9 Substitutes For Sherry Vinegar + How To Make Your Own

Wine vinegar is very often used in cooking around the world, but one of its sub-types – sherry vinegar – is considered to be a gourmet dressing and is known both for its taste and its method of production.

Sherry vinegar substitutes are:

  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Wine vinegar (red and white)
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Champagne vinegar
  • Sherry

We are going to show you how and with what you can substitute your sherry vinegar if you don’t have any at home. Sherry vinegar is a type of vinegar that, like balsamic vinegar, has a special method of production.

What Is Sherry Vinegar?

Sherry vinegar is a subtype of wine vinegar that is produced from sherry. For those of you who don’t know, sherry is a type of fortified wine produced from special white grapes that grow in the south of Spain. This is why sherry vinegar is also a Spanish product, as it is produced in the province of Cádiz, in the so-called “sherry triangle,” an area in between three Spanish cities in the aforementioned province. It is also called vinagre de Jerez.

Sherry vinegar has three varieties, based on the types of grapes used; they are Palomino, al Pedro Ximénez and Moscatel. It can also be divided into three specific age groups, based on the time it aged in the wood. They are vinagre de Jerez (min. 6 months in wood), vinagre de Jerez Reserva (min. 2 years in wood), and vinagre de Jerez Gran Reserva (min. 10 years in wood).

Now that we’ve defined what sherry vinegar is, let us see how you can substitute it.

Substitutes For Sherry Vinegar:

You might not have sherry vinegar, and it may rarely be on the top of your shopping list. Luckily, like most other types of vinegar, sherry vinegar can be substituted with other types of vinegar that have similar taste and acidity.

These substitutes should give you the impression that you’re actually consuming sherry vinegar, or at least have the same flavor effects on your meals.

Although they are not the same as the original, they’ll probably do a good enough job when you don’t have any actual sherry vinegar nearby. Now, let us see some good substitutes for sherry vinegar:

Rice (Wine) Vinegar

Wherever you go, you’ll find that most experts agree that rice vinegar is actually the best possible substitute for sherry vinegar. Rice vinegar is generally mild, it has a sweet taste and is less acidic than most other types of vinegar. Since sherry vinegar shares a lot of these characteristics, it is very clear why the Asian vinegar is a good substitute. Plus, rice vinegar is often a lot cheaper than actual sherry vinegar.

Apple Cider Vinegar

This type of vinegar is a solid second option if you don’t like rice vinegar. It is also very mild, not overly acidic and has a sweet taste – all of which fit the criteria for a sherry vinegar substitute.

Apple cider vinegar is still more acidic than regular sherry vinegar, so be prepared to balance that out with something like sugar. This type of vinegar is also readily available and can be picked up from any local store and used in cooking. A

pple cider vinegar will work with most dishes (but not all of them) so be attentive and carefully examine your recipe before deciding on which type of vinegar you’ll use.

Wine Vinegar

Both red and white wine vinegar work well as a substitute for sherry vinegar.

White wine vinegar is – on a general level – a better choice because of its milder taste and lower acidity, but red wine vinegar also works well.

With red wine vinegar, you might have to neutralize its somewhat stronger texture during the procedure or start with less and then add more of it if needed during the preparation phase.

The general ratio is one tablespoon of sherry vinegar that equals one tablespoon of white wine vinegar or a bit less of red wine vinegar.

Balsamic Vinegar

The famous Italian aceto balsamico is also a solid substitute due to its sweet taste and relatively mild acidity. It works well with a lot of meals where sherry vinegar is used, but you’ll have to check each of them beforehand.

Balsamic vinegar has a characteristic flavor that might not go with some meals, since the flavor is somewhat different than that of sherry vinegar. But, if you’ve checked that the substitution is applicable, you’re good to go and you can use balsamic vinegar in your meal.

Champagne Vinegar

This mild type of vinegar is also a good choice for you. Champagne vinegar’s flavor is not overly strong, it’s mildly acidic and has a sweeter taste, which make it a good substitute for the similar sherry vinegar. You might have to tweak some things along the way depending on the dish, but overall, it is a pretty similar replacement.


Yes, even sherry itself can be used as a replacement for sherry vinegar, which – now that you look at it – seems logical, doesn’t it? Well, although sherry is alcohol and sherry vinegar is… well… vinegar, they can be used interchangeably in some meals.

They have a lot in common, with the main difference being the acidity – sherry wine is not that acidic, but it will still work well with some meals, depending on what you want to prepare. When cooking, you are able to cook the alcohol out and thus achieve a similar flavor to sherry vinegar.

You may also try some other wines in this aspect, as they work on a similar basis like sherry.

All of the above-mentioned substitutes are either vinegars or are based on alcohol. But sherry vinegar can also be substituted by some non-alcoholic ingredients which we will discuss below.

Non-Vinegar / Alcoholic Substitutes For Sherry Vinegar

Some of the items on the list might seem odd to you, but we’ll explain why they can be used as a substitute and how they are similar to sherry vinegar. So, let’s see what we have:

Lemon And Lime Juice

Having a combination of sweetness and acidity, lemon and lime juices are usually good substitution for vinegars, especially those like sherry vinegar, which are generally milder and sweeter than others.

Lemon and lime can be used interchangeably almost always so you won’t need to worry about that. You’ll only have to check whether the lemon’s characteristic flavor or the lime’s flavor will work well with your meal that requires sherry vinegar.

Other Fruit Juices

Like lime, some other fruit juices can also be used as substitutes for sherry vinegar. The most important thing is that they have the necessary sweetness, although you’ll probably have to do something about the acidity.

A solid option for you is apricot juice, but also other citrus-based juices which are somewhat similar to lemon and lime juices, as explained above.

Vanilla (Extract)

This might look like the oddest item on the list, but yes – vanilla (extract) can also be a good replacement for sherry vinegar in some cases. It has to be a liquid extract and the usual ratio here is 1:1. You can use both alcoholic and non-alcoholic vanilla extract.

The extract is usually very mild and it has the necessary sweetness, but you’ll have to do something about the acidity. Also, if there’s not enough liquid there for you to use, you can easily add some water.

Is Sherry Vinegar The Same As Cooking Sherry (Wine)?

Sherry vinegar and a sherry cooking wine are two completely different things. Sherry cooking wine is a real wine that contains alcohol and salt, while in sherry vinegar, alcohol is converted to vinegar. It usually doesn’t contain salt.

How To Make Sherry Vinegar At Home

It is very easy to make Sherry vinegar at home. Ok, it won’t be the same as the real one, but it will be pretty close.

All you need to have for making sherry vinegar at home are sherry, water, and vinegar starter.

First spread out the vinegar starter all over the bowl in which you will be making it, then, you need to add water to dilute the strong taste of sherry wine. It is best to combine two glasses of sherry wine with four glasses of water.

Now fasten the cover over the bowl and let it stand for a minimum of three weeks.

And that’s it, you have your homemade sherry vinegar to use as you like.

In Conclusion:

This is it, folks. We have given you a thorough analysis of sherry vinegar. You now know what sherry vinegar is, where and how it is made, and what types there are. Like most other vinegars, the usually expensive and not always available sherry vinegar can be substituted with other ingredients, mostly other vinegars with similar characteristics.

In our article, we have listed these substitutes for you and explained why they are good replacements for sherry vinegar; we’ve also added some non-alcoholic substitutes for you to try out as well. We hope you found our little analysis helpful.

If there is anything we haven’t mentioned here, be sure to let us know!

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