11 Best Brandy Substitutes (For Cooking & Baking)

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Substitutes For Brandy



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What can you use in place of brandy for cooking and baking? In most homes, you’d always find a bottle of brandy because it’s truly an excellent alcoholic liquor. However, the same brandy can serve as a flavor-enhancing ingredient when preparing specific recipes.

But not everyone likes alcohol, and even if you like alcohol, what happens when you suddenly run out of it while cooking? Now, that is where brandy substitutes come into play.

Some of the most notable substitutes for brandy for cooking and baking are wines, gins, rum, tequila, sherry, bourbon, vodka, etc.

In this article, we look at the 11 most popular alternatives to brandy for cooking and baking.

Best Brandy Substitutes (For Cooking and Baking)

To substitute brandy in your recipe, you need a rum or non-alcoholic drink that has the scent you want.

Whether you need to replace brandy in your recipe because you don’t like alcohol or there’s no brandy at home, these options will do.

1. Wines

Brandy Substitutes

Yes, wines! When we mention wines, you may want to ask, “is brandy not a wine?” Well, brandy is a type of wine; however, brandies are distilled. More so, there are several non-alcoholic wines out there with good taste.

You can substitute brandy with wines like Port Wines, Cranberry juice wine, and even Red wines.

Furthermore, some homemade White Wines like Chicken broths, Vegetable broths, Ginger ales, and White grape juices can also serve as substitutes for brandy in your recipe.

The main factor here is the scent you want to introduce to your recipe. Some of these wines are non-alcoholic, and they are an excellent addition to various kinds of recipes.

2. Bourbon

How about Bourbons? Do you have one in your home? Okay, bourbons can come in as a perfect replacement for brandies in your recipes.

Typically, bourbons have a sweeter flavor than whiskies, and they contain at least 50% of corn.

They taste and scent good, with notes of vanilla, caramel, and oak. Yes, if you can get a bourbon, it’d serve the same purpose a brandy would serve in your recipe.

Some good bourbons include Evan Williams, Old Forester, Four Roses, Woodford Reserve, and 1792.

However, bourbons are also alcoholic drinks, but with milder, sweeter tastes. Bourbons are the favorite of many chefs for preparing meats, eggs, and dairy foods.

3. Fruit Juices

Okay, you don’t want to use alcohol, right? Fruit juices are good for making any kind of recipe; they also help in cooking and baking.

This alternative is for people who dislike alcohol; apparently, there’s no fruit juice with alcoholic composition.

You can find different types of fruit juices made from various fruity combinations. More interestingly, you can even prepare one at home and use it for your recipe. Fruit juices can be very sweet; thus, you have to add them to your recipe cautiously.

Some fruit juices include orange juice, apple juice, cherry juice, and many others. It’s best to make your fruit juices at home so that you can appropriate the ingredients.

4. Gins

Gins are also good to use as substitutes in the absence of brandy. While they are as alcoholic as brandies, Gins tend to have more herbal notes that may be suitable for all kinds of recipes.

Many chefs use gins for preparing meats, thanks to its unique flavor – almost the same with brandies.

Adding gins to pasta also makes the meal taste great. It is also great for baking desserts and mousses.

There are many uses of gins, and most gins are cheaper than brandies. The quantity of gin to add to your recipe depends on the meal you’re making. However, you can put the same exact quantity as you would have if you used brandy.

5. Tequila

As we continue with this list, Tequila is also an alternative alcoholic beverage to use in place of brandy in preparing your recipe. Tequila is a distilled beverage from fermenting the sugars from the blue agave plant.

Typically, Tequila has a clear but has several varieties. You can buy Tequila from online stores or offline stores. The recommended substitutes for brandies are cactus juice or nectar. Regardless, you can get/use anyone available.

6. Rum

Who doesn’t like rum? Everyone does, right? So, the chances are that you’ve got a bottle of rum at home?

Okay, rums are a fantastic alternative to brandies for cooking and baking. They can be used in any recipe that involves brandy.

