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Substitutes for Brandy

One may wonder about the best substitutes for brandy in cooking or baking. This article will talk about the most acceptable options to substitute brandy.

Well, there’re many replacements available, for example- wine, fruit juice, bourbon, etc. The first thing to wonder that why we need substitutes for brandy? 

The thing is that some might not like the taste of alcohol. Also, some may like alcohol flavor in recipes but want something different from brandy.

So, there can be many reasons we need a brandy replacement. So, we’ll talk about around thirteen different substitutes and many more on the topic.

What is Brandy?

Brandy is a flavor enhancer in several foods or recipes. It acts as a compatible item for meat and seafood.

Brandy has been used in cooking and baking for a long time now. It’s a kind of distilled spirit and comes from the fermentation of fruits or starchy vegetables.

However, check for the substitutes for brandy in the following sections if you need one.

alternative for Brandy

Best Substitutes for Brandy

So, we’re here with 13 different substitutes for brandy in cooking or baking. We’ll go through each of the substitutes in detail. 

Hence, find the most suitable replacement for brandy that matches your recipe demands.


Brandy is also a kind of wine (distilled one). We’re talking about some non-alcoholic wines here. 

Juice wine, white wine (homemade), and red wines are some examples of best substitutes for brandy. Grape juices are also an acceptable option to replace brandy.

Overall, homemade and non-alcoholic wines can do the trick to substitute brandy.


They taste sweeter than whiskies and brandy, with around 50% corn presence in bourbon. Hence, bourbon is one of the best substitutes out there.

The taste has a mixture of vanilla, oak, and caramel. Overall, it can enhance the food flavor to a great extent.

Evan Williams and Four Roses are two common examples of bourbon. Moreover, 1972 and Woodford Reserve are also good bourbons available.

Fruit Juices

Different fruit juices are the most accessible and affordable substitutes for brandy.

Fruit juice is the best option for those who don’t want alcohol consumption. The best juices that can replace brandy are apple, orange, and cherry juices.

However, pineapple juice is also good to go for cooking and baking. A key thing to note is that fruit juices will be sweeter than alcohol or other wines.

So, we need to add fruit juice accordingly, keeping in mind the sweetness of our recipe.


Gins are yet another replacement option for brandy. However, Gins are primarily compatible with meat recipes as many chefs prefer them.

Whether you want to make pasta or bake a dessert, the gin is a good option.

Gins can be used in various ways, and the bulk of gins are less expensive than brandies.

Adding gin to your dish depends on what you’re cooking and how much gin you have on hand. However, you can use the same amount as if you were using brandy.


Well, we now have an alcoholic alternative to brandy. It’s the famous tequila. They come from the fermented sugar from the agave plant (Blue Agave).

The flavor of the tequila is strong compared to the brandy. So, you should add tequila in less proportion than brandy. Overusing tequila in a recipe might damage the texture and flavor.

However, one best thing about tequila is that you can find them easily in the wine section of grocery stores. Also, you can buy them online.

Next up, we’ll talk about brandy extracts, an exciting substitute.

Brandy Extracts

If you consider brandy extracts, they’ll still be alcoholic. However, the amount of alcohol is nearly zero when we use them.

But, those looking for a complete absence of alcohol should go for fruit extracts. No matter how much we say, brand extracts will have at least some alcohol amount.

Note that, when using brandy extracts, you should add less than what you would use brandy in quantity. The best is to add 2 or 2 and ½ tablespoons of the brandy extracts to replace three tablespoons of brandy.


For cooking and baking, rums are an excellent substitute for brandy. It’s possible to utilize them in the recipe that calls for brandy.

Rums, on the other hand, include alcohol. Thus, they’re not an option if you don’t want to use alcohol in your recipe.

Adding rum to your dish will enhance its flavor. To lessen the alcohol content, you can add more water to the rum you use.

There are various rums to choose from, each produced by a particular company. You can get them from both online and physical retailers.


Sherry is a great option to replace brandy. It comes originally from Spain, and it’s a type of wine.

Note that they’re made from white grapes.

