Need a sherry vinegar substitute? Whether you don’t have it on hand or can’t find it at the store, try one of these substitutions instead.
What is Sherry Vinegar?
Sherry vinegar comes from the southwest region of Spain. It's made by fermenting sherry wine that is then barrel-aged for a minimum of 6 months (often much longer) before it's bottled. Its flavor is complex with nutty and caramel notes, softer and more rounded than red or white wine vinegar, and nowhere near as sweet as balsamic vinegar.
Many home cooks don't yet know about this magical ingredient, but it's the go-to vinegar for many professional chefs for its versatility. It's a great choice for vinaigrettes, quick-pickled vegetables, soup, marinades, and so much more.
The Best Sherry Vinegar Substitute
1. Rice Wine Vinegar
The best sherry vinegar substitute is rice wine vinegar, also called rice vinegar. This vinegar is made from fermented rice and is typically used in Asian-inspired recipes, but is a great sherry vinegar alternative because it also isn't overly acidic.
2. Champagne Vinegar
Another substitute that will work in place of sherry vinegar is champagne vinegar. It's nowhere near as complex, but it has a mild flavor.
3. White Wine Vinegar
This is another good substitute that's comparable to champagne vinegar, but still a little more acidic.
4. Red Wine Vinegar
Of these alternatives, red wine vinegar has the sharpest acidity and strongest flavor so if choosing this option, start by using less than the recipe calls for and add more as needed, to taste.
5. Lemon Juice (as a last resort)
If for some reason, you're completely out of the other four vinegar substitutions, you can use lemon juice. Here's the main thing to know though: vinegar is an acetic acid whereas lemon (and lime) juice is citric acid, so the flavor profiles are much different.
In a pinch though, a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice will add brightness along with a more delicate, tangy flavor.