Thanis Lim

All Rounder Chef and Food Journalist

The Alcohol substitute list

Living in Brunei means that alcohol is difficult to get and you will also have many guests who cannot take alcohol in their food. Therefore, this list will be very useful for those who encountered recipes which need alcohol. The list below's from

Following is a general list of non-alcoholic substitutes that can be used in cooking. choose the option that best matches the flavor of the dish you are making:
Amaretto - Almond extract. (Substitute 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon almond extract for 2 tablespoons Amaretto.)
Anisette - Anise Italian soda syrup or fennel.
Beer - Chicken broth, beef broth, mushroom broth, white grape juice, ginger ale.
Bourbon - 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of non-alcoholic vanilla extract.
Brandy - Water, white grape juice, apple cider or apple juice, diluted peach or apricot syrups. (Substitute equal amounts of liquid.)
Champagne - Ginger ale, sparkling apple cider, sparkling cranberry juice, or sparkling white grape juice.
Cointreau - Orange juice or frozen orange juice concentrate.
Coffee Liqueur - To replace 2 tablespoons of liqueur, use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of chocolate extract mixed with 1 teaspoon of instant coffee, which has been mixed in 2 tablespoons of water. Can also substitute expresso, non-alcoholic coffee extract or coffee syrup.
Cognac - Juice from peaches, apricots, or pears.
Creme de menthe - Spearmint extract or oil of spearmint diluted with a little water or grapefruit juice.
Grand Marnier or Orange-Flavored Liqueur - Unsweetened orange juice concentrate or orange juice. (Substitute 2 tablespoons unsweetened orange juice concentrate or 2 tablespoons orange juice and 1/2 teaspoon orange extract for 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier.)
Kahlua - Coffee or chocolate-flavored liqueur. (Substitute 1/2 to 1 teaspoon chocolate extract or substitute 1/2 to 1 teaspoon instant coffee in 2 tablespoons water for 2 tablespoons Kahlua.)
Kirsch - Syrup or juices from cherries, raspberries, boysenberries, currants, or cider. (Substitute equal amounts of liquid.)
Peppermint Schnapps - Non-alcoholic mint or peppermint extract, mint Italian soda syrup, or mint leaves.
Port Wine, Sweet Sherry, or Fruit-Flavored Liqueur) - Orange juice or apple juice. (Substitute equal amount of liquid.)
Rum (light or dark) - Water, white grape juice, pineapple juice, apple juice or apple cider, or syrup flavored with almond extract. (Substitute equal amounts of liquid.)
Sake - Rice vinegar.
Sherry or Bourbon - Orange or pineapple juices, peach syrup, or non-alcoholic vanilla extract. (Substitute equal amount of liquid 1 to 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.)
Southern Comfort - Peach flavored nectar combined with a small amount of cider vinegar.
Tequila - Cactus juice or nectar.
Triple Sec - Orange juice concentrate, orange juice, orange zest or orange marmalade.
Vermouth, Dry - White grape juice, white wine vinegar, or non-alcoholic white wine.
Vermouth, Sweet - Apple juice, grape juice, balsamic vinegar, non-alcoholic sweet wine, or water with lemon juice.
Whiskey - If a small amount is called for, it can be eliminated.
Vodka - White grape juice or apple cider combined with lime juice or use plain water in place of the vodka.


Gewurztraminer - White grape juice combined with lemon juice.
Grappa - Grape juice.
Port Wine - Concord grape juice with some lime zest added, cranberry juice with some lemon juice added, or grape juice concentrate. Substitute orange juice or apple juice for lighter ports
Red Wine - Red grape juice, cranberry juice, chicken broth, beef broth, vegetable broth, clam juice, fruit juices, flavored vinegar. (Substitute equal amount of liquid.)
White Wine - Water, chicken broth, vegetable broth, white grape juice, ginger ale, white grape juice.
Sweet White Wine - White grape juice plus 1 tablespoons Karo corn syrup. (Substitute equal amount of liquid.)

If you want a more comprehensive list, be sure to check out Gourmet Sleuth's Alcohol Substitutes. They cover most of the well known brands of alcohol. If ya like Japanese food and they ask for Mirin, here's a substitute

Mirin - White grape juice mixed with lemon juice or zest. More work but worth it - Mirin's one of my fav ingredients in cooking.

PS: Thanks to Ana for asking me about wine substitutes and gave me the inspiration to research this topic ;)


  1. wah! This is majorly useful! I sometimes try to use my own substitutes, but since I never tasted it, I can't be sure if its right, hahaha. Thanks for this! I've been looking for a list of alcohol substitutes, but never could find it :(

  2. thanks Ihsan. I know a lot of Bruneians would love this list. Spread the love around ;)

  3. thanks for the infor le!
    now i can consider making tiramisu cake liau XD

  4. I copy to my blog can?

  5. Sure. Feel free to post this in your blog.

  6. Anonymous2:52 AM

    This is awesome!!!! Thanks for posting this!!

  7. Awesome! Thanks for doing this. I don't have a problem with alcohol, but I know of a lot of people who need to avoid it at all costs, and I cook for them too. This is very helpful.

  8. Anonymous2:55 PM

    wow! i find the info awesome!!

    Bravo!!A job well done!!


  9. Anonymous12:52 PM

    May I know the exact amount of white grape juice and lemon or zest to be used to make the mirin substitute. Thanks a lot.

  10. Olivia7:04 AM

    Thanks so much for this! I needed a substitute for mirin and couldn't find it anywhere! Your a lifesaver! :)

  11. Anonymous4:22 AM

    This information is exactly what I want, I can make Halal food with this. thanks.

  12. In regards to the Mirian, can you tell me what the ratio is for the white grape juice to lemon juice. Thank you

  13. Barbara - Probably 4 parts white grape juice to one part lemon juice.

    I also find - Rice Vinegar with added sugar and lemon juice might do the trick.