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Sep 30, 2007 08:26 AM

Medium Dry Sherry Substitution in recipe?

I am making a recipe that calls for medium dry sherry....any thoughts for substitutions I may use? I am thinking red wine vinegar, or balsalmic.....I have even heard I could use Jack Daniels....? Any advice?

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  1. What's the recipe and quantity of sherry?

    Do you have any wine, or better yet, some other fortified wine (port, Marsala, vermouth)?

    Without knowing what the dish is, my gut sense is to just omit it.


    1. Do *not* use any vinegar. It's not a substitute for drinking wine, fortified or not. A medium dry sherry is a sweetish, somewhat strong drinking wine.

      You might use French (Noilly Prat) vermouth (perhaps sweet instead of the usual dry, though dry French vermouth is always worth keeping stocked in your pantry). A riesling might have the acid/sugar balance but not the strength. A dry (sercial or rainwater) Madeira would be better, but I imagine you don't have that, either.

      Oh, and not Jack Daniels.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Karl S

        I have the same question w/ a twist. I wish to replace the Dry Sherry w/ something non-alcoholic and yes I am aware the alcohol evaporates. What would you recommend replacing a Dry Sherry w/ (non-alcoholic substitue)
        Thank you.

        1. re: autobot

          Why kind of dish, and what quantity?

          1. re: autobot

            The alcohol does not evaporate (or burn) off entirely.

        2. You haven't mentioned the recipe or the remaining ingredients. Even without that information, I'll warn against using red wine vinegar and, especially, balsamic. Those will introduce sharp and sweet flavors into the dish that sherry would not.

          Sherry is nutty. Jack Daniels won't introduce the same nutty flavor, but it won't introduce a random new flavor like vinegar would. If you own Black Bush Scotch and if you can bear to put expensive Scotch into a recipe, you could use that. Black Bush is a very sherry-like Scotch.

          1. I have to agree with everybody depends on what you are cooking. Another question...Why do you want to substitute? Sherry is readily available and not expensive.

            2 Replies
            1. re: billieboy

              @Billieboy: If one is cooking for a recovering alcoholic it is extremely insensitive and ill advised to use alcohol of any kind in a recipe, even if "the alcohol burns off". Just too many bad associations.

              1. re: scrummy

                Who on this thread is a recovering alcoholic?

            2. I'm not sure what "medium dry" sherry is supposed to be. I would normally use a manzanilla sherry (the driest) or a fino (the next driest), so I suppose they mean fino. Two common brands are Tio Pepe and La Ina. "Dry Sack" is not a dry sherry, despite its name, so you might try that. Why would you not want to use a sherry?

              6 Replies
              1. re: GH1618

                Because unfortunately in the US there are laws preventing those of us cooks under 21 from buying alcohol. I have the same question and it is for a pumpkin soup recipe.

                1. re: RickiDawn

                  There are plenty of pumpkin soup recipes that don't use something like sherry. In fact I've never seen one where it is used, though I can imagine doing so. It's probably being used to add some kick or brightness. Ginger is commonly used for the same purpose.

                  Balsamic glaze, which is a sweet balsamic vinegar reduction, could be added at the table. It has a syrup like consistency, and comes in little squeeze bottles.

                  1. re: RickiDawn

                    They used to sell a product called "cooking sherry" that is sherry with enough salt added to make it undrinkable. You can cook with it, if you remember to eliminate any added salt that your recipe calls for. I think those under 21 can purchase it.

                    It's generally shunned by good cooks, but you've got a perfectly good reason to try it.

                    Failing that, I'd try prune juice thinned down with water. Maybe even thinned with coconut water to get a nutty taste.

                    1. re: 512window

                      know people who have drunk that stuff...

                      1. re: 512window

                        Thinned prune juice....

                        Hmmm, that does recall a sherry flavor (at least in my mind).

                      2. re: RickiDawn

                        get your parents to buy you a jug of cooking sherry. it keeps ay room temperature (at least well enough for cooking...)