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12 Tasty Brandy Substitutes for When You’re Out of Your Favourite Liquor

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David Larsen
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Looking for a substitute for brandy? You’re in luck! This blog post will teach you 10 different substitutes that you can use in place of brandy. Brandy is a liquor that is made from grapes, and it has a sweet and fruity taste.

It is often used in cocktails, and it can also be enjoyed on its own. If you are out of brandy, or if you want to try something new, these substitutes are perfect for you!

substitutes for brandy

What is Brandy?

Brandy is a spirit distilled from wine or other fermented fruit juices. It can also be made from distilling wine with grains such as barley, wheat, and rye. Depending on the type of brandy, it can range in color from light golden to mahogany brown.

The flavor depends on how it was aged and the types of fruits used in the fermentation process. Brandy can be dry or sweet, smooth and mellow, or bold and intense.

Popular brands of brandy include Cognac, Armagnac, Calvados, and other fruit brandies such as Apricot or Peach.

Brandy is often enjoyed on its own either straight up or over ice, but it can also be used to make classic cocktails like the Brandy Alexander, Sidecar, and Hot Toddy.

Brandy Substitutes.

If you want the flavor of brandy but don’t have any on hand or are looking for a less expensive alternative, there are several substitutes to choose from.

These options can be used in most recipes that call for brandy and can provide an affordable solution when a recipe calls for this type of spirit.

1. Bourbon.

Although not a direct substitute for brandy, bourbon is a great alternative. It has strong caramel and vanilla flavors that can work in many dishes.

It is also a good option if you’re looking for something with less sweetness than brandy. If you don’t want to use bourbon, you can also try whiskey or rum as substitutes.

2. Brandy Extract.

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Brandy extract is another classic substitute for brandy. It is made by boiling the liquid from the mash used to make brandy, and evaporating it until a thick syrup consistency is achieved that can be added to recipes in place of brandy.

Brandy extract will not impart flavor like true brandy, but its alcohol content carries some of the same heat and burn associated with brandy.

Brandy extract is a great way to add the characteristic taste of brandy without the same intensity. It can be added to both sweet and savory recipes for a unique flavor profile.

Brandy extract is often used in cooking sauces as it helps thicken them while adding flavor complexity. This makes it an ideal addition to dishes like beef bourguignon or other stews. As the extract is very concentrated, a little goes a long way and it should be used in moderation.

3. Cognac.

Cognac is brandy that has been distilled twice and aged in a cask at least two years. It has a warm, robust flavor with notes of oak and fruits.

Many people prefer cognac to other types of brandy because of its more intense flavor profile.

4. Gin.

Gin is a clear, juniper-flavored spirit made from fermented grain mash and distilled with juniper berries. It has a strong flavor that many people prefer as an alternative to brandy.

Gin can be used as an ingredient in cocktails or sipped on its own for a refreshing drink. When mixed with tonic water, it makes a classic summertime beverage.

5. Rum.

A classic alcoholic beverage distilled from sugarcane or molasses and blended with different spices and flavors to create a variety of tastes. It has been around for centuries and is enjoyed in many cultures around the world, from Cuba to Jamaica.

Rum has a deep history, having started as an early form of currency in the Caribbean before becoming an important part of the maritime trade.

It was also used as an added flavoring in traditional dishes and drinks, such as pina coladas and mojitos. Nowadays, rum is enjoyed by many people during celebrations or just to relax and enjoy a glass with friends.

The flavor of rum can range from sweet to dry depending on how it is produced and the type of barrels used during fermentation.

Some rums are aged in oak to give it a smooth, woodsy flavor while others have a more robust taste due to being blended with spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove.

Rum is an excellent base for creating unique cocktails or just sipping on its own. To get the most out of the flavor, it is best to serve it chilled in a glass with some ice.

Combining different types of rum can also give you an interesting and complex flavor profile, making it a perfect option for creating your own signature cocktail.

6. Sherry.

Made from white grapes, sherry is a fortified wine with a rich, nutty flavor. It can be used as a substitute for brandy in many recipes but it will impart its own unique flavor.

Depending on the recipe, you may need to adjust the amount of sherry to account for its lower alcohol content compared to most brandies.

Other fortified wines such as port or marsala can also be substituted for brandy, however, they will impart their own distinct flavors.

