The vinegar flavor is often described as sour or tart, and apple cider vinegar has a distinct flavor. While it is one of the more pleasant vinegar varieties, it is not for everyone. One of the most compelling reasons to look for an alternative to apple cider vinegar is to enjoy it more.

If you use apple cider vinegar frequently, a bottle can quickly deplete. Another reason to use a substitute is if you run out of apple cider vinegar or don’t have any on hand. While apple cider vinegar is generally inexpensive and easy to find, other vinegar maybe even cheaper and easier to locate.

Which is More Powerful, Apple Cider Vinegar or White Vinegar?

White vinegar is the most potent vinegar, containing 5-10% acetic acid. Apple cider vinegar is not as strong as its counterpart because it only contains 4-6 percent acetic acid.

What is the Purpose of Apple Cider Vinegar in Baking?

Apple cider vinegar is sometimes used in baking, especially for vegan recipes, which may surprise you. It adds tangy flavor, aerated texture, and aids baking soda activation.


Try one of these seven alternatives if you don’t have apple cider vinegar on hand. They’re all similar in acidity and flavor to apple cider vinegar and can be used in a pinch.

It can be challenging to find the perfect ingredient substitution when following a recipe without fear of compromising the final result. Other types of vinegar that replace the sour, tart taste of apple cider vinegar are the best substitutes. They can be used in equal amounts as apple cider vinegar because they have the same consistency.

People who are allergic to vinegar or fermentation byproducts should avoid using it altogether. In that case, lemon juice is the most likely substitute, as it has a similar fruity flavor and acidity. Other reasons to use apple cider vinegar instead include its flavor and availability.