Best Apple Cider Substitutes (9 Great Alternatives) 

Written by: Mike Marshall
apple cider in a glass

Has it ever happened to you? 

You’re happily mixing ingredients for a recipe when you realize one is missing. 

You are out of apple cider vinegar and can’t take a break to run to the store. 

Don’t worry – you don’t have to toss the mixture in the trash. 

Chances are you have an apple cider substitute tucked away in your refrigerator or pantry.

Let’s dive in, shall we?

Top 9 Substitutes For Apple Cider

1. White Vinegar 

white vinegar on a table

White vinegar is a little more versatile than red wine vinegar due to its lighter color. It has a high acidity content, similar to apple cider, but it is missing the fruity flavor. 

Depending on the dish, the loss of flavor may not make a difference.

If you still want a hint of tangy citrus, you can add a little lemon or orange zest. You can also add a splash of juice but be careful you don’t make the recipe soupy.

It makes a good substitute for apple cider in sauces, stews, marinades, sauces, and even pickles. 

If the recipe calls for a little acidity, white vinegar is an excellent choice. It’s also easy to find if you don’t have a bottle in your kitchen. 

Use a 1:1 ratio in your recipes.

Don’t add any more if the flavor isn’t right. White vinegar is unflavored. Instead, add some citrus zest or a splash of orange, lemon, or lime juice.

2. Apple Juice 

pouring apple juice in a glass

It makes sense to substitute apple juice for apple cider, but be careful, it may not work in all recipes.

Apple juice has a sweeter taste than cider, and you can notice the difference in your recipes. 

One trick is reducing the amount of sugar the recipe needs. You still get the sweet taste without overdoing it. Using less sugar is also a healthy lifestyle decision, so it’s a win-win!

You can find unsweetened apple juice at most grocery stores. This fruit juice is a healthier alternative to sweetened products, and you don’t need to make any adjustments to the recipe.

Another difference between apple cider and juice is the filtering process. 

Apple cider is non-filtered, so you get the delicious bits of pulp that add extra flavor. Apple juice is also pasteurized, so make sure it will work in the dish.

You want to add more apple juice than cider. It helps make up for the missing pulp. 

Start with a 2:1 ratio and add a splash more if necessary.

3. White Wine Vinegar 

white wine vinegar

White wine vinegar has almost the same acidity as apple cider vinegar, making it one of the best substitutes for apple cider.

It is missing the citrusy flavor you get with apple cider vinegar, but adding fresh lemon, lime, or orange zest will give you a slightly fruity taste.

You can use white wine vinegar in any recipe that uses apple cider. 

The ratio is also the same at 1:1.

4. Lemon Juice 

fresh lemon juice in a bowl

Fresh-squeezed lemon juice is always better than store-bought, it has a fresher taste. 

If you don’t want to squeeze several lemons, you can also find bottles of citrus juice in the grocery store. Look for it in the baking aisles or on the shelf near the vinegar.

Lemon juice has the high acidity your recipe is calling for, and you don’t have to worry about adding extra fat or calories to the dish. However, it will add a few healthy vitamins to your food.

You get a light and citrusy flavor that adds a delicious taste to your desserts and baked dishes. You can use lemon juice instead of apple cider in your salad dressings.

Stick to a 1:1 ratio when you’re substituting lemon juice for apple cider.

5. Rice Wine Vinegar 

rice vinegar

Rice wine vinegar isn’t a staple in every kitchen, but it makes a great apple cider substitute. 

If you have a bottle in your house, you can easily add it to some recipes. Be careful which recipes you use the vinegar in, it doesn’t work for all dishes.

Stick with salad dressings, stir-fries, rice-based dishes, and some soups when you are using rice vinegar instead of apple cider. It will give soups a delicious tangy flavor and a hint of sweet flavor to stir-fried vegetables.

Unfortunately, you are missing out on the health benefits you get with apple cider, but it’s not enough to worry about.

Rice wine vinegar is less acidic than apple cider, but it does have a similar flavor. 

