Apple Cider Substitute: Top 13 Alternatives You Might Know!

image of a Good Apple Cider Substitute For Cookings and Drinkings

When we mention the fall season, one of the things that might come to mind would be apple cider. Nothing beats this drink as the seasons change and the days get colder.

Not only can you drink apple cider juice on its own, but you can also use apple cider vinegar in cooking food, like dumplings and doughnuts. Whether you use it as a beverage or Vinegar, there are many uses for this versatile ingredient. Furthermore, it’s healthy and nutritious!

But what happens when you have no apple cider at home? What can you do? Not to worry, you can find excellent apple cider substitutes that still have your dishes taste amazing.

Don’t know what to use? Read on for our complete list!

What’s a Good Apple Cider Substitute For Cookings and Drinkings?

image of a Good Apple Cider Substitute For Cookings and Drinkings

You can use apple cider in so many ways, whether in baking recipes, savory recipes, making ribs, salad dressing, and many more!

Whether you’re looking for juice or Vinegar, we’ve got the best apple cider substitutes below!

1. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is an excellent apple cider substitute high in acid and with a low PH level. Plus, lemon juice gives you an acidic and fruity taste to your meal, giving it a similar flavor to apple cider.

Alternatively, you can use lime juice (or any other citrus juice) instead of lemon juice to substitute apple cider vinegar. It has all the acidic notes with a distinct flavor and is much sharper than lemon juice.

2. Apple Juice

One. of the closest ingredients to replace apple cider with is apple juice.

We recommend using unsweetened apple juice to replace apple cider, retaining a similar fruity flavor and acidic taste to your recipe.

Other than apple juice, you can always try orange juice to substitute for apple cider juice. Orange juice will add brightness to your dishes with more sweetness than apple juice.

If you plan to use orange juice, you can use an equal 1:1 ratio. However, remove pulp and add a bit of your chosen Vinegar to the orange juice for a sharper note, only if preferred.

3. Rice Vinegar

Rice vinegar can bring out the acidity you need if your recipe requires apple cider vinegar. While rice vinegar doesn’t contain the same health benefits apple cider does, it can flavor salad dressings.

You can make your dish more fruity by adding a teaspoon of lemon juice.

You can also opt for rice wine vinegar or malt vinegar. Rice wine vinegar also works with many recipes that require apple cider.

Some people prefer rice or rice wine vinegar as it tastes sweeter than others.

4. Red Wine Vinegar

Red wine vinegar has a stronger taste; it’s even described as harsh. If you plan to use red wine vinegar as a substitute for apple cider vinegar, use a small amount, only adding more if needed.

Also, note that red wine vinegar can change the color of most recipes.

Even with some of its caveats, you get the acidity and tart taste you need, making red wine vinegar a great substitute for apple cider.

5. White Wine Vinegar

White wine vinegar is another excellent option, but use only a little before adding more to reach your desired flavor.

Expect a sharp, acidic flavor without the fruitiness from apple cider, though we still consider white wine vinegar as a great substitute.

If you have no other kind of Vinegar, including white wine vinegar, you can always use distilled white Vinegar as a last resort. You most likely already have white Vinegar in your kitchen!

White Vinegar has a neutral flavor, is very acidic, and has a pronounced sharp bite. Because of the neutral flavor and high acidity, we recommend adding a bit of fruit juice or sugar to your white Vinegar for more balanced flavors to avoid a harsh taste.

6. White Wine

If you can’t find white wine vinegar, white wine is an ideal substitute as you get a similar sweet taste to apple cider. Just double the amount the recipe requires.

7. Sherry Vinegar

The main difference between apple cider and sherry vinegar is the flavor. However, sherry vinegar passes as a good substitute for apple cider because of the highly acidic flavor that goes well in various recipes.

While it isn’t one of the best substitutes for apple cider, it can work in a savory recipe, particularly in salad dressings or meat dishes.

8. Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic Vinegar is made from fermented grapes and isn’t usually used for cooking. You can find it mostly in salad dressings, sauces, and fruit compotes.

That’s why balsamic Vinegar is one of the best substitutes for apple cider vinegar when making sauces or uncooked recipes. You can further define the Vinegar’s sweetness by adding sugar.

9. Champagne Vinegar

Champagne vinegar is difficult to find but works as a great apple cider substitute. It has a milder taste but has proper acidity levels.

