Usually served as an aperitif, sherry is also added to certain dishes. This post enlists some of its substitutes that can be used instead of sherry.
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Apple cider vinegar is one of the easily available substitutes for sherry. However, make sure you dilute it with an equal amount of water, before use. If the recipe calls for a cup of sherry, you may replace it with half a cup of apple cider vinegar diluted with an equal amount of water. Add a tablespoon of sugar, for an enhanced flavor. This substitute is meant for marinades, soups, stews, and sauces, and not for desserts. If the recipe calls for a small amount of sherry, you may use an equal amount of apple cider vinegar.
You can try alcoholic substitutes, like dry red or white wine instead of sherry. Other such substitutes include port wine, Marsala wine, or Madeira. You may use any of these wines instead of sherry. If you need a cup of sherry for preparing a recipe, replace it with an equal amount of any of these wines. An unflavored brandy may also work wonders in some recipes. In general, dry Vermouth is preferred as a sherry substitute, in a wide range of recipes. These substitutes are ideal for creamy soups, sauces, stews, and poultry.
This substitute is mainly used in sweet dishes. If the recipe calls for two tablespoons of sherry, use two teaspoons of vanilla extract instead. You may use alcoholic or non-alcoholic vanilla extract for this purpose. If you want to compensate for the liquid part, use some water, along with the vanilla extract. If you want to replace two tablespoons of sherry, use two teaspoons of vanilla extract mixed with four teaspoons of water.
In some recipes, you can replace sweet sherry with fruit juices. These substitutes are ideal for desserts, especially baked goods with fruits. Usually, an equal amount of orange, pineapple, apricot, or peach juice is used instead of sherry. If the juice is thick, dilute it with water, before use. It is always better to use fresh juice instead of store-bought ones.
Red wine vinegar or champagne wine vinegar can be used instead of sherry, in some recipes. You may dilute the vinegar or use it in small amounts. Another option is chicken broth mixed with a small amount of vinegar. If you want a cup of sherry, use two tablespoons of vinegar mixed in a cup of chicken broth.
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In short, you may use any of these substitutes instead of sherry. However, make sure that the substitute gels well with the flavor of the dish, and does not alter its taste. Keep in mind that most of the savory dishes require dry sherry and sweet sherry is mostly used in desserts. So choose the substitute accordingly.