It is important to keep in mind that these substitutes may not provide the same level of complexity and depth of flavor that brandy offers.

It’s a fortified wine made from white grapes that are grown near the town of Jerez, Spain. Sherry has been produced in this region since at least the 12th century, when it was known as “Xeres” or “Sherry”. The unique combination of soil and climate in this area creates wines with distinct and complex flavors.

Sherry is a fortified wine, which means that it has been blended with a spirit alcohol, usually brandy. This process causes the wine to be stronger in both flavor and alcohol content than other wines. Sherry typically ranges from 15% to 22% ABV, depending on when in the production process the fortifying spirit was added.

7. Tequila.


Tequila is a distilled beverage made from the blue agave plant, primarily in the area surrounding the city of Tequila, 65 km (40 mi) northwest of Guadalajara. It can be used as a substitute for brandy in many cocktails.

To give drinks a unique taste when substituting with tequila, try adding different ingredients such as citrus juices and spices. When making a Margarita, for example, mix tequila with lime juice, triple sec and ice in a shaker. This drink goes well with Mexican food such as tacos or enchiladas.

Additionally, Tequila can be used to make Paloma cocktails by mixing the spirit with grapefruit juice and soda. Tequila is also a popular ingredient in shooters, as it can be mixed with other spirits such as vodka and whiskey.

Overall, tequila is a great alternative to brandy for making classic cocktails, or for creating innovative drinks that incorporate global flavors.

Related: 37 Unique and Delicious Tequila Cocktails to Shake Up Your Next Party

8. Vodka.

A clear, odorless, and tasteless alcohol, vodka is an ideal substitute for brandy. It can be used in most cocktails that require a spirit base and its neutral flavor won’t overwhelm the other ingredients.

It can also be used to replace brandy in cooking as it adds a slight hint of alcohol without affecting the overall flavor of the dish.

Additionally, vodka is often used to make a range of flavored liqueurs, such as limoncello and raspberry vodka, which are great for making brandy cocktails.

9. Whiskey.

Another commonly used brandy substitute is whiskey, which has a smokier and more intense flavor than brandy. Whiskey is distilled from grains such as barley, rye or corn and aged in wooden barrels for several years.

Depending on the type of whiskey being used, it can be an ideal alternative to brandy in cooking and baking applications, particularly when you want to add a depth of flavor.

When substituting whiskey for brandy, it is important to use an equal amount as the substitution will have a strong impact on the taste of the end product.

Bear in mind that using whiskey as a substitute may cause some drinks to be slightly more alcoholic than they would have been with brandy.

10. Wine.

Wine is a popular substitute for brandy. It has a flavor profile that is similar to brandy, and it can be used as a direct substitute in many recipes. Wine also has the benefit of being widely available and much more affordable than most brands of brandy.

11. Vermouth.

Vermouth is an aromatic, fortified wine with a deep red color and herbal flavor. It can be used as an alternative to brandy in cocktails or enjoyed on its own over ice. Vermouth also adds complexity to many classic cocktails like the Manhattan and Negroni.

Non-Alcoholic Substitutes for Brandy.

When it comes to adding the deep, sweet complexity of brandy to a recipe without using the real thing, there are some great non-alcoholic substitutes available.

12. White Grape Juice.

White grape juice is a popular substitute for brandy. It has a natural sweetness that can be enjoyed in a variety of cocktails and cooking recipes.

The flavor of white grape juice is more subtle than brandy, making it perfect to serve as an enhancement or replacement for brandies with stronger flavors.

White grape juice also doesn’t require the same aging process that brandy does, making it a faster and more affordable substitute.

White grape juice can be used to make cocktails such as the Brandy Rickey or added to dishes like chicken cordon bleu for extra flavor. It is also commonly used in dessert recipes that call for brandy.

13. Apple Juice.

Apple juice is a popular alternative to brandy in many recipes. Its light, subtly sweet flavor adds complexity without overpowering other ingredients.

Apple juice also provides an opportunity to infuse alcohol-free dishes with a hint of sweetness and depth of flavor that brandy can provide.

To substitute apple juice for brandy, use the same measure of apple juice as the amount of brandy called for in the recipe. Apple juice can also be combined with other ingredients and heated on low heat to reduce its sweetness.

