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The 8 Best Substitutes For Dry Sherry

Have you ever wanted to create a delicious dish but didn’t have the right ingredients?

Dry sherry is often used in recipes, especially for sauces and marinades.

It adds a unique flavor that can be hard to replicate with other ingredients.

If you don’t have any dry sherry on hand, don’t worry – there are plenty of substitutes that will work just as well.

In this article, I’ll discuss the 8 best substitutes for dry sherry so you can still make your favorite dishes without having to go out and buy it.

What is Dry Sherry?

Dry Sherry

Dry sherry is a type of fortified wine made from white grapes grown in Spain’s Jerez region.

It has an amber hue, a nutty flavor with hints of almond and apricot, and an alcohol content of 15-22%.

Dry sherry is typically aged for several years in oak casks, which imparts its unique flavors and aromas.

The aging process also contributes to the darkening of the wine’s color.

The most popular types of dry sherry include Fino (the lightest in style), Manzanilla (a slightly more flavorful variety), Amontillado (which has been aged longer than Fino), and Oloroso (the darkest and richest).

Each one offers different levels of sweetness, body, and complexity on the palate.

Dry sherry pairs well with seafood dishes such as paella or grilled fish as well as cured meats like chorizo or prosciutto. It can also be enjoyed on its own before or after dinner.

The 8 Best Substitutes For Dry Sherry

Dry sherry is a delicious and complex wine, but it can be hard to find in some areas.

Fortunately, there are some great substitutes that will still provide the same flavor and texture.

Here are eight of them:

1 – Dry White Wine

Dry White Wine

Dry white wine is a great substitute for dry sherry in cooking, as it has a similar flavor profile.

The subtle fruity and floral notes of the wine can be used to enhance the flavor of sauces, soups, stews, and braises.

It can also be used to deglaze pans after sautéing vegetables or meats, adding depth and complexity to the dish.

Dry white wines like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio are best suited for savory dishes since they have higher acidity levels and lower alcohol content than other varieties.

For sweet dishes such as desserts or glazes, Moscato d’Asti is an excellent choice due to its low alcohol content and slightly sweet taste.

No matter which type you choose, dry white wine will add a unique twist to your recipes while still providing that familiar sherry-like flavor.

2 – Dry Vermouth

Dry vermouth is a fortified wine made from white grapes and flavored with herbs, spices, and other botanicals.

It has a light, dry flavor that can be used in many different recipes or as an ingredient in cocktails.

When substituting for dry sherry, the main difference to consider is the alcohol content.

Dry vermouth contains around 15-18% ABV compared to 20-22% ABV of dry sherry.

For cooking purposes, you may need to adjust the amount of liquid added to your recipe accordingly.

In addition to being used as a cooking ingredient, dry vermouth can also be enjoyed on its own or mixed into classic cocktails like martinis and Manhattans.

It adds depth and complexity with subtle flavors of citrus peel, nutmeg, and juniper berries – making it an excellent alternative for those out of dry sherry!

3 – Madeira Wine

Madeira wine is a fortified Portuguese wine that has been aged in oak barrels for at least 90 days.

It has a distinct flavor profile, with notes of caramel, dried fruit, and nuts.

The sweetness levels range from dry to very sweet, making it suitable for many different uses.

If you’re out of dry sherry for cooking or baking purposes, Madeira wine can be used as an excellent substitute.

Madeira can be used to deglaze pans after sautéing meats or vegetables, as well as adding depth and richness to sauces and gravies.

It’s also great for marinating poultry and seafood dishes before grilling or roasting them.

For desserts like cakes and tarts, Madeira can be added to the batter or glaze for a unique flavor boost.

4 – Sherry Vinegar

Sherry vinegar is a type of vinegar made from sherry, a fortified wine hailing from the Andalusia region of Spain.

It has a distinctively sweet and tart flavor that can be used to balance out dishes with its acidity.

Sherry vinegar is an excellent replacement for dry sherry in recipes, as it adds both sweetness and complexity to the dish.

It can be used in marinades, dressings, soups, stews or even drizzled over vegetables and salads.

Its nutty flavor also makes it ideal for deglazing pans after sautéing meats or vegetables – just add a splash of sherry vinegar when finished cooking to create an instant sauce!

5 – White Wine Vinegar

White Wine Vinegar

White wine vinegar is a versatile ingredient that can be used in place of dry sherry for many recipes.

It has a slightly acidic flavor, with notes of tartness and sweetness.

The vinegar is made from white wine that has been fermented and aged until it reaches the desired level of acidity.

When substituting white wine vinegar for dry sherry, use one part vinegar to two parts water or broth.

This ratio will help balance out the flavors while still providing an adequate amount of liquid for your dish.

White wine vinegar can be used to deglaze pans after sautéing vegetables or meats, as well as to add brightness to soups and stews.

It also works great as a marinade for fish or poultry dishes!

6 – Dry Marsala

Marsala Wine

Dry Marsala is a fortified wine made from grapes grown in Sicily, Italy.

It has a rich amber color and an intense flavor that is slightly sweet with notes of dried fruit and nuts.

The alcohol content of dry Marsala is higher than most wines, making it ideal for cooking or sipping as an after-dinner drink.

As a substitute for dry sherry, Dry Marsala can be used to deglaze pans or add depth to sauces and marinades.

It also pairs well with mushrooms and other earthy flavors.

When using it in place of sherry, you may need to adjust the amount depending on the recipe’s desired sweetness level.

Dry Marsala can also be used as an ingredient in desserts such as tiramisu or zabaglione, adding complexity without overpowering the dish’s other flavors.

7 – Chicken Stock and Lemon

If you’re out of dry sherry and need a substitute