Dry Cider Substitute – What To Use Instead of Cider In Cooking?

If your 21 birthday is coming soon, congratulations! You are finally allowed to sip some alcohol, including dry cider. Or perhaps you just want to have some cider for cooking. Either you are preparing a drink or a recipe, it can be frustrating when you don’t have enough dry cider to use.

In this case, you need a dry cider substitute to save your recipe while ensuring the dry cider signature flavor is still there. Let’s look at the dry cider substitute in this article to see which drink can help save the day while ensuring dry cider’s signature flavor!

What Is Dry Hard Cider?

What Is Dry Hard Cider

Cider is a drink made by fermenting method, which is the same as creating a soy sauce recipe. There are two main kinds of cider available: apple cider and hard cider. Both drinks are made of fermented apple juice, but the difference lies in the alcohol content.

While apple cider is simply apple juice in a purer form, hard cider is the combination of apple juice and yeast, in which yeast creates a chemical reaction to turn sugar into alcohol. Other than apples, you can easily find other fruits that can be used to make ciders, including strawberries, plums, peaches, etc.

So, what is a dry cider? Hard dry cider is one member of the hard cider group. Although dry hard cider has the least amount of sugar (less than 1% compared to ordinary sugar), it has the highest alcohol content since yeast will transform all-natural sugar remaining into alcohol.

According to the low sugar level and high alcohol level, dry hard apple cider is preserved in barrels for the natural minerals to improve the quality and expand the usage.

Contrary to how interesting dry hard ciders can be, it may not be easy to find where to buy dry cider. Now that you have learned some basic information about dry cider, let’s head to a substitute for hard cider!

Dry Cider Substitute

1. White wine

Every kitchen has white wine as it is an easy-to-get and versatile drink to support both drinking and cooking. White wine is a good substitute since it offers the same flavor and warmness as dry cider.

White wine does not include much sugar content like a dry cider, so if you are looking for a not-to-sweet alcohol drink to replace dry cider, white wine is the easiest option you can get!

In some recipes, you can alter using white wine instead of dry cider to make the food smell and look better. To white wine as a dry cider alternative, use the same amount you would use with dry cider or double for a more rich concentration.

2. Fruit juice

We all know that dry cider is made by fermenting fruit juice, which makes substituting dry cider with fruit juice only a compatible choice for non-alcoholic lovers! Let’s twist dry cider by using apple and lemon juice.


You can make your homemade apple juice or purchase canned apple juice in your local store. If your dry cider has apple flavor, then apple juice is the closest juice you can get to have the apple extract.

However, apple juice has no alcoholic ingredients, which can alter your recipe’s taste and texture. Before substituting dry cider with apple juice, you must ensure that apple juice’s non-acidic taste does not affect your dishes.

A cool tip for using apple juice is that if you want to cut off the alcohol content in your dish completely, you can add apple juice instead of dry cider. In this way, the apple flavor ensures to remain while the alcohol level is not raised.


Lemon is a natural sour fruit, which means that it has a certain amount of acidity. We can use this natural acidic ingredient and twist lemon or lemon juice into substituting dry cider.

If the acidic characteristic is what you want from dry cider, you can get a lovely replacement from lemon or lemon juice. In case you want to alter the sweet level, try using Meyer lemon or Meyer lemon substitute. This sweet type of lemon has both an acidic profile and a sweet sense overall.

However, lemon extract or juice may cause your dish to taste a little bit different than you expect. If that is not your consideration, you can feel free to use lemon to substitute dry cider, to increase the freshness.

3. Vinegar

We should not forget about vinegar – a must-have seasoning ingredient in our kitchen. With a neutral, acidic profile and similar texture to dry cider, you can use vinegar to substitute dry cider with ease. Let’s have a look at some special kinds of vinegar that resemble dry cider:

White wine vinegar

White wine vinegar is the vinegar version of white wine, making it a great substitution for dry cider. Vinegar will help lessen the sugar content while ensuring white wine does its job at replacing dry cider.

The flavor can be a bit harsh compared to cider, so that you can start with 1-2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar first or try a Verjus Blanc substitute. Bear in mind that you will have no fruity content when using vinegar, so it’s up to you to add some fruit extract due to your preference.

Red Wine Vinegar

If white wine vinegar is not available, then let’s add in some color using red wine vinegar. Again, you must be careful about the harsh flavor this vinegar offers, and also check if the bold red color may ruin your recipe or not. It’s best to start with a smaller amount than when you use dry cider, either in drinks or dishes.

Champagne Vinegar

Champagne vinegar is not the easiest option you can find; however, if you are lucky to have one bottle of champagne vinegar, it will be a life-changer once you use it to substitute dry cider.

With equal alcoholic content, you can use the same amount of champagne vinegar to replace dry cider. For the fruit flavor lacking, consider adding neutral fruit extracts like apples or strawberries to enhance the flavor.

Rice Wine Vinegar

Last but not least, an Asian option that can replace dry cider well is rice wine vinegar. This vinegar has a slight fruit tone coming from rice and an equal alcohol level to dry cider.

Without much thinking, you can alternate rice wine vinegar into dry cider recipes, especially salads. However, the nutrient profiles between the two drinks are quite different, so it’s important to double-check before executing the substitution.

Sherry Vinegar

Sherry Vinegar is a cool option you can use to add red color to your drink or dishes. The alcohol content of sherry vinegar is less than red wine vinegar, so if you want to add the fun red color without raising the alcohol level, then you can substitute dry cider with sherry vinegar.


Fruit juice

And those are the best dry cider substitutes we offer for you. Either you are looking for a cool wine to sip or implement in your apple cider substitute cooking recipes, these dry hard cider substitutes are helpful in many phases.

For each of your purposes, choose the right dry cider substitute, and we can be sure that you will get the result you anticipate. Thank you for reading this article, and we will see you in the next one!

1 thought on “Dry Cider Substitute – What To Use Instead of Cider In Cooking?”

Leave a Comment