A Good Brandy Substitute in Cooking!


Whether we like it or not, there are times when we’ll need to use brandy in cooking. But the problem is that most of us don’t like to drink on an empty stomach, and some people can’t handle alcohol daily. So instead of wasting money buying a bottle of brandy for just one dish, why not use a good brandy substitute? You can use several substitutes in cooking to create a dish with an excellent taste. The best part is that it won’t cost you extra money since these items can be found anywhere – your local grocery or your liquor store.

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Brandy Substitutes in Cooking

Brandy is one of the most popular alcohol varieties used in cooking. It’s an after-dinner drink, an ingredient in cocktails, and also added to desserts. In addition to these, brandy is also used when deglazing pans or when preparing steamed puddings or individual cakes.

What Is Brandy?

Brandy is a distilled spirit that’s made from fermented fruit. The most common types are grapes, plums, apples, and pears though other fruits are also used when making brandy.

Most of the time, when people refer to brandy, they’re referring to grape-based brands, which include cognac, Armagnac, and eau de vie.

How to Make Brandy Substitute?

If you aren’t stocked up on brandy, the best thing to do is to use a good substitute to avoid wasting money. Here are some of the most common brandy substitutes that you can use for cooking:


Like brandy, bourbon is made from fermented fruit, cooking well. The only problem is that bourbon has a slightly sweeter taste which may affect the result of your dish.


Though whisky usually refers to distilled beverages made from fermented grain, several brands are made from fruit or molasses. For best results, look for one with hints of vanilla to mimic the taste of brandy.


Vodka is another good alternative since it’s flavorless. For best results, look for one that doesn’t have a bitter aftertaste or use flavored vodka (e.g., pepper).

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Though not as popular in cooking as brandy, rum has a distinct taste and smell, perfect for creating authentic desserts. However, it’s also slightly sweeter, so you may want to use less than what your recipe calls for.


A good substitute in cooking since it has a mild, sweet flavor. If using tequila, choose one that doesn’t have an overpowering taste or odor since this may affect the result of the dish.


Though gin is usually used as an after-dinner drink, this spirit is made from other fruits like apples and pears. And if not blended with juniper berries, then you can use this as a replacement for brandy in any dish since they’re both neutral spirits that are slightly sweetened.


Like brandy, applejack is also made from fermented apples. This spirit has a slightly fruity hint that makes it perfect for desserts and cakes.


A popular alternative in South America, pisco is distilled. Still, it comes with flavors like pineapple, making it perfect as an ingredient for desserts like tres leches cake or ice cream.


This alcohol is also distilled from apples and is commonly used in French cuisine like applejack. Since most of these spirits are made locally, you can easily purchase one at your local grocery store.

Apricot Brandy

Brandy substitutes don’t always have to come from alcoholics. If you’re looking for a non-alcoholic substitute, try using apricot brandy. It’s made from distilled apricot juice, making it a good alternative for desserts that call for a hint of fruit flavor.

Blackberry Brandy

Another fruit-based brandy is blackberry brandy. As the name suggests, this spirit is made from fermented blackberries and can be used as an alternative in cakes and pies.

Grapefruit Brandy

For those who want to make cocktails, grapefruit brandy may come in handy since this spirit already has a distinct taste that can be mixed with soda water or carbonated drinks. If you’re looking for something refreshing during summertime, look no further than grapefruit brandy sours!

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Homemade Brandy Substitute

Of course, you can always make your brandy substitute from scratch. This is a good option for those looking to experiment with recipes or have easy access to these liquors at their local grocery store. While some may use fruit-based alcohol with sugar and spices, others prefer to use neutral spirits like vodka and add vanilla extract and cinnamon sticks until the flavor is right. Just blend everything and leave it in an airtight jar overnight before transferring it into a clean bottle and storing it in the refrigerator.

Brandy Substitutes for Bread & Biscuits?

If you need something with a fruity hint, applejack or rum will come in handy since they both have a sweet flavor. Just make sure to use a smaller amount since you need a subtle hint of this alcohol to avoid overpowering the dish.

If you want something with a slightly tart yet fruity flavor, tequila is another option that works well in bread and biscuits. If you’re looking for an interesting twist, try replacing whiskey or bourbon with tequila to create a different taste!

Frequently Asked Questions About

Is brandy a specific type of liquor made from grapes?

Yes, it is a neutral spirit distilled from diluted wine. The fermentation process usually takes around two years before the final product comes in two forms – grape brandy and eau de vie. As mentioned earlier, many types are available, including apple brandy, pear brandy, apricot brandy, blackberry brandy, and grapefruit brandy.

What is the difference between bourbon whiskey and other types of whiskey?

Bourbon whiskey is American whiskey with a distinctive corn flavor, perfect for cocktails with a fruity twist. However, unlike most bourbons with high alcohol content, other types of whiskey usually have a 40% alcohol by volume. Although it can be used as an alternative for brandy, bourbon does have a distinct flavor that makes it perfect for cooking dishes with a fruity twist.

What are the side effects of drinking brandy? Is just having a few sips okay?

Yes, you may have a drink or two if its part of your recipe, but drinking outside of this context is not recommended since there are high risks associated with overconsumption.

Does drinking alcoholic beverages help with depression?

Unfortunately, having one drink will only make matters worse in the long run, so we recommend talking to your doctor or counselor about treatment options instead.

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Final Thought-Brandy Substitute

So what is brandy exactly? Brandy is an alcoholic beverage made from distilled wine and comes in different varieties. But regardless of the type of brandy you use, it will add a distinct flavor to your dish, so choose wisely and experiment on different brands until you find the right one that suits your needs.

Most people prefer brandy as an after-dinner drink, but it is also used for cooking and even deglazing pans. If you’re looking for a good substitute, there are many alternatives: gin, tequila, applejack, Posco, calvados, apricot brandy, blackberry brandy, grapefruit brandy, and even homemade substitutes! So what are you waiting for? Explore the wonderful world of alcohol substitutions now!

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