Bourbon Substitute For Cooking: Our 10 Picks
Last Updated on August 1, 2022 by Lydia Martin
Bourbon recipes are all over the internet and each recipe makes a great way of serving your favorite dishes with a twist. Whether you run out of bourbon or want to try a new liquor, its good to know that there are alcoholic and non-alcoholic substitutes you can use for cooking.
Looking for the best bourbon substitute for cooking? We got you covered!
Wrap Up On Bourbon Alternatives For Cooking
Bourbon might be a delicacy, but it isnt necessary to make pecan pie or eggnog taste better. Substitute bourbon with our list of ingredients and recipes that dont require it for the same result.
For instance, you can use Whiskey in place of Bourbon when making mocktails like an old-fashioned sour cocktail.
Or, if you want something savory, try substituting your favorite aged liquor in lieu of Bourbon in this recipe for fried chicken made famous by Kentuckys Colonel Sanders!
Substitute For Bourbon In Pecan Pie
This is a very common and popular dessert that has bourbon as one of its main ingredients .
This dessert is used for holiday dinners. However, you might not want to use bourbon dont worry because I have the best replacements.
- When preparing this pie, one tablespoon of other types of alcohol wont really change the look, texture or flavor of the pie.
- You can use 2 tablespoons of rum, brandy, or cognac. Also, another option is to use another type of bourbon like Makers Mark or Scotch. 2 tablespoons is enough.
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What Ingredients Do You Need
The ingredient list here is fairly simple, and if you have a well stocked kitchen/pantry, chances are you will have most of the items already!
- Brown Sugar and Apple Juice. These two give the sauce sweetness.
- Apple Cider Vinegar. You can replace this with red wine vinegar or really any type of vinegar. I like the apple cider vinegar because it enhances the apple juice, while adding acidity.
- Garlic and Ginger. These are 2 key ingredients in more asian cuisine and this sauce is no exception!
- Soy Sauce. I always recommend using low sodium sauce sauce. And since soy sauce IS higher in sodium you dont need to add any extra salt to this recipe!
- Boneless Chicken Thighs. I know you will ask, and yes you certainly can use boneless chicken breasts in place of the thighs. But thighs are dark meat and really give it the traditional food court chicken vibes, while adding flavor. But again, yes you can use breasts
- Cornstarch. This will thicken up your bourbon sauce, really helping it coat your chicken!
Can I Substitute Whiskey For Cognac In A Recipe
If you cant get your hands on either Cognac or brandy, you can also try different alcoholic spirits. Rum, whiskey, and bourbon can all be used to some degree of success, but be aware that it will change the flavor of your end product.
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What To Look Into When Replacing Bourbon
It depends. When looking for a substitute for bourbon when cooking, you should look into the following matters:
- If you are going to prepare cocktails, then using a non-alcoholic substitute for bourbon wont do the trick
- What dish are you about to make? Do you want to make bourbon chicken, bourbon braised brisket, or perhaps other chicken dishes? Depending on the recipe, finding a good substitute wont be as straightforward
- Sweetness will always prevail if you want to replace bourbon, so keep this in mind before proceeding.
Is There Such A Thing As Non
When three Kentucky-born friends saw a gap in the bourbon industry, they filled itwith the first-ever non-alcoholic bourbon, Kentucky 74. In Kentucky, bourbon is the drink of choice. So when three entrepreneurs from Kentucky decided to create Kentucky 74, a non-alcoholic bourbon, there was a bit of pushback.
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Apple Cider Vinegar + Peach Nectar
Matching apple cider vinegar with peach nectar is a more refined option compared to the use of brown sugar. The taste gets very close to that of bourbon. The mix works exceptionally well with fruity recipes, though its suitable for other options as well.
Its not a good choice for baking, but try it for things like BBQ sauce or pork shoulder. To make this combination, mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and peach nectar. You can use this mix to replace bourbon in a 1:1 ratio, though it might be useful to start with a slightly smaller amount.
How To Substitute For Alcohol :
Following is a general list of alcohol substitutions that can be used when cooking with alcohol is simply not an option. Choose the alcohol substitutions that best matches the flavor of the dish you are making:
Also check out my articleAlcohol Burn Off During Cookingto learn just how much alcohol is actually left in your foods after cooking with alcohol. You will be surprised!
Amaretto Non-Alcoholic almond extract. Substitute 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon almond extract for 2 tablespoons Amaretto.
Anisette Anise Italian soda syrup or fennel. Also use the herbs anise or fennel.
Beer or Ale Chicken broth, beef broth, mushroom broth, white grape juice, or ginger ale.
Bourbon 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of non-alcoholic vanilla extract.
Brandy Water, white grape juice, apple cider or apple juice, diluted peach or apricot syrups. Substitute equal amounts of liquid.
Champagne Ginger ale, sparkling apple cider, sparkling cranberry juice, or sparkling white grape juice.
Coffee Liqueur To replace 2 tablespoons of liqueur, use 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of chocolate extract mixed with 1 teaspoon of instant coffee, which has been mixed in 2 tablespoons of water. Can also substitute expresso, non-alcoholic coffee extract, or coffee syrup.