This creates a syrup-like texture that is perfect for making sauces, glazes, and reductions. If substituting apple juice into a savory dish, use unsweetened varieties or opt for unsweetened apple cider. This provides a more robust flavor without the added sugar that sweetened kinds of juice may contain.

Natural, sweet and refreshing, it’s no secret that apple juice is one of the most popular juices around. It’s made from freshly pressed apples without any added sugars or preservatives.

Studies have found that regular consumption of apple juice can help to reduce the risk of heart disease as well as diabetes.

In addition, it has been shown to improve immunity, reduce inflammation, and even prevent certain types of cancer.

Apple juice is also a great source of antioxidants and vitamins that help to keep your body healthy and energized. All in all, apple juice is a nutritious beverage that can be enjoyed by all ages.

Brandy substitutes in sangria.

There are many different options to choose from when looking for a brandy substitute in a sangria recipe.

Some of the most popular substitutes include dry sherry, dry white wine, amontillado sherry, or cognac. These liquors can be used to add an extra layer of complexity and flavor to your sangria blend.

Additionally, some recipes call for a splash of orange or pineapple juice to add sweetness. A dash of dark rum or triple sec can also be used to give the sangria a deeper flavor.

Some people even like to experiment with using tequila, gin, or vodka as brandy substitutes in their sangria recipes.

Finally, if you don’t want to use any alcoholic spirits, you can always use fresh fruit juices, such as orange, pineapple, and apple. Be sure to adjust the sweetness accordingly when using juice as a substitute for brandy!

Brandy substitutes in peppercorn sauce.

Using brandy as a substitute for peppercorn sauce is becoming increasingly popular in recent years. Brandy adds an extra layer of flavor and complexity to the dish, making it more savory and flavorful than using just peppercorn alone.

It also helps to create a richer, creamier consistency when combined with other ingredients like butter or cream.

When substituting brandy for peppercorn sauce, it is important to adjust the amount of liquid used in the recipe.

Brandy has a much higher alcohol content than most other spirits, so it can easily overpower a dish if more than necessary is added.

The general rule of thumb is to use about 1/4 cup of brandy for every cup of peppercorn sauce. This will help to balance out the flavors without overpowering them.

Additionally, be sure to adjust the cooking time and temperature as well when using brandy as a substitute. Brandy has a much lower flash point than other spirits, so it is important to reduce the heat and cook at a more moderate temperature.

This will help to ensure that the flavors of the brandy are not overpowered by the heat from cooking.

Brandy substitutes in mulled wine.

If you don’t have or don’t want to use brandy in your mulled wine, there are several alternatives that can give a similar depth and flavor.

Red wine is a classic substitute for brandy in mulled wine. It gives the same body and richness of flavor as brandy without the extra sweetness. You can also use port, sherry, or even a dry white wine like sauvignon blanc.

Another great substitute is dark rum. It has deeper and more complex flavors than brandy and can bring out the spices in mulled wine really nicely.

If you don’t have any of these alcoholic options available, you could also try using apple cider, which will give a nice sweetness and warm, comforting flavor to the drink.

For those looking for an alcohol-free option, there are several non-alcoholic substitutes that can be used in place of brandy in mulled wine. Apple juice or cider is a great substitute and adds warmth without any additional sweetness.

You can also use orange or cranberry juice, which will give the drink a nice flavor without any extra sweetness. Finally, try using honey in place of sugar in your mulled wine recipe – it adds body and richness while still allowing you to keep the drink alcohol-free.

Brandy substitutes in fruit cake.

Adding brandy to fruit cake can help bring out the flavor of the other ingredients. It adds warmth and complexity to the dessert which adds an extra layer of deliciousness. But what if you don’t have any brandy on hand? Don’t worry! There are plenty of alternatives that you can use in place of brandy.

You can substitute orange juice for brandy in fruit cake. Orange juice will add a bright, citrus flavor to the dessert. You can also substitute apple cider for brandy in fruit cake. Apple cider adds a bit of sweetness and an extra depth of flavor to the cake.

If you’d like to add a bit of extra alcohol to your fruit cake, try using rum in place of brandy. Rum is made from fermented sugar cane and adds an extra kick that brandy does not have.

If you don’t want to add any alcohol at all, you could use vanilla extract instead. Vanilla extract has a mild sweetness that won’t overpower the other ingredients.

Brandy substitutes in stroganoff.

