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Sherry Vinegar+Chicken Stock as Sherry Substitute?

I'm a teetotaler cooking a creamy mushroom soup that calls for sherry OR Madeira.

In the past, I've had fairly good success swapping chicken broth and red wine vinegar for red wine.

Can I pull the same "trick" for the sherry? Or will I be happier with one of the other substitutes, such as diluted apple cider or vanilla extract?

asked by mcleanrs over 4 years ago
8 answers 7319 views
5dd58b70 52d5 415a 8478 ba9053b33e62  kenzi
Kenzi Wilbur

Kenzi is the Managing Editor of Food52.

added over 4 years ago

If it were me, I'd stick with one of the other substitutes -- you're really going for a sweet, faintly alcoholic ingredient to give the soup depth, not acid. In addition to cider or vanilla, you could also try a brandy (apple brandy would be best) or a sweet vermouth. Best of luck!

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added over 4 years ago

Alright...soup is forgiving. (Calling for 1/3 cup of Sherry into over 8 cups of broth, water, and mushroom juice). I saw one person suggesting flat Dr. Pepper and I had diet Dr. Pepper on that is what I used.

Did it work?
Well the soup tastes great so I guess so!

84baef1b 1614 4c3d a895 e859c9d40bd1  chris in oslo

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

added over 4 years ago

I don't see a teetotaler thinking that brandy or sweet vermouth would be a good substitute?! And I'm not going to touch that Dr. Pepper idea. But the sherry vinegar idea seems good to me. I often add a squeeze of lemon to brighten up soups. And I see some great soups with sherry vinegar on the web, for just one example, this one from Smitten Kitchen:

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added over 4 years ago

Doesn't the alcohol evaporate when it's cooked? Please disabuse me is this notion if I'm wrong

E4b7660b f3f6 4873 bd6d 2130a16403fb  img 1088

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 4 years ago

Here's a table that answers your question. It would take about 2.5 hours of simmering to remove 95% of alcohol.

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added over 4 years ago

"Doesn't the alcohol evaporate?"
This is a valid question and one that there is actually some debate over. But for me this isn't the point.

There are a range of reasons that people don't drink alcohol, from a recovering alcoholic who wouldn't want to even touch a dish prepared with wine or spirits to somebody who doesn't mind keeping a stash of liquors on hand for cooking.

I fall in the middle of this range -- as I suspect many other (teetotaler) cooks do. I don't mind eating something somebody else prepared with alcohol, but I don't care to purchase or store these ingredients in my house. I live in one of the dozen-or-so states that sell only beer in grocery stores, so I'd have to go out of my way to a liquor store to get sherry or wine. Since I don't drink, I wouldn't know how to pick a good sherry anyway, nor would I know when it had turned and would need to be tossed.

The great thing about cooking is that it's equal parts art and science. I concede that making substitutions is no way to get to *exactly* what the recipe-creator intended, but I find that if I'm careful about sourcing the rest of my ingredients I can get something that's close, if not better.

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added over 4 years ago

Thank you both. I am humbled by my knew knowledge.
Now I have a new question, but I'll start a new thread.

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added about 2 years ago

I have just written a Top 5 from experience of cooking with sherry and feel that it would sit appropriately here

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