Apple cider is a versatile ingredient that can be used in many ways. Apple cider is a healthy and nutritious beverage and is easily confused with apple cider vinegar.
The main difference is that the vinegar has been fermented into alcohol which converts it into acetic acid, unlike the cider that is more like apple juice.
If a recipe calls for apple cider and you don’t have any at home, there are many good substitutes for apple cider you can use instead, such as apple juice, rice vinegar, lemon juice, wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, etc.
Best Substitutes For Apple Cider
Here are the various apple cider substitutes that you should certainly check out:
1. Apple Juice
Apple juice is the closest substitute for apple cider as they both are made from fresh apples. The major difference present is the presence of some coarse particles of pulp in apple cider since its unfiltered.
Apple juice, however, is filtered and pasteurized. Depending on your recipe, apple juice makes a great replacement for apple cider.
But keep in mind that apple juice is sweeter than apple cider, so you may need to adjust the recipe, so it doesn’t become overly sweet.
Unsweetened apple juice works best if you don’t want an overly sweet final dish, and you won’t have to reduce the sugar. It delivers a result close to what you would achieve with apple cider.
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2. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is also a great substitute as it delivers an acidic taste closely similar to apple cider since it’s highly acidic and has a low ph.
Lemon juice provides a light, citrusy flavor to baked foods and desserts, making them extra delectable. It can be used in cooking or salad dressing; it is packed with vitamins that make your food tasty and healthier.
If making a savory or sweet dish, lemon juice can be used in place of apple cider. Fresh lemon juice or lime juice adds the perfect touch of flavor and taste similar to apple cider to a dish.
3. Rice Vinegar
Rice vinegar is also a great replacement for apple cider in many recipes, keep in mind that rice vinegar won’t deliver the same health benefits you would get from apple cider, but it gets the job done in terms of flavor. Rice vinegar adds a touch of acidity and makes your meal tasty.
Sprinkle a generous amount of rice vinegar on your salad as a dressing to bring out the ultimate flavors of the vegetables; you can add a teaspoon of lemon juice for a fruity taste.
Rice vinegar is a great substitutefor rice-based meals, stir-frying veggies, and tangy soups. Although slightly sweeter than apple cider, it produces terrific results.
4. White Vinegar
White vinegar is made with acetic acid and distilled water and lacks the fruity undertones you get from apple cider, but it has a discrete taste that pairs well with most dishes.
White vinegar is a clear liquid, and although it varies from apple cider in terms of color, it doesn’t make any significant difference in your meal’s final look.
It can be used for stews, marinades, pickles, sauces, and any meal you want to add a touch of acidity and a bit of sourness.
White vinegar can be easily sourced, and you can find them in most local stores. It is used for other purposes aside from cooking, so the chances are that you already have some in your pantry.
5. Red Wine Vinegar
Red wine vinegar is also a substitute for apple cider, but you will need to be mindful of the amount you use as it has a very full-bodied taste and can overpower a dish when used in large amounts.
When using red wine vinegar as a substitute for apple cider, start with a small amount, then add more if needed.
The deep red color of red wine vinegar may also influence the overall appearance of your meal; if you do not want the color of your dish altered, you can use white wine vinegar, which has a distinct citrusy flavor.
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6. Balsamic Vinegar
Balsamic vinegar originates from Italy, and it’s mostly used on salads, pasta, sauces, and marinades. This vinegar is made from grape, giving it some subtle fruity undertones, similar to apple cider.
Balsamic vinegar has a very dark color and is packed with complex flavors but is still a great apple cider replacement, especially for making savory recipes.
7. Orange Juice
Orange juice, although a little bit sweeter than apple cider, is still a great substitute in recipes where its citrusy flavor doesn’t contradict other flavors.
Orange juice has a tart and acidic flavor, great for sauces, marinades, and glazes. It is also packed with flavonoids that keep your heart healthy and supplies your body with antioxidants to fight free radicals that could compromise your immune system.
When using orange juice as a substitute for apple cider, you’ll need to reduce any extra sugar, so your dish does not become overly sweet.
8. Lime Juice
Lime juice is closely similar to lemon juice and is a great substitute for apple cider.
It is stronger than lemon juice but still delivers a fruity flavor, perfect for salad dressings, marinades, and recipes that need to be cooked.
9. Malt Vinegar
Finding malt vinegar might be quite difficult than finding apple cider vinegar, but if you already have some, it can be used as a substitute.
Malt vinegar is made from fermented barley and has a yeasty flavor instead of the fruity flavors you get with most kinds of vinegar.
Malt vinegar can be substituted for apple cider vinegar in a 1:1 ratio.
10. Sherry Vinegar
Sherry vinegar has a unique and bold flavor, quite different than apple cider vinegar but has a similar acidic flavor.
Before adding sherry vinegar to a dish, give it a taste to see if you like the flavor. If you do, then you can use a 2:1 substitution.
If you don’t like the flavor of sherry vinegar, but it is the only substitute option available, you can use it as a replacement for apple cider vinegar using a 1:1 substitution ratio.
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If you don’t have any of the substitute options mentioned above or want to try something different, you can use beer as a replacement for apple cider vinegar.
Depending on the recipe, beer actually makes a great substitution for apple cider.
To achieve an acidic profile, just like apple cider vinegar, you will need a mild-flavored beer and use a 3:1 ratio.
12. Champagne Vinegar
This is another hard-to-find substitute for apple cider vinegar, but if you already have some on hand, champagne vinegar is a great substitute. It has a mild flavor but is also acidic and can be added to soups, rice, stir-fries, and dressings.
Use a substitution ratio of 2:1 when adding this alternative, meaning you need 2 parts of champagne vinegar for each part of apple cider vinegar a recipe calls for.
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