If you have no idea about brandy substitutes, do not worry, there are plenty of brandy replacements that share a similar flavor and alcohol content.
Besides being an alcoholic drink, it is mainly used in various cooking and baking recipes. People prefer adding a small quantity of brandy while baking and cooking as it brings a featured aroma to the dish. Brandy is also a flavor enhancer.
Unfortunately, you realize that you don’t have any brandy available while you are in need. Do not rush! It is not difficult to find some excellent substitute for brandy. Let’s look at some of the recommended replacements here and choose the most suitable for your recipe!
Understand More About Brandy For The Best Substituting Result
Brandy is a distilled liquor that is usually made from fermented fruit. Some other types of brandy are also made from starchy vegetables. Back in the year 1313, when brandy was first distilled and used as a medicine, people also called it “the water of life.” (1)
Though it is a flavorful liquor, people tend to use it in cooking and baking. Brandy adds an aromatic note to the recipe and enhances the full flavor. On top of that, adding brandy also helps moisten the meat surface.
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Brandy has a subtly sweet flavor with a robust fruity note. In addition, as it has been aged in oak barrels for a few years, you can also notice a touch of oak in its flavor. Moreover, the taste of brandy tends to be more mellow and complex during the aging process.
How People Make Such A Delightful Brandy?
Most types of brandy are made from fermented fruit, especially grapefruit and wine. To make the flavor and alcohol more concentrated, people must distill the wine under low heat multiple times. After that, they age brandy in the barrels, usually made from oak.
To make different alcoholic content and flavor, they will mix brandy with water or other liquors after the aging process. The times that brandy is distilled depend on what type of brandy they want to make. Brandy has many different types, but the most common one is cognac.
These Fantastic Brandy Replacements Will Make You Go Wow
Sometimes you may run out of brandy or want to add alcohol to your food because you have a child. There are many alcoholic and non-alcoholic substitutes for brandy. The table below indicates brandy substitutes and the amount needed!
|Brandy substitutes||Quantity needed (For 1 teaspoon of brandy)|
|Rum||1 teaspoon + a small amount of water if necessary|
|Wine||1 teaspoon + a small amount of vinegar or lemon juice|
|White grape juice||½ – 1 teaspoon of white grape juice + 1 teaspoon of water|
|Apple juice||1 teaspoon + water for larger quantities|
|Fruit extract||⅕ teaspoon + some water to dilute|
|Brandy extract||⅕ teaspoon + some water to dilute|
I have divided these excellent substitutes into 2 parts: alcoholic and non-alcoholic substitutes. You can choose the replacement that is suitable for your recipe and your eating habits. Let’s discuss them one by one!
Best Alcoholic Substitutes For Brandy
If you are looking for replacements packed with similar alcohol content with brandy, you can consider the 6 excellent liquors below. Though they share an equivalent alcohol level, they may taste a little different from each other. So, read carefully before choosing.
Like brandy, rum is also a distilled spirit that is made from fermented sugarcane. Brandy and rum share a similar alcohol content, which is about 35 – 60%. However, rum tastes significantly sweeter than brandy due to the aging process.
Because of rum’s intensely sweet flavor, it is usually used in baking desserts. But do not worry, rum will balance all the ingredients’ flavor in your recipe without overpowering the final taste.
The recommended substitute ratio is 1:1, which means that you can substitute 1 teaspoon of brandy with 1 teaspoon of rum. To make the rum less sweet, you can add a little water to dilute it. But you should adjust other ingredients to prevent affecting the texture and consistency.
This melt-in-your-mouth rum cake with delicious rum sauce will amaze you!
Wine can also be an excellent replacement for brandy since it can mimic the effects of brandy on your recipe very well. You can replace brandy with wine in your meat or dessert recipes.
There are 2 most famous wines: red wine and white wine. While red wine tastes sweet and slightly tart, white wine is light and fruity. Both of them can work well as brandy substitutes. However, for the cream sauce recipe, you should go for white wine to prevent discoloration.
If you opt for full-bodied red wines, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah, you should add a small amount of lemon juice or vinegar to balance the flavors. Consider using the same amount of wine when substituting for brandy.
Unlike the substitutes above, the main ingredient of whiskey is fermented grain. As a result, whiskey tastes different from brandy. However, it still works well in some recipes that call for brandy without making a significant change.
The whiskey tastes more alcoholic than brandy, but some varieties feature the sweetness that can substitute brandy. You can use it in place of brandy in cocktail and adult cake recipes.
To replace brandy with whiskey, you should use the 1:1 ratio, which means that every teaspoon of whiskey can alternate 1 teaspoon of brandy.
Serve this trendy Whiskey Cola Cocktail at your upcoming parties to impress your guests!
Vodka is also a decent choice to substitute brandy when you do not want to add extra flavor to your recipe. Vodka does not give any smell to your dish, and it is also colorless, so it won’t cause discoloration.
The uses of vodka are versatile. It works well in either savory dishes, sweet dishes, or infusions. You can make delicious sauces for meat, fish, and pasta with vodka. Moreover, pastry and pie crust also have a more flaky texture by adding vodka.
Mixing vodka with other flavors will give you a whole brand new irresistible cocktail. You can use 1 teaspoon of vodka to replace the same amount of brandy. Because the heat will make vodka evaporate, you should add it nearly at the end of the cooking process.
Gin is a type of neutral grain alcohol that is distilled and combined with fermented juniper berries. Some varieties of gin also consist of some botanicals. Gin is very fragrant, and it tastes crisp, clean, herbal, and woody.
Gin does not share the same flavor profile as brandy. However, it helps enhance the flavor of meat, especially game meat and poultry, making it an excellent substitute for brandy in meat recipes. Besides, it also works well in some dessert and drinks recipes.
