Perfect Substitutes for Vinegar

Vinegar is an ingredient that is often used for a variety of different purposes, and typically, if you don’t have one type of vinegar, you can choose to use a different type that you do have available to you. Let me help you find the perfect vinegar substitute.

As well as other types of vinegar, there are also some other things, like lemon juice, that you can use instead.

However, you will need to be careful with your measurements and proportions to make sure that you aren’t using too much or too little.

These Substitutes for Vinegar are Near-perfect Replacements

If you are gathering all of your ingredients for a recipe, and you find that the one thing you are missing is vinegar, then don’t worry.

There are lots of things that you can use as a substitute, and you are even likely to already have them stored away in a cupboard. 

This means that you can still carry on making whatever it is that you are making without any interruption.

Sometimes you might need to take a little bit more care, but more often than not, it will be an easy thing to substitute.

Substituting Vinegar for Vinegar

A lot of the time, you will be able to swap out the type of vinegar that you will be using for another type entirely.

You will have to try and pick the closest match, but there are lots of different versions of vinegar that are available to choose from.

We will quickly talk you through the different types of vinegar below, so you know what options are available to you.

Rice Vinegar

Rice vinegar is commonly used in Asian recipes, and it adds a sweeter flavor to different types of sauces.

If your recipe requires you to use one tablespoon of rice vinegar, then you will be able to substitute it for one tablespoon of white wine vinegar and an additional ¼ tablespoon of sugar.

This will create a near-identical substitute, and you can still get that kick of flavor. Alternatively to this, you could also choose to use one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with an extra ¼ teaspoon of sugar. 

Apple Cider Vinegar

This is another type of vinegar that is really commonly used, and it is often added to different dressings and even other dishes for health-boosting purposes.

If your recipe uses one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, then you can actually substitute this for two tablespoons of white wine vinegar.

While you might not be reaping the health benefits, you will be getting the same flavor.

Balsamic Vinegar

For those who are seeking the sweet taste that balsamic vinegar can add to any dish or dressing, you might find yourself in need of a substitute.

This type of vinegar is less acidic, and it is even aged as wine would be. It is typically a higher cost in comparison to other types of vinegar, but you can switch it out for another alternative. 

For every one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar that you were supposed to use, you could choose to use one tablespoon of brown rice vinegar instead.

You could also choose to make a balsamic vinegar substitute of your own, and you can do this using a combination of apple cider vinegar and honey. You will get the perfect results that you were looking for by using this duo.

Champagne Vinegar

While champagne vinegar is less commonly used, it can be found in a variety of salad dressings and it is loved by many due to its bright flavor and lower acidity.

It is also typically used for fancier meals by chefs and can be used for marinating different meats.

Due to the fact that it has a really mild flavor, you should try not to use any vinegar substitute that is overpowering or too complex in flavor.

This is why it is best to use a white or red wine vinegar substitute, as these are less potent in flavor. The ratio is still 1:1 for replacements, and you should be able to still get excellent results. 

White Wine Vinegar

If your recipe requires you to use white wine vinegar, and you don’t happen to have any to hand, then you can actually substitute it for rice vinegar.

These are both types of vinegar that are relatively acidic, and they make great alternatives to one another.

For every one tablespoon of white wine vinegar that you were supposed to use, you should use an equal amount of rice vinegar. You could also choose to substitute this vinegar with real white wine. 

White Vinegar

If you have accidentally used up your entire stock of white wine for cleaning, then you will likely be looking for an alternative when it comes to cooking.

Well, you don’t have to worry because you can substitute your white vinegar for cider vinegar or even malt vinegar.

Both of these alternatives have a similar strong flavor, which is why they make such great substitutes. You can maintain equal amounts of both, so for every one tablespoon of white vinegar, you can use one tablespoon of either cider vinegar or malt vinegar. 

Other Vinegar Substitutes

As well as the different vinegar for vinegar substitutes that there are available for you to utilize, you can also substitute vinegar for other ingredients.

Some of the most popular of these are lemon juice and lime juice, but you can also use real wine in some circumstances. We are going to list some of the other substitutes for wine that you should know about below. 

If the recipe that you are using is for baking, then you should definitely consider using lemon juice as an alternative.

For example, if the recipe requires a ¼ cup of white vinegar for your baking task, then you should instead use ⅓ cup of lemon juice to get the same results. Some might argue that the lemon juice actually tastes much better.