However, rums are alcoholic; if you don’t need alcohol in your recipe, rums are not an option. The sweet flavors of rums will make your recipe taste great. You can further dilute the rum you’d be using to reduce its alcoholic percentage.

There are various types of rums out there from different brands. You can buy them from online stores or local stores.

7. Sherry

Sherry is different from wine, but most people see them as the same. Well, the actual truth here is that sherries are a type of wine made from white grapes, Palomino. Mainly, sherries are called “fortified wines,” and they are alcoholic.

In the absence of brandy, you can use sherry for your recipe. The savory scent of sherries is appealing and would make your recipe taste better.

Some good ones out there include Savory & James Amontillado, Osborne Sibarita Oloroso, and Sandeman Armada Superior Cream.

Sherry wines originated from Spain; however, they are available globally to easily get one. You can use sherries for all kinds of cooking and baking; they are just another type of “Wine.”

8. Peppermint Schnapps

Interestingly, Schnapps does not contain alcohol in high volume. Particularly, peppermint schnapps, typically clear and mint-flavored, are a perfect replacement for brandies for cooking and baking recipes.

Peppermint schnapps is a distilled spirit gotten from blending peppermint extract and neutral grain alcohol. It tastes like a liquid candy cane. The scent would definitely improve the flavor profile of your recipe.

As with the other liquors mentioned above, you can buy peppermint schnapps from various online and offline stores.

9. Vodka

Brandies improve the flavor profile of any recipe they are added to, so many chefs and individuals use them for cooking and baking.

However, you can use vodka to replace branding in your cooking/baking recipe as an alternative.

Vodkas are best to use if your recipe doesn’t need additional flavors. If the need for brandy in your recipe is to improve the flavor, it is advisable that you try fruit juices or sherries; they’d influence the taste of your meal.

10. Whiskey (Whisky)

Here’s another alcohol that can serve as a substitute for brandy for cooking and baking. Whiskies have a great taste and flavor – adding them to your meal improves the flavor and taste.

Well, when adding Whisky to your meal, add little quantity as whiskies have a high alcoholic percentage.

Interestingly, there are many good ones out there; whiskies are the favorite liquor for some people, so they always got one at home.

Some people call it Whisky – it’s still the same. Whisky is the Scottish name, while Whiskey is the Irish name. You can use this substitute to prepare various sorts of meals.

11. Extracts

Extracts can be alcoholic or non-alcoholic; it all depends on the source product. For example, brandy extracts may still contain alcohol, while fruity extracts are purely non-alcoholic.

Regardless, wine extracts can come in as substitutes for brandies in any recipe.

If you’ve got any extract in your kitchen, maybe vanilla extract, or anyone at all, feel free to add it to your meal. You could even make one at home to get the exact flavor and taste you want for your recipe.

Well, broths can also come in as a perfect alternative to using extracts. Hopefully, this helps.

Substitutes For Brandy in Cooking and Baking

Don’t make that fruitcake without adding 2 to 3 tablespoons of brandy. Arguably, there is no fruitcake without a splash of brandy or brandy extract. Yes, brandy is a vital ingredient in cooking and baking recipes.

But not everyone likes brandy’s scent and flavor, and thus, they look out for alternative liquors to use. Interestingly, there are many substitutes for brandies; you could use Whisky, rum, wines (red wines), fruit juices, sherries, and even bourbons.

Juices like apple juice, orange juice, grape juice, and all other ones you know are also good alternatives for not using brandy in your meal or baking.


You may want to ask, “why use brandy for cooking and baking?” Brandy adds sweetness and a unique taste to your meals and bakeries. It also brings out the aroma of the meal, making it more appealing and attractive.

Conclusively, this article has listed the top 11 brandy substitutes; they are all available in various stores, online and offline. However, it is essential to cautiously add these liquors to your meals to avoid excessiveness.

Do you know of any substitute for brandy not mentioned here? Kindly add them as comments under this post.

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