Cognac Juice from peaches, apricots, or pears.
Cointreau Orange juice or frozen orange juice concentrate.
Creme de menthe Spearmint extract or oil of spearmint diluted with a little water or grapefruit juice.
Sake Rice vinegar.
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An Overview Of Bourbon
Named after Bourbon County in Kentucky , Bourbon is a distilled liquor made from corn mash. Although Bourbon can be produced anywhere, around 95 percent of Bourbons in the US is produced in Kentucky.
Bourbon is a type of whiskey, but for a whiskey to be called Bourbon, it must be made of at least 51 percent corn. Although malted barley, wheat, or rye can also feature in Bourbon, theyll typically be present in small quantities.
Bourbon typically has a high alcohol concentration. It has a minimum of 40 percent alcohol by volume and can get significantly higher, depending on the manufacturer.
In cooking, the level of alcohol concentration in a Bourbon results in varying effects on the dish being prepared. Bourbon with lower alcohol concentration generally gives more room for the flavors of the dish to feature prominently. Conversely, Bourbon with higher alcohol concentration can diminish the flavor of a dish to some extent.
Best Bourbon Substitutes That Match Its Depth Of Flavor
Bourbon stands its ground as a drink and an important cooking ingredient. It finds use in several recipes, going all the way from ribs to cakes. But in the event you cant use bourbon for some recipes, dont panic! Try these bourbon substitutes.
For recipes, you can use alcoholic as well as non-alcoholic substitutes to bourbon. During cooking, a lot of alcohol evaporates, usually leaving behind a wonderful flavor. Of course, these replacements should match the taste of bourbon, but sometimes it might be worthwhile to take a different route.
Lets check out some cool alternatives to bourbon.
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What To Use Instead Of Bourbon In Different Recipes
Bourbon is a famous American whiskey and uses in different recipes like Bourbon chicken, Cocktails, Pumpkin pie, Chocolate cake, a variety of confections, etc.
If you dont have Bourbon, consider the following alternatives: Brandy, Amarula, Rum, Whiskey, Scotch, Cognac, Dark Beer, Ginger Extract, Almond Extract, Vanilla Extract, Fruit juices, Fruit-based cocktails, ACV with sugar and peach nectar, and Bourbon extract for non-alcoholic alternatives.
See, there are tons of options to make your recipe more special. No move forward to details of these all substitutes used place of Bourbon.
Hot Cocoa And Warm Eggnog Mixture
Hot cocoa and warm eggnog mixture is an unconventional but possible non-alcoholic bourbon replacement.
It gives an eggnog spice taste to the dish its used in. It can be used in cake recipes.
When it comes to bourbon substitutes, whether alcoholic or non-alcoholic, its best to determine the kind of flavour you wish to achieve, that way when you substitute for bourbon in a recipe you still achieve the desired results.
But why would anyone want to substitute bourbon in their cooking? Lets find out why.
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Does The Alcohol Cook Out Of Bourbon
It is a general belief that alcohol cooks out of a recipe with heat. It either evaporates or burns out, leaving behind just the flavor. This belief is incorrect, or at least doesnt paint the full picture. Heres the thing not all alcohol evaporates or burns out during food. In fact, some recipes can even retain most of the alcohol.
The amount of alcohol remaining is usually a function of time. The longer a dish is cooked, the lower the alcohol content. A report found that a recipe cooked for two and a half hours had about 4% of the alcohol remaining. A recipe that spent 15 minutes on the heat had 40% alcohol remaining. A popular sauce like bourbon caramel could retain as much as 85% of the alcohol.
So, to put it simply, the amount of alcohol does reduce with cooking. Yet, there is a good chance there will be at least some alcohol content in your food.
Are Bourbon And Whiskey The Same
After all, both bourbon and whiskey are brown liquidsthey look about the same. And to add to the possible confusion, if you just refer to bourbon as whiskey, you wouldnt be wrong. Bourbon is a type of whiskey, much the way that champagne is a type of wine. So all bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon.
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Brandy Perfect Choice For Substituting Bourbon
Brandy is always the first choice to replace Bourbon, from cooking to cocktails. Brandy is a type of distilled wine that is made from grapes. It has a strong, fruity flavor that can be a good substitute for Bourbon in recipes.
Brandy is also a good choice if you are looking for a less expensive option. You can brandy into cocktails or use it in cooking, including sauces, glazes, and marinades.
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Can I Substitute Apple Juice For Bourbon
Apple juice, orange juice and white grape juice Apple, orange and grape juice would make a good non-alcoholic alternative to bourbon, especially if you want to bring some fruity flavor to a dessert or add character to a meat marinade. You can also use a mixture of all three, or just one, depending on your preferences.
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How Is Jack Daniels Different From Bourbon
The company does not prefer to call it Bourbon whiskey.
Like most Bourbon whiskey brands, Jack Daniels is produced on American soil.It has a predominantly corn-based mash bill, and is aged in new, charred-Oak barrels for at least two years. These are the legal terms that define a straight Bourbon whiskey.
