Don’t have it on hand, or want a non alcoholic substitute for cooking sherry? Here’s the best dry sherry substitute to use in recipes.

Sherry substitute

Making a recipe that calls for dry sherry and don’t have it? Sherry is a fortified wine made in Spain: it’s made by adding grape liquor to white wine. The flavor is sharp, with a scent of apple cider and a very dry finish. It’s got a very unique flavor, so it’s worth finding for a recipe that calls for it! Often, cooking sherry is used to deglaze a pan, which leaves behind a nuanced, complex flavor.

But don’t have time to shop for it, or don’t want to spring for a bottle? Or need a non-alcoholic substitute? We’ve got you.

Best sherry substitute

1. Dry white wine

The best sherry substitute? Dry white wine! Sherry is dry white wine that’s been fortified by adding alcohol, so it’s pretty close to a bottle of dry white already. The finish of a sip of sherry is sharper and dryer than a wine, which is a little sweeter. However, you might not be able to tell the difference when you use wine in place of a cooking sherry.

Use a dry white wine as a 1:1 replacement. Avoid using a sweet wine, because it will give the recipe an entirely new character.

2. Dry vermouth

Another decent sherry substitute? Dry white vermouth! Do not use a sweet vermouth (which are typically red) or a semi-sweet vermouth like Dolin or Lillet Blanc. These will come out entirely too sweet and change the character of the recipe. But a dry vermouth works: like what you’d use for a Classic Martini.

3. White wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar or sherry vinegar

Need a non-alcoholic dry sherry substitute? Try a cooking vinegar! Good options include white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or sherry vinegar. What’s the ratio? Use 1 tablespoon vinegar to substitute for ¼ cup dry sherry.

Here are some recipes where you could use this dry sherry substitute:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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1 Comment

  1. Thank you for this article. I found a recipe for beef and broccoli that I’d like to try but my husband has really bad acid reflux so I need a substitute for sherry that’s far less acidic. I’ll try some of these.