There are several options for substituting brandy in a stroganoff recipe. You can use dry sherry, white wine, or vermouth as a replacement for the brandy.

While some recipes may call for the alcohol to be cooked off, others may ask that you keep it present in the dish. If you choose to include the alcohol, you can use a slightly smaller amount than what the recipe calls for.

When substituting dry sherry or white wine, it is important to take into account the sweetness of the alcohol. If possible, choose a sherry with less of a sweet taste. Dry vermouth also has less of a sweet taste and can be used as a replacement.

Another option is to replace the brandy with a combination of beef broth and tomato sauce. Beef broth will give your dish the same rich flavor that brandy provides, while the tomato sauce can help cut through the strong taste of the beef. This method is ideal for those who are looking for a vegetarian or vegan alternative to using brandy.

Substitute For Brandy In Coq Au Vin.

If you don’t have brandy or would like to make a non-alcoholic version of coq au vin, there are several substitutes that can be used. Red wine is one of the best replacements for brandy in this classic French dish.

Dry white wine such as a Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay work as well. If you don’t want to use wine, apple cider and apple juice are also great substitutes for brandy.

You can also try adding a few drops of pure vanilla extract or almond extract to give your dish an added layer of flavor.

Finally, beef broth can be used as a substitute for the brandy in coq au vin, though it will likely have a much milder flavor. Experiment with different substitutes to find the one that works best for you.

Substitute for Brandy in Baking.

When it comes to baking, brandy is often used as an ingredient or flavoring. Brandy can add depth and complexity to a dish and enhance the flavor of a variety of desserts. But what if you’re out of brandy or don’t have any on hand? Is there another option for adding that unique flavor to your baking?

The good news is that there are many alternative ingredients you can use as a substitute for brandy in baking. Some of the most popular substitutes include dark rum, port, sherry, fruit juice concentrates, and even some nonalcoholic options like extracts or flavored syrups.

It’s important to keep in mind that these alternatives may have different flavors and even textures than brandy, so it’s a good idea to experiment and find the one that works best for you.

When substituting nonalcoholic extracts or syrups, use around 1 teaspoon per tablespoon of brandy called for in the recipe. When using dark rum or port, use 1/2 cup of the substitute for each 3 tablespoons of brandy in the recipe. When substituting sherry or fruit juice concentrate, you should use equal amounts.

Finally, if your recipe calls for a small amount of brandy that is not essential to the flavor profile of the dish (such as when used to glaze a tart), you can substitute water. This won’t give your recipe the same flavor as brandy, but it will still achieve the desired glaze or moist texture you are looking for.

Substitute for Brandy in Drinks.

When it comes to cocktails and mixed drinks, brandy is often the star of the show. But what if you don’t have any on hand? Or perhaps you want a non-alcoholic alternative for your favorite drink. Luckily, there are plenty of tasty alternatives that can be used in place of brandy.

One popular option for non-alcoholic substitution is apple juice or cider. This can be used to replace brandy in many drinks, like a hot toddy. Simply heat up some fresh apple juice or cider and add in spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg to give it a nice flavor. You may also want to mix in some honey or maple syrup to sweeten it up.

If you’re looking for an alcoholic alternative, rum is a great option. It has a similar flavor profile to brandy and can be used in many drinks with comparable results. Try using rum in a Manhattan or an Old-Fashioned for a tasty twist on your favorite drink.

Grape juice is another great substitute for brandy, especially in drinks like sangria or a Kir Royale. Simply mix some grape juice with sparkling water, sugar, and spices to make an alcohol-free version of your favorite cocktail.

Finally, you can’t go wrong with orange or pineapple juice. The sweet and tangy flavors of these juices pair well with many cocktails, making them a great alternative to brandy. Use orange or pineapple juice in a Cosmopolitan or Margarita for a delicious tropical twist.


When it comes to substituting for brandy in recipes, there are many options available. Fruit juices and cordials provide suitable replacements in sweet dishes, while wine is an excellent option for savory ones.

Other alcohols like rum and whiskey can also be used in place of brandy. For non-alcoholic alternatives, there are plenty of flavorful substitutions such as tea, coffee and herbal extracts.

Ultimately, the best brandy substitute is to use whatever ingredient fits your recipe’s flavor profile best. No matter what you choose, there will be plenty of delicious options to explore!

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