Apple Cider Vinegar + Brown Sugar
While it seems a little weird to use apple cider vinegar instead of bourbon, this choice can be good when it comes to cooking certain things. All you need to do is mix ½ tablespoon apple cider with teaspoon brown sugar for every one tablespoon of bourbon.
This is another alcohol-free option that works wonders if you have to prepare BBQ sauce, ribs, pecan pie, eggnog, and pulled pork.
You can find apple cider vinegar anywhere these days, especially because it is considered healthy food that aids your digestion. The brown sugar is not necessary if you dont mind the acidity, but it can be a sweet addition to mimic more of that bourbon flavor.
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So Whats The Best Bourbon For Cooking
Hands down, the best bourbon whiskey for cooking is Wild Turkey 101. This high-proof liquor has just the right amount of sweet and spicy flavor notes that perfectly complement a wide range of sweet or savory dishes.
The important rule of thumb to remember when cooking with bourbon is: if it doesnt taste good neat, it will not taste good when cooked.
Other bourbons, like Old Grand-Dad and Makers Mark, are also great runner-ups you can use for cooking.
Why Replace Bourbon Anyway
There are many reasons why someone may decide to replace bourbon. These are some common ones:
- Alcohol-Free Diet: While not everyone is strict about alcohol in cooking, some people consume no alcohol at all, and that includes sweet and savory dishes. In these cases, using a non-alcoholic choice is the only option.
- Flavor: Bourbon is a strong spirit, which means that not everyone will like it. While it may be dissipated when you cook, the flavor may still be too strong for some individuals.
- Cost: As with any other spirit or alcohol, the cost may be high depending on what brand you choose. Still, when you are cooking and baking, buying bourbon may be out of the price range you want.
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Best Brandy Substitutes For Cooking
Are you preparing a recipe that requires brandy as an ingredient? However, you dont have any, or you are cooking for someone who dislikes alcohol. This article will provide you with a list of substitutes for brandy. Read on to find the one that suits you best.
One of the most widely used alcohols in cooking is brandy. You can use alcoholic and non-alcoholic alternatives that will give your recipe a similar flavor.
Bourbon Substitute In Pecan Pie
Pecan pie is a baked good that commonly has bourbon incorporated into the ingredients. When substituting your bourbon in pecan pie, you may wish to try the apple cider vinegar and brown sugar method mentioned above, or you may wish to try the same measurements but with apple cider vinegar and peach nectar instead.
To do this, simply mix 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with teaspoons of brown sugar or peach nectar. Both of these substitutions work well for mimicking bourbon flavor in pecan pie and other baked goods so you dont have to skimp on flavor.
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Does Alcohol Cook Out In A Slow Cooker
We know that dishes that spend longer on heat while cooking have a lower alcohol content. Something like a slow cooker should completely burn out the alcohol in bourbon, right?
Unfortunately, thats not the case. Most of the alcohol that leaves food does it through evaporation. But, slow cookers keep the temperature so low, that the alcohol doesnt hit the right temperature for evaporating!
Makers Mark Wheated Bourbon
Why We Like It:
A bottle of Makers Mark may be pricey, but trust us when we say you should definitely try it in your dishes at least once.
Like other wheated bourbons, this is warm and sweet, with vanilla and cinnamon flavors that are only enhanced the more its cooked.
Aside from being one of the best holiday drinks, this bourbon can be used for many dishes.
You can use it in a tangy southern barbecue marinade, pecan pie, or as a glaze to your dark chocolate Bundt cake.
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Q1 Can You Use Whiskey Instead Of Bourbon In A Recipe
Yes. You can use either Whiskey or Bourbon in any recipe that calls for the other, though you will obviously need to adjust the amounts based on the differences in alcohol content.
Generally speaking, when a recipe calls for Bourbon, you can use rye instead, and vice versa. However, this is not true in all cases.
Rye and Bourbon are two distinctly different styles of Whiskey . Because of the differences in production, you may find that some recipes come out tasting better when you use the proper Whiskey.
Using Whiskey instead of Bourbon, though, feel free to substitute as you see fit. Either way, I hope your next batch of whiskey balls turns out delicious!
Bourbon Substitute Non Alcoholic
Some people may desire bourbon flavor when cooking but may be cooking for young children or those who dont wish to consume alcohol. In this case, it is fine to substitute a non-alcoholic ingredient to mimic the flavor of bourbon.
Non-alcoholic substitutes for bourbon include:
- Vanilla Extract
- Apple Cider Vinegar and Brown Sugar
- Apple Cider Vinegar and Peach Nectar
If you still arent able to swap bourbon for any of the above substitutions, you can simply add in the same amount of water that you would bourbon, and, in most cases, have your dish turn out fine. Of course, your dish will be lacking bourbon flavor which may render it plain compared to the way it was supposed to taste, but at least youll have the proper liquid to dry ingredient ratio to keep the recipe somewhat intact.
If you were to leave out the bourbon without replacing it with a liquid of some sort, you run the risk of ruining the recipe completely by altering the texture of the dish.
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