Fun fact: You can use champagne vinegar to rice wine vinegar in cooking rice, soups, or stir-fries.

Like white wine, double the amount the recipe needs.

10. Hard Cider

If you can’t find apple cider vinegar but have hard apple cider, it’s worth trying. It doesn’t have the same tartness as apple cider vinegar but has an equivalent high acetic acid level, making it an excellent substitute for apple cider.

11. Beer or Beer Vinegar

If you have no hard ciders in your supermarket, regular beer works, too. You can also opt for beer vinegar, which is made by fermenting malt beverages with water and hops added at the last stage of the fermentation process once all alcohol is cooked out.

12. Honey Cider

If you’re on a budget but still want a good flavor similar to apple juice, then you can create honey cider! Combine apple juice with honey (or maple syrup) and water, which will result in a liquid more similar to apple cider. The longer your mixture sits, the more acidic it will be.

This apple cider substitute is suitable for baking or cooking sweeter dishes.

13. Make Your Own

If you have no apple cider, you can always make some at home. It’s quick and easy to make but not too quick that you can use it to substitute apple cider right away.

If you have a few hours to spare before you need the substitute for apple cider, here’s the recipe!


  • 10 large apples
  • Half an orange
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon of allspice
  • 1 tablespoon of cloves
  • 1 pack of brown sugar
  • 1 whole. nutmeg


  1. Place a large pot over your stove on medium heat.
  2. Add your apples, orange, spices, and brown sugar.
  3. Allow the mixture to boil, then reduce the heat. Let the mixture simmer for 2 hours.
  4. Remove the orange, then mash the apples with a masher.
  5. Place the apples back in the large pot, allowing it to simmer uncovered for 1 hour.
  6. Squeeze out the juices, then discard all the solids.
  7. Allow it to cool, and you’ve got apple cider to use for your recipes!

You can even create apple cider vinegar from this recipe, though it takes way more time. All you need to do is leave your apple cider in an open container, allowing it to go through a natural fermentation process. This would take 2-4 weeks.

You need to expose your apple cider to as much air as possible. To protect your apple cider from insects and the like, cover it using a cheesecloth, which allows your cider to breathe without risk of contamination.

You will know if your apple cider vinegar is ready after tasting it. It should have a carbonated taste, with the bubbling and sweetness flattening shortly. It would also have an alcoholic taste and a dry texture.

After acids develop, it becomes sour, and your apple cider juice has become apple cider vinegar!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have more questions about apple cider juice and apple cider vinegar? We answer some of the questions you’re probably wondering about below:

1. What’s the difference between apple cider juice and apple cider vinegar?

Many people associate apple cider with Vinegar, but did you know that, if processed differently, you can also enjoy it as a drink?

Apple cider is a delicious beverage, and it’s even considered a cure for various things. Both apple ciders are nutritious and are the same, being made from apples with similar characteristics.

That said, they have a few notable differences.

Apple cider is made of whole, crushed apples that are freshly pressed, then filtered and pasteurized to consume safely. We also call this sweet cider or non-alcoholic cider.

As for the Vinegar, it’s fermented and made from acetic acid and water. Apple cider vinegar is made from fermenting apples to natural sugar alcohol. Afterward, bacteria are added to prevent alcohol from converting into acetic acid.

2. What is the best apple cider vinegar substitute for baking?

We recommend using lemon juice or lime juice. Alternatively, you can use white wine or apple juice.

While you don’t get similar nutritional value or health benefits from apple cider, it gives you the flavor you want. Moreover, lemon, lime, and apple have different benefits you can reap!

3. What are the health benefits of apple cider vinegar?

People also use apple cider vinegar as a health tonic to treat ailments like colds, flu, or minor infections.

Fun fact: This Vinegar can help raise the body’s metabolism and the fat it burns as you exercise.

Furthermore, apple cider vinegar is considered an effective home remedy for respiratory issues, allergies, constipation, skin diseases, and heart problems!

While it may be tempting to drink apple cider vinegar for your health, do not consume more than a tablespoon or two mixed with honey or water. Ingesting apple cider vinegar can result in burns and complications as it contains acid that may cause a burning sensation in the gastrointestinal tract.

Wrapping It Up

We hope that you found the best substitute from our list above! Whether you want to use Vinegar, fruit juice, or alcohol, there are many ways you can spruce up your dish.

So, what are you waiting for? Start cooking and let us know how your dish tastes after using the best substitute for apple cider!

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