There’re different brands of sherry available in the market. A common name is the Osoborn Sibarita Oloroso.

So, if you want a mild alcoholic replacement for brandy, sherry can be the answer.


If you’re looking for a clean flavor, gin is the answer. It’s a favorite option for many. It ranks right after rum in terms of popularity.

Apart from the alcoholic flavor, there’s the touch of herbal taste. So, gin can enhance the flavor in both cooking and baking.


Well, vodka is another substitute option for brandy. However, vodka has a milder flavor than brandy.

If your dish doesn’t call for other tastes or flavors, vodka is a good choice.

For example, if your recipe calls for brandy, you might want to experiment with fruit juice or sherry instead.

Peppermint Schnapps

So, like gin, peppermint schnapps also comes with a clean flavor. However, it’s great for those looking for a minty taste.

But how do we get peppermint schnapps? It comes from the distilled liquid of the blended extracts of peppermints.

The aroma of the item is the main reason it can enhance the flavor of a recipe to a great extent.


Another alcoholic beverage you can use in place of brandy in cooking and baking is this one. Again, you can enhance the taste and aroma of your food by introducing whiskey into it.

Add a small amount of whiskey to your dinner because of the high alcohol content. 

We’ve already discussed a whiskey type before. It’s bourbon. However, Jack Daniels is another example, but it might be pricey.


Alcoholic and non-alcoholic extracts are available. There is no one-size-fits-all answer.

When it comes to alcohol, the difference between fruity extracts and brandy extracts is apparent.

In any case, you can replace brandy replacements with wine extracts in any recipe.

Feel free to use any extract on hand. It can be vanilla or something else.

Substitutes for Brandy

Substitutes for Brandy

One may wonder about the best substitutes for brandy in cooking or baking. This article will talk about the most acceptable options to substitute brandy.


  • Wines
  • Bourbon
  • Fruit Juices
  • Gins
  • Tequila
  • Brandy Extracts
  • Rum
  • Sherry
  • Gin
  • Vodka
  • Peppermint Schnapps
  • Whiskey
  • Extracts


  • Choose your preferred replacement from the list
  • Add substitute to your recipe
  • Make your own delicious recipe

Make Your Own Brandy in 30 Seconds

Final Words

Brandy can enhance your favorite recipe flavor pretty much. But, you can use substitutes for brandy when you don’t have it on hand. Also, use other options when you don’t want the taste of alcohol.

Fruit extract can be an excellent option for those who want something that doesn’t have any trace of alcohol. However, we’ve given you a wide range of choices to substitute brandy.

So, please choose any alternatives from our list in this article and apply them to your recipe accordingly. Next, we’ll talk about some questions and answers related to substitutes for brandy.

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FAQs – Substitutes for Brandy

We’ve found six different questions related to brandy and its substitutes. Let’s look at the answers and clear off any doubts on the topic.

What can I use instead of Brandy?

Instead of brandy, you can use sherry, fruit extracts, wine, gin, etc.

However, fruit extracts are for those who want to avoid alcohol.

Gin, wines, and bourbon are for those willing to have a taste variation from brandy.

What Liquor is similar to Brandy?

Whisky and rum are two items that are much similar to brandy. If we consider the sweetness level, rum is a bit sweeter. But, rum and brandy have got a similarity in tastes.

Also, you can use rum in meat and seafood just like the brandy.

Can I substitute Hennessy for Brandy?

Yes, Hennessy is an excellent option if you want to replace American brandy.

Fortunately, Hennessy is just another version of brandy.

Is Hennessy a brandy?

Yes, as we’ve mentioned before, Hennessy is a type of brandy.

Due to the fermentation of fruit juice, they’re known as a brandy kind.

What does Brandy do in baking?

Brandy will give a baking recipe an additional flavor (alcohol or winey). Also, the sweetness level will increase when you add brandy to baking.

Why is Brandy used in cooking?

To achieve a unique flavor, many prefer the addition of brandy 

Also, in meat recipes, chefs prefer to use brand or similar wines to keep the meat moist.

Overall, brandy is a great flavor enhancer in food recipes.

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