Brandy is a widely popular alcoholic beverage that is the base for many mixed drinks and cocktails. It is an acquired taste, not one that everyone can say they love, however, those that love it, really love it.
Whether you are pregnant, sober, taking a break from drinking, whatever the cause may be, there are many options you have to replace brandy. For both cooking and for making drinks, many juices such as apple juice, white grape juice and pear juice are excellent non alcoholic options. Things like apple cider vinegar, broth and even water can be used as well.
Best Brandy Substitutes
So what are exactly the best substitutes for brandy? Different juices, unsweetened and sweetened are what people usually go for. Let’s take a look.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is the best for substituting brandy when you are cooking savory dishes. Apple cider vinegar can be very strong for some and is often watered down to give it a better flavor. The apple vinegar adds the sour punch to the meal (like brandy would), while the apple cider gives it that sweet side.
- Rich in enzymes & potassium.
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- Relieves muscle pain from exercise
- Soothes irritated skin.
2. Unsweetened Apple Juice Concentrate
Probably the closest substitute for brandy, unsweetened apple juice gives whatever you are making that nice bitter/sweet mix that brandy often does. For certain drinks and dishes, the apple juice concentrate may be a little bit better if it’s watered down. However, if you are going for the more bitter brandy-like flavor, then you can leave it the way it is.
3. White Grape Juice
White grape juice is a great option for the sugary brandy concoctions, as white grape juice can be very sweet. Normally, white grape juice is almost always watered down and diluted when being used in cooking and as a brandy substitute because alone most find it to be too sweet.
4. Pear Juice
If a drink or a recipe you are making calls for pear flavored brandy, pear juice is the closest option! While they almost taste the same, you can get the same results without having the alcohol.
- RICH PEAR TASTE: Iberia Pear Nectar is made from mango pulp bringing you a taste of the tropics within all year long.
- NON GMO, VEGAN & GLUTEN FREE: Made with NON GMO Ingredients. Iberia Pear Nectar is gluten free and vegan, making it the perfect option for health conscious consumers
- NO PRESERVATIVES: Iberia Pear Nectar contains no preservatives. Made with ethically sourced ingredients to ensure a distinct a fulfilling flavor.
- VERSATILE: From breakfast to evening cocktails, Iberia pear nectar is an essential beverage to always have on hand. Perfect on its own or as a mixer for a variety of other tropical tasting mixed beverages.
- PACK OF 3: 3 X 33.8 fl oz (1 Liter) resealable tetra packs.
A little bit of a stretch, however if you are trying to make a marinade or maybe a sauce that calls for brandy, a regular chicken or vegetable broth can most certainly be used as a replacement and you will be sure to not lose any of the flavor.
6. Orange Juice
For brandy mixed drinks that are orange based, like the sidecar or spiced orange brandy drinks, orange juice is a great option to go alcohol free. Some like to water their orange juice down to create a thinner drink (orange juice can be slightly thicker) and you can even mix the orange juice with orange extract to get that extra orange flavor.
- PURE ORANGE GOODNESS: Indulge in the classic and refreshing taste of 100% pure orange juice, sourced from the finest oranges.
- PURE FRUIT GOODNESS: Indulge in 100% real fruit juices without any added sugars, artificial flavors, or preservatives.
- CONVENIENT PACKAGING: Each pack contains 12 bottles, each with 15.2 fl oz of delicious and refreshing juice.
- BALANCED NUTRITION: Experience the natural goodness of vitamins and minerals found in real fruits, including vitamin C.
- VERSATILE ENJOYMENT: Perfect for home, school, work, or on-the-go, these bottles provide a convenient and tasty hydration option.
7. Apple Cider
Another excellent option for a brandy replacement, it very closely mimics the brandy flavor especially when cooking meals, but also in mixed drinks as well.
Honestly, sometimes just sticking with plain old water is the best way to go! If the brandy is simply just thinning a recipe, you can easily do the same with water. It’s quick, easy and efficient.
Is There Non-Alcoholic Brandy?
Sometimes there just isn’t anything else that can replace that very unique flavor of brandy. If you need that specific flavor for a meal or for a drink, but are looking for an alcohol free option, you are in luck! ArKay’s makes a wonderful non-alcoholic brandy that looks, tastes, and probably feels just as real as actual brandy.
In conclusion, there are so many different juices and other liquids that can be used as a substitute for brandy. For any brandy recipe or any brandy drink there is surely the perfect alcohol free match somewhere out there for you.
Tiffany McCauley is a celebrated food and travel journalist and cookbook author known for her engaging stories on culinary adventures and cultural insights. With a background featuring collaborations with notable brands and publications, Tiffany brings a wealth of experience and a fresh perspective to Fanatically Food, where she champions taste, sustainability, and the art of cooking. Read More Here