If you do not want any color change, you can choose gin to replace brandy in your recipe because it is colorless. You can use the 1:1 ratio to swap gin and brandy.
Bourbon is a type of whiskey that originates in America. American people make bourbon mainly from corn. Among all whiskey varieties, bourbon is the sweetest. That’s why it can substitute for brandy very well. (2)
Moreover, bourbon also resembles vanilla, caramel, and oak flavor. Thanks to its sweetness, you can use bourbon in various baking recipes. You can also mix it with other liquors to create some creative cocktails.
Adding bourbon to meat marinades helps enhance the meat flavor. Bourbon can also pair well with eggs and dairy foods. You can use it to replace an equal amount of brandy.
Look at how delicious this bourbon brown sugar steak is!
Non-Alcoholic Brandy Alternatives For Your Consideration
If you are making dishes for all of your family members, especially your child, you can look at these replacements. Brandy can also be replaced by fruit juice or extract. Let’s explore them!
7. White Grape Juice
Since most brandies are made from fermented grapefruit, there is no doubt that grape juice can do a good job in place of brandy. There are various types of grapefruit, but white grape juice’s flavor is closest to brandy as it is crisp and light.
You can add white grape juice in recipes that have meat and poultry as the main ingredient. People also mix it with other liquids or alcoholic drinks to create sparklings or cocktails.
Remember to use 100% white grape juice because the white grape juice added with sugar will overwhelm the sweetness of your recipe. To substitute 1 teaspoon of brandy with white grape juice, you should use ½ to 1 teaspoon of it and 1 teaspoon of water.
8. Apple Juice
Apple juice is also an excellent replacement for brandy when you do not have alcoholic-based ingredients. Although apple juice does not share the same flavor as brandy, its taste can still be complementary.
You can replace brandy with apple juice in diverse recipes, from savory dishes to sweet dishes. It also tastes good in cocktails and smoothies.
When substituting for brandy, you don’t need to dilute apple juice if your recipe just calls for a small amount of it. You should use the same quantity as brandy.
For larger quantities, you can mix apple juice with water. When you use homemade apple juice, do not add sugar to avoid adding extra sweetness to your food.
Apple juice brings a refreshing and aromatic note and makes this crumble cake tastier!
9. Fruit Extract
Since fermented fruit is the crucial ingredient of brandy, fruit extract can replace brandy well in terms of flavor. There are various types of fruit extract, but some suitable substitutes for brandy are grape, apple, cherry, peach, and apricot extracts.
Because the flavor of fruit extract is much stronger than brandy, you should only use a small amount of it when substituting. In particular, you can replace 1 teaspoon of brandy with ⅕ teaspoon of fruit extract. If the flavor is too strong, add some water to dilute it.
Fruit extract works well in any recipe that calls for brandy but desserts because it will cause a slight change in flavor.
10. Brandy Extract
Using brandy extract is the best way to add a brandy flavor to your recipe. Although most brandy extracts do not contain alcohol, there is still some brandy extract loaded with a low level of alcohol. Pay attention to it when you want to cook kid-friendly recipes.
However, like other extracts, brandy extract does not contain enough liquid that a recipe requires. You should add some water to maintain the texture and consistency. The amount of brandy extract that can replace 1 teaspoon of brandy is ⅕ teaspoon.
You can add brandy extract in various recipes, including cakes, sweet sauces, eggnogs, coffees, icings, and eggnogs.
Recommended Replacements For Brandy In Specific Dishes
Although every substitute listed above can work well in place of brandy in various recipes, each can work the best in some specific dishes. Therefore, you can check what substitute suits your recipe the most.
Best Substitutes For Brandy In Cake And Fruitcake
With only a splash of brandy, the cake’s flavor is upgraded to the next level. Moreover, it also improves the moisture content and crumble texture of the cakes. The best substitute for brandy in baking is another type of alcohol. You can go for bourbon or rum.
For non-alcoholic choices, they cannot give the best flaky crust and light cake texture to your desserts or pastries. However, you can opt for apple juice to enhance your cake and fruit cake flavor when you do not want to add alcohol to them.
What Can Replace Brandy Well In Savory Dishes?
Brandy brings its unique flavor and aroma to various savory dishes. Moreover, it moistens the meat surface and makes the meat absorb other flavors well when adding it to meat marinades. Brandy also tastes good in cream-based dishes.
The substitutes that are suitable to replace brandy are wine, whiskey, and gin. Remember to pay attention to the quantity needed to have the best substituting result.
Brandy Alternatives For The Perfect Beverages
Although brandy is not a standard alcoholic drink, it is still added to some delicious cocktails or smoothies. For example, brandy often appears in mulled wine as it adds a concentrated flavor and alcohol to this drink. And rum can be used to substitute brandy in mulled wine.
This section contains the answers to some frequently asked questions surrounding brandy and brandy substitutes. Scroll down to check if there is your question here or not.
This article has provided various excellent brandy substitutes for your consideration when you run out of brandy. Some replacements yield a difference in the amount of liquid that may affect the consistency and texture of your recipe.
Therefore, check the recommended substituting quantity carefully before using. Moreover, you can adjust other ingredients to make sure the final cooking result is perfect.
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- En.wikipedia.org. 2021. Brandy – Wikipedia.
- En.wikipedia.org. 2021. Bourbon whiskey – Wikipedia.
- Grandoldhouse.com. 2021.
- Understand More About Brandy For The Best Substituting Result
- These Fantastic Brandy Replacements Will Make You Go Wow
- Recommended Replacements For Brandy In Specific Dishes
- Share With Me Your Substituting Result In Any Recipe!
- Brandy Substitutes