Balsamic Vinegar Substitute

Balsamic vinegar is a great ingredient for cooking delicious recipes like sauces, meat, salads, desserts and more. If you find yourself out of balsamic vinegar, there are some useful balsamic vinegar substitute you can utilize.

There are different reasons to use these balsamic vinegar substitutes. You may either run out of the vinegar, looking for diversity or may be limited in cash to buy balsamic vinegar.

The original balsamic vinegar comes at a higher cost and this can be solved by using the available balsamic vinegar substitutes.

Balsamic vinegar is made of Trebbiano white grapes whereby the grapes are pressed together mixing the seeds, skins, juice, and stems. The best and original balsamic vinegar is made in Italy.

Although you can substitute the balsamic vinegar, the taste from the substitute cant matches the balsamic taste. Balsamic vinegar is similar to wine as it gets better with time.

For a close taste to balsamic vinegar, you can use the following balsamic vinegar substitutes for your recipes.

1. Red Wine Vinegar + Sugar

This a great substitute as they are similar to each other. Both kinds of vinegar are made fro wine and thus red wine is the perfect balsamic vinegar substitute.

Mix 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar and half tablespoon of sugar. You can also use other types of sweeteners like honey, brown sugar, etc.

Once the mixture is thoroughly mixed, you get a similar solution with tasty and flavor close to balsamic vinegar.

Note: Red wine is a good healthy solution that does not contain any cholesterol, fats, and sodium. Instead, it contains large amounts of antioxidants that are beneficial to the body.

2. Apple Cider & Sugar

Good old apple cider and mix of sugar can be a great alternative for balsamic vinegar. All you need is a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and half a tablespoon of sugar. You can adjust the ratio depending on the tasty level you are looking for.

Mix these ingredients thoroughly to make sure the sugar crystals are all diluted. You can also use any type of sugar from brown, cane sugar and granulated sugar.

Note: Apple cider contains many health benefits like weight loss, lower blood sugar levels, improves digestion among others. You still get to enjoy it as a balsamic substitute and obtain great health benefits.

3. Balsamic Vinaigrette

You can use balsamic vinaigrette since it contains some balsamic in it. Balsamic vinaigrette works well as a spice and salad dressing.

This substitute tastes different because it has other ingredients in it like herbs, sugars, salt, and oils. The amount of balsamic vinegar in the vinaigrette is good enough to act as a substitute for original balsamic vinegar.

4. Malt vinegar

Malt vinegar has some beer taste in it due to barley and can be a good substitute for balsamic vinegar. Mix the malt vinegar with some sugar to achieve a taste close to balsamic vinegar.

5. Sherry vinegar

This vinegar has almost the same taste like balsamic vinegar. It has a sweet and mild taste to make it a great alternative for balsamic vinegar in your recipes.

It doesn’t require the addition of other ingredients to increase the flavor like other substitutes in this list.

Note: In addition to it being a great balsamic vinegar substitute, sherry vinegar has great benefits in the body as it increases the good type of cholesterol and lower blood sugar. Taken daily can aid in weight loss.

6. Lemon juice, molasses, soy sauce

These three ingredients are mixed to form a tasty balsamic substitute. To replace 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, mix 1 tablespoon of molasses, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce.

In case you don’t have molasses, you can also use brown rice syrup or brown sugar syrup. You can adjust the ingredients to taste as you prefer.

8. Chinese Black Vinegar

The Chinese black vinegar is made of glutinous rice and malt. It has a close taste to balsamic vinegar hence if you use it as a balsamic substitute, the recipes integrate well.

No other ingredients you need to add with the Chinese black vinegar. You can buy the Chinese vinegar at a cheaper price and still enjoy meals supposed to be cooked with balsamic vinegar.

9. Beef Stock and White Vinegar

Yeah! The flavored beef stock has a taste close to balsamic but you need to reduce it with white vinegar. The vinegar to add depends on the amount of beef stock you have prepared.

You adjust the flavors by adding other ingredients like sugar or honey until you get a close taste to balsamic vinegar. Adding 2 to 3 tablespoons of vinegar at a time to taste would be helpful.

10. Non-Fruity Vinegar And Sugar

The white vinegar has hundreds of uses in the kitchen and day to day hacks. You can make balsamic substitute vinegar using the non-fruity vinegar and sugar.


  • One cup of sugar
  • 5 cups of any nonfruity vinegar
  • Brown rice vinegar or Chinese black vinegar
  • A pot for mixing

First, you need to mix the sugar and vinegar in the pot. Place in your stovetop and set it a low heat to cook the mixture until the sugar gets dissolved.

Second, pour the brown rice vinegar or Chinese vinegar to introduce the dark color balsamic vinegar has.

Give it time to cool down and then you can use it on your recipes as a balsamic vinegar substitute.

Different Balsamic Vinegar Ages To Choose From

After the process of reduction of the grape juice, it is stored for years in barrels to obtain concentrated black and sweet vinegar.

There are different of aged balsamic vinegar used for different purposes.

The young group (aged 3 to 6 years)

Middle group – Aged 7 to 12 years.

Aged group – From 13 to 140+ years. This is the best but it is very expensive.

The important ingredient to look for when buying balsamic vinegar is the “must” which makes the vinegar have a quality taste.


Once you get used to balsamic vinegar it’s hard to cook salads, sauces, meat dishes, etc without it. If you don’t have the balsamic vinegar, then these balsamic vinegar substitutes come in handy.

Getting creative in your recipes by adding substitutes saves the day and you may discover an amazing trick in the process.