Keep the ratio around 1:1. You can always add a little more if the flavor isn’t right.

6. Lime Juice 

lime juice in a glass

Do you have any fresh limes laying around your kitchen? If so, get ready to start squeezing the juice out. Lime juice can make a great substitute for apple cider.

Lime juice is stronger in flavor than lemon juice, similar in strength to apple cider. 

Don’t worry about the citrusy flavor, it won’t ruin the recipe’s normal taste. Lime juice also has the acidity you need for the recipe to turn out successfully.

Use this apple cider substitution for any dish that calls for cooking. It helps dispel some of the strong lime flavors, especially if you stick with a 1:1 ratio. 

Along with cooked dishes, lime juice is a great option for salad dressings and marinades.

The number of limes you need to squeeze depends on how much apple cider the recipe calls for.

7. Champagne Vinegar 

One apple cider substitute you may not consider is champagne vinegar. It’s not always easy to find, but if you have a bottle in the kitchen, you can use it as an apple cider substitute.

You may not get the same fruity flavor, but champaign vinegar has the acidity your recipe calls for. It works great in stir-fries, soups, sauces, and rice-based dishes.

Since champagne vinegar has a fainter taste, you can use a 2:1 ratio. Use two parts champagne vinegar for every one part of apple cider.

8. Red Wine Vinegar 

red wine vinegar

Red wine vinegar can seem like an odd substitute for apple cider, but it works surprisingly well with some dishes. It has a fruity flavor, though it can also be overwhelming if you use too much.

You also have to consider the dark red coloring. It can alter the color of your dish, depending on what you are making. Red wine vinegar works best in meat dishes and other meals with a darker color.

Since red wine vinegar has a strong taste, it’s best to use it a little at a time. 

A good way to use it as an apple cider substitute is to do a little arithmetic. For every tablespoon of apple cider, switch to a teaspoon for red wine vinegar. You can keep adding teaspoons until the recipe has the flavor you want.

You may end up using up to 14 tsp of red wine vinegar for a tbsp of apple cider. It will depend on the recipe and your taste preferences.

9. Sherry Vinegar 

I’ll be honest – substituting sherry vinegar for apple cider isn’t for everyone. Sherry vinegar has a strong flavor, but it also has the acidity you need.

Sherry vinegar works in any recipe that uses apple cider, and the ratio depends on your taste preferences. 

If you don’t find the flavor too strong, go ahead and use a 2:1 ratio. Otherwise, stick with a 1:1 ratio.


Here are a few of the most common questions on apple cider we get all the time. 

Is apple cider the same as apple cider vinegar? 

Apple cider vinegar is fermented, and the alcohol is turned into acetic acid. Apple cider is not fermented, it’s similar to apple juice.

What is the difference between apple cider and apple juice? 

Apple cider uses ground apples, similar to applesauce. Apple juice, on the other hand, goes through filtration and pasteurizing processes to remove the apple pulp and extend its shelf life.

What’s the best apple cider substitute for baking? 

White or red wine is the best substitute for apple cider vinegar. The kinds of vinegar are made from fermented wine, using a process similar to apple cider. Red wine has a stronger flavor than white wine. It’s something to consider when you’re substituting ingredients.


Apple cider vinegar adds texture and flavor to your recipes, and it makes a great substitute for eggs in vegan recipes. 

Adding apple cider to meat dishes not only adds flavor, but it also helps kill bacteria, and don’t forget about the health benefits.

From citrus juices to a variety of vinegar, you can finish your recipe without apple cider.

Hopefully, you found this list helpful and won’t panic if you run out of apple cider vinegar. 

If you enjoyed this list, please share it with your co-workers, friends, and family!

Related articles:

How useful was this post?

Click on a heart to rate it!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Photo of author


I’m not a pro chef by any means, but years of tinkering inside the kitchen have taught me a thing or two about preparing delicious, healthy food. So whether you’re interested in how to properly store food, figuring out side dishes for your main course, or even learning how to use a knife properly – I've got you covered.