Apple Cider Substitutes: Top 7 Alternatives

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Fall is just around the corner and nothing reminds us of this season like fresh apple cider.

This is a product that it’s not only used for drinking but also it can be used in cooking from doughnuts to dumplings.

From a beverage to vinegar, the apple cider can be used in many ways. It’s also very healthy and nutritious.  The main difference between the two is that the vinegar has been fermented into alcohol and then converted into acetic acid, whereas the cider is more like apple juice.

But what if you don’t have any apple cider at home and the recipe requires it. Is there anything else that can be used instead of apple cider?

Can I substitute apple cider? Well, yes you can. This article will provide the best apple cider substitutes like Apple juice, Lemon juice, Rice wine vinegar, Red wine vinegar, White wine vinegar, White wine and Sherry vinegar.

Also, read more about what is the difference between the apple cider juice and the apple cider vinegar. Furthermore, there is a good recipe for you on how to make the best home-made apple cider and then turn into vinegar. And last but not least, how to save your ribs with the provided substitutes for the recipe.

Substitutes for Apple Cider

Since the apple cider is used in recipes as well as the vinegar most of the time, here is a list of substitutes that can help you save your meal. These are the substitutes that have almost the same taste as the cider and will fit in your recipe. Use the same amount of these substitutes in your recipe:

1. Apple juice

Apple juice

The closest to apple cider is the apple juice. Make sure if you are using the juice as a substitute in your recipe to put unsweetened apple juice so your recipe won’t be far off from its original flavour.

2. Lemon juice

Lemon juice

The lemon juice is also very high in acid and low pH, so the fruity tones and the acidy taste will help you save your meal. Use lemon juice to prove the similar flavour and taste as the apple cider.

3. Rice wine vinegar

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Lacking the slight sweetness and also a fruity flavour that will help you to bring out the acidy taste. It’s an excellent match in your recipe as a substitute. It does not have the same health benefits as the apple cider, but it’s a good way to bring out the flavours in salad dressings. Also, you can add a teaspoon of lemon juice to make it more fruity.

4. Red wine vinegar

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Usually, this type of vinegar is very strong and has a harsh taste. If you are using it as a substitute for apple cider, make sure that you add less and then add more if necessary. Also, the colour of the vinegar is red, so keep that in mind as well.

5. White wine vinegar

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Another type of wine vinegar that will easily help you substitute apple cider in your recipe. Also, useless when substituting and remember you can always add more if it’s not acidic enough for you. The flavour is sharp and lacks the fruitiness of the apple cider but still works and fits well.

6. White wine

Just two tablespoons of white wine for one tablespoon of apple cider will help you to make your recipe as it should be done. A bottle of white wine will save your meal if you don’t have apple cider. The sweetness of apple cider is very similar to white wine.

7. Sherry vinegar

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This is a slightly different flavour substitute for apple cider but it can sure pass as a very good substitute. The acidity in the taste makes these two similar and a good substitute for each other.

Apple Cider Substitute for Ribs

If you are halfway through your recipe for making ribs and you realise that you have no apple cider to use in your process of making it, don’t worry I will help you save your dish. All you can use is just apple juice that will actually add the same apple flavour to the rib sauce as the cider.

Also, by adding apple juice, you will help to create steam inside the foil, so your ribs won’t be dry, but instead be juicy and tasteful. Also, you have the liberty to use orange or pineapple juice as well, to make very delicious ribs.

Apple Cider: Juice vs. Vinegar

The apple cider is a very delicious beverage and the apple cider vinegar is said to be the cure for many things. Both types of apple cider are nutritious and they are basically the same made from apples, remarkably similar and yet somehow they have a few differences.

Well, the juice is a freshly pressed apple which is made from the juices that come from the whole, crushed apples. This is also called sweet cider or a non- alcoholic one. They are actually filtered and then pasteurized for safe consumption.

Whereas, the vinegar is fermented and is made from a combination of water and acetic acid. It’s made from fermenting apples into natural sugar alcohol and then adding bacteria to prevent the alcohol from getting into acetic acid.

Don’t worry if there is no apple cider in your market, read below to find out how to make apple cider at home. Another important thing to note is the process of turning the apple cider into vinegar.

Homemade Apple Cider:

There is always the option of making this product at home. The apple cider is something that can be made on your own as well as it is very easy and fast. Read down the article to find out what are the ingredients that you’ll need and the process of making it.

This homemade apple cider is a good way of making all of your recipes even tastier as it would give more texture to the whole meal. One it’s done, the apple cider can be good to stay in the fridge for 2 weeks, so make sure that you let it cool off completely before storing it in your fridge.

All you need is:

  • 10 large apples,
  • ½ orange
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon allspice
  • 1 tablespoon of cloves
  • 1 pack of brown sugar
  • 1 whole nutmeg


  1. For making this homemade apple cider, you will have to use a large pot to put it on medium heat.
  2. Firstly, you have to add the apples, then the orange, the spices and then the brown sugar. Let it boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 hours.
  3. Later, you have to remove the orange and use a masher to mash the apples. Let it simmer one more time uncovered for more than an hour.
  4. After all, it’s done, squeeze the juices out and discard the solids. Your apple cider is ready to serve and use in recipes.

The process of turning the apple cider into vinegar:

There is also the option that you can turn the cider juice into vinegar. Simply, all you have to do is leave an open container of apple cider so it can ferment naturally. It usually takes 2-4 weeks to turn it into vinegar.

The fermentation process to occur needs for the cider to be exposed as much to air as possible. Protect the opening from insects by covering it with cheesecloth. It will allow the cider to breathe and get the process done.

You’ll know when it’s done by the taste of it. That’s the prime determiner that will let you know that the vinegar is done. First, the taste is carbonated, then the sweetness and bubbling flatten and then it takes an alcoholic taste with a very dry texture. Once the acids develop, the sourness will take over and your apple cider is now vinegar.

Related questions

What is the difference between apple juice and apple cider?

Since they are both made from apples, you probably think that there wouldn’t be any differences but there is something that makes a distinguishment between. Apple cider is made from apples that are washed, cut and ground, whereas the apple juice goes under fermentation to remove pulp and then pasteurized to extend the life of the juice.

What can I use instead of apple cider vinegar for baking?

Well, you can substitute 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, then you can use lime juice or you can also add 2 tablespoons of white wine. These substitutes are not with the same nutrition facts as the apple cider and do not have the same health benefits, but you’ll get the flavour that you’ll need.

Can you drink apple cider vinegar?

Some people prefer to drink apple cider vinegar. This is something that is very healthy and has many nutritious health benefits. There are people who drink it to lose weight or just it’s good for their digestive system. So feel free to drink it but not too much, because it can have a negative effect on your tooth enamel.

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