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7 Amazing Fixes When You Need A Substitute for Balsamic Vinegar

By Adriana Seng | Food Tips

Oct 31

Balsamic Vinegar is an ingredient that can be used for various dishes including salads, sauces, meat dishes, and even desserts. But what if you happen to run out of Balsamic vinegar in your kitchen? What should you do?

I myself have struggled with finding a suitable substitute for Balsamic vinegar before, especially since this type of vinegar has a very distinctive taste. Fortunately there is a wide array of ingredients that can be used as a substitute for Balsamic vinegar, you might even be surprised with some of the alternatives for Balsamic vinegar that you will find here.

1. Apple Cider Vinegar and Sugar

substitutes-for-balsamic-vinegar-3First thing on the list will be the good old Apple Cider and Sugar mix. Apple Cider is a great alternative for Balsamic Vinegar because it possesses the same amount of fruitiness that the Balsamic Vinegar has. So if you have Apple Cider vinegar and some Sugar at home, then you’re in luck!

You can create a great Balsamic vinegar substitute using these two ingredients alone. To capture the unique flavor of Balsamic vinegar, you will need a 1 is to 2 ratio between your Apple Cider vinegar and sugar.

Creating Your Balsamic Vinegar Substitute

To start creating your Balsamic vinegar substitute, you should try mixing one tablespoon of Apple Cider vinegar with half a teaspoon of granulated sugar. For this improvisation, you can use any type of sugar including white granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cane sugar.

  • Thoroughly mix the Apple Cider with the sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Once there are no bits of sugar left, you will end up with vinegar that similarly tastes like Balsamic vinegar.
  • On another note, if you don’t have any sugar in your cupboard, you can use half a teaspoon of honey instead.
Another great thing about using Apple Cider vinegar as a Balsamic vinegar substitute, is that is possesses several health benefits supported by science including weight loss, lower blood sugar levels and improved symptoms of diabetes.

2. Red Wine Vinegar


Red Wine vinegar is another great substitute for Balsamic vinegar since both vinegars are made from wine. However, Red Wine vinegar does have a more bitter taste than Balsamic vinegar, but it can still be used as an effective substitute.

To make a Balsamic vinegar substitute using red wine vinegar, you will need to:

  • Mix one tablespoon of Red Wine vinegar with half a teaspoon of Sugar.
  • Just like with Apple Cider, you can also use several types of sweeteners including honey, white granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cane sugar.
  • Thoroughly mix the ingredients until you achieve a flavor that’s similar to that of the Balsamic vinegar.
Additionally, just like Apple Cider vinegar, Red Wine vinegar Red Wine vinegar can also boost your health because it contains no amount of cholesterol, fat and sodium and contains large amounts of anti-aging antioxidants, which makes it good for your skin.

3. Molasses and Soy Sauce


If you don’t have any other kind of vinegar available in your kitchen, you could always create Balsamic vinegar from scratch by using a mixture of Molasses, Lemon juice, and Soy sauce all together.

Combining these three ingredients using the right amount will give off a sweet and salty acidic flavour that is somewhat similar to that of the Balsamic Vinegar. To make an improvised version of Balsamic vinegar from scratch, you will need to mix one part of Molasses with 1 part Lemon Juice, and a bit of Soy Sauce. I suggest adding the Soy Sauce one tablespoon at a time to avoid adding too much to the mix.

Molasses can be bought at your local grocery store, but if you don’t have Molasses at hand, you could use the same amount of dark corn syrup, honey, or maple syrup instead. You could also use sugars in place of these natural sweeteners.

If you do choose to go with sugar, you should take note that a cup of molasses is equal to 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar or normal white granulated sugar, plus 1/4 cup water. Thoroughly mix all the ingredients in a bowl until you achieve that Balsamic vinegar flavor.

4. Beef Stock and White Vinegar


You might be asking yourself, Beef Stock? Really? Well yes, Balsamic vinegar possesses a strong taste that can be resembled by flavored beef stock. You can create your own improvised Balsamic vinegar from scratch by making your own beef stock or by buying beef stock in your local grocery store.

I personally prefer making my own beef stock by placing a bunch of beef bones, beef stew meat or beef scraps along with carrots and onions in a large, shallow roasting pan. Next thing you should do is roast the it oven in low-heat for about 45 minutes until it gives off a nice brown color.

Once you have reduced your beef stock, you can add regular vinegar to it, and reduce it once again. If you don’t have plain white vinegar, you can always use any type of vinegar that is available to you.

However, I would still recommend going with plain white vinegar because other vinegars have a distinct flavour that might overwhelm the taste of the beef stock. Take note that the amount of vinegar you add will heavily depend on how much stock you’ve made. I suggest adding the vinegar two or 3 tablespoons at a time to taste.

When you are done reducing the beef stock and vinegar mixture, you can play with the flavors by adding sugar to it, and maybe a small dose of coffee to add a kick to it. Just keep on tasting your mixture and adjusting the amount of ingredients you put in until you end up with something that tastes like Balsamic vinegar.

5. Balsamic Vinaigrette


Well of course Balsamic Vinaigrette will make a great substitute for Balsamic vinegar, especially since it already contains a generous amount of it!

However, using Balsamic Vinaigrette as a substitute for Balsamic vinegar might have a different taste despite the huge percent of Balsamic vinegar in the vinaigrette, especially since Balsamic Vinaigrette contains other ingredients including sugars, herbs, salt, oils.

If you are just planning on using the Balsamic vinegar for a salad or as a spice, then a Balsamic Vinaigrette as an alternative might do you just fine, especially since it works very well as a spice or as a salad dressing.

You could also add a sense of fruitiness, acidity, and tanginess to your Balsamic vinaigrette by adding a generous amount of freshly squeezed lemon juice to it.

6. Sherry vinegar

Sherry vinegar can be a good substitute for Balsamic vinegar for it has almost the same taste. Just like Balsamic vinegar, Sherry vinegar has a sweet and mild taste, unlike other Balsamic vinegar substitutes such as the Red Wine vinegar.

If you are going to use Sherry vinegar instead of Balsamic vinegar, then you are in luck. Since Sherry vinegar and Balsamic vinegar are made in similar ways, they pretty much taste the same too, which means you would not have to exert any effort or use any other ingredients to make it have the same flavor.

You can use the Sherry wine as it is for dishes that require Balsamic vinegar as an ingredient. But if you want to add an extra zing to the Sherry vinegar, you can try reducing it with some pomegranate molasses.

Another great thing about Sherry Vinegar is that it can be good for your health especially when taken daily. Sherry vinegar can help you by increasing your body’s ‘good’ cholesterol HDL and lowering your overall blood sugar. What’s more is that it could help you with general weight loss.

7. Chinese Black Vinegar


Chinese vinegar is a dark complex vinegar made of glutinous rice and malt, making it have a similar taste to Balsamic vinegar. Another great thing about using Chinese Black vinegar instead of Balsamic vinegar is the fact that you can buy it for a lesser price. Balsamic vinegar can cost you around $20 USD at your local market, while Chinese Black will only cost you half the Balsamic vinegar’s price.

Just like the Sherry vinegar, Chinese Black vinegar has a very similar taste to Balsamic vinegar, which means you no longer have to use other ingredients to alter its flavor. It also has plenty of health benefits such as Cancer prevention, Lower Cholesterol, and Improved blood circulation.

Was this Article Able to Help You?

Who would have thought that you could use a lot of other food as a substitute for Balsamic vinegar? As you can see there are plenty of Balsamic vinegar substitutes out there, it’s just all about being creative in the kitchen to achieve the perfect taste that you are looking for.

If you liked reading this article, and would like to find out more tips about cooking, or other kitchen ideas, please leave us your feedback and suggestions on the comment box below. Until next time, enjoy!