What to use in place of alcohol in recipes.
sauteed mushrooms in a stainless steel pan with a wooden spoon
Garlic-Rosemary Mushrooms
| Credit: Ken Burris

Sometimes alcohol is called for in recipes to enhance the overall flavor of a dish. If you prefer to cook without alcohol, it can be omitted from a recipe or replaced with a nonalcoholic alternative. Keep in mind that the overall flavor of the dish will not be exactly the same, but the substitutions will give you an approximation of the flavor. Here are some general recommendations for nonalcoholic substitutes.

What Can I Substitute For…


Nonalcoholic beer, chicken broth, apple cider or beef broth


1 teaspoon vanilla extract in place of each tablespoon of bourbon


Apple juice concentrate, white grape juice or pear juice


Ginger ale, sparkling cider, cranberry juice or white grape juice


Apricot, pear or peach juice


Orange juice concentrate

Crème de cassis

Black currant Italian soda syrup or black currant jam


Hazelnut or almond extract

Grand Marnier or other orange-flavored liqueur

Unsweetened orange juice concentrate


White grape juice


Concord grape juice with a pinch of lime zest; cranberry juice with a dash of lemon juice; or Concord grape juice concentrate


1/2 teaspoon rum extract plus enough water to make 1 tablespoon in place of each tablespoon of rum


Unsweetened apple, orange or pineapple juice plus 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Vermouth, dry

White grape juice or white-wine vinegar

Vermouth, sweet

Apple juice, grape juice or balsamic vinegar

Wine, white

White grape juice, apple juice or chicken broth

Wine, red

Concord grape juice, cranberry juice or beef broth