You can also choose to use lemon juice for cooking purposes instead of vinegar, but you should double the amount that you are using.

If you were required to use one cup of vinegar, then you should use two cups of lemon juice.

You can also take a look at red wine , malt vinegar , tarragon vinegar , rice wine vinegar , red wine vinegar , white balsamic vinegar , herb vinegar , black vinegar, distilled vinegar, seasoned rice vinegar, and fruit vinegar . They all taste great!

White Vinegar

Homemade Champagne Vinegar

Easy recipe for all your champagne vinegar needs.
5 from 1 vote
Cook Time 14 days
Total Time 14 days
Course Seasoning
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 1 kcal


  • Large glass jar
  • Measuring cup
  • Cheesecloth
  • Funnel


  • 1 bottle of champagne
  • 1/4 cup of vinegar mother
  • 1 large glass jar with lid
  • Cheesecloth


  • Pour the champagne into the large glass jar.
  • Add the vinegar mother to the jar and stir well.
  • Cover the jar with cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band.
  • Place the jar in a cool, dark place and let it sit undisturbed for at least 2 weeks.
  • After 2 weeks, taste the vinegar. If it's not sour enough, let it sit for another week and taste again.
  • Once the vinegar has reached the desired sourness, strain it through cheesecloth into a clean jar.
  • Seal the jar with a lid and store the vinegar in a cool, dark place until ready to use.


Calories: 1kcal
Keyword himemade champagne vinegar
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use lemon juice instead of vinegar?

Whether or not you can use lemon juice in your recipes instead of vinegar depends very much on what it is you’re trying to make.

Lemon juice does have a lot in common with vinegar, as they both have acidic properties which are called for in all sorts of recipes…

However, they do differ. Lemon juice and vinegar have very distinctive tastes, so if they represent a prominent feature in your recipes this taste will come through.

But that’s not all. They also differ in just how acidic they are, with vinegar being slightly more acidic than lemon juice.

So what does this mean? Well, lemon juice is an excellent substitute for vinegar in home canning recipes for one.

And you can also use lemon juice in place of vinegar for baking. But, for every tablespoon of vinegar suggested, you should use twice as much lemon juice.

What can I use instead of cider vinegar in a recipe?

We are pleased to report that you can use several different kinds of acidic liquids in place of cider vinegar in your recipes if you simply don’t have cider vinegar at hand…

You can use lemon juice, lime juice, rice vinegar, or distilled vinegar. And you can use these in the same proportions as you would have used the cider vinegar, which certainly makes things easier and a lot less complicated.

If however, you wanted to replace the cider vinegar in a recipe with red wine vinegar, then you will need to use an extra teaspoon of red wine vinegar for every tablespoon of cider vinegar that you want to replace.

But just to give you a quick heads-up, if you do replace cider vinegar in a recipe with a different vinegar, then the flavor will be far sharper, and it lacks some of the fruitiness you get with apple cider vinegar.

Can you make your own vinegar?

You can make your own vinegar at home, but this will likely involve obtaining ingredients that aren’t so easy to get hold of, that you will have to order online.

This is commonly done by adding a culture called Mother of Vinegar to fermented fruit juice.

Making fruit vinegar however is a little easier. All you need is a pound of fresh fruit or fruit scraps cut up really small, a third of a cup of sugar, and half a cup of live unpasteurized vinegar. (Examples of live unpasteurized vinegar include red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.)

But please bear in mind that the recipe takes weeks or months to fully convert the flavors into a nice fruit vinegar. So it’s not the best option if you’re in a rush, and is only worth attempting if you have the patience for it.

Is rice vinegar like white vinegar?

I’m glad you asked this question, because regardless of close in color rice vinegar may be to white vinegar, they are completely different in taste. 

White vinegar is particularly sour and harsh, and is more commonly used as a natural household cleaning product as opposed to a key recipe ingredient.

Rice vinegar on the other hand is incredibly sweet and very delicate. Quite the contrast.

So, in an ideal world you will not be replacing white vinegar with rice vinegar. But if you do find yourself with no other vinegar at hand, then we would suggest swapping out your white vinegar with equal amounts of rice vinegar, but with the addition of quarter of a teaspoon of sugar for every tablespoon that you’re swapping out.

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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
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