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HELP! Cognac substitution

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Can't get out to the store, recipe (for gravy) calls for cognac, what would you substitute? I thought I had a calvados in the house I could substitute, but don't. I have a cabernet, a dry sherry and a marsala in the house...I was leaning towards the sherry.

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  1. Sherry would be the best. Marsala is too sweet...

    1 Reply
    1. re: Clare K

      There are both sweet and dry marsalas. I almost always use the dry when I cook with marsala.

    2. Recipes for gravy are simply guides. You're not baking a cake, so feel free to use anything - or nothing.

      1 Reply
      1. re: HaagenDazs

        Thanks for the voice of sanity, HaagenDazs! Sometimes I think people get a little too worked up about following recipes. That said, a splash of dry sherry sounds good to me!

      2. I'd go with the Sherry too if it's a dry one. You can sub a brandy as long as it isn't a flavored one. I've also had much success using bourbon in savory dishes.

        1. Thanks for all of the replies. I realize now my use of caps may have come across a tad more dramatic than I actually meant it. Just was wondering what people thought would be closest sub. I used the sherry. Thanks again and happy thanksgiving!

          1 Reply
          1. re: bananie

            Bananie -- didn't mean to be harsh. I meant in general, people sometimes get too hung up on recipes. I guess part of learning to cook is knowing when to follow a recipe closely and when to use it as a source of ideas or a jumping off point. I've been cooking for almost 40 years and I forget that lots of people don't have that kind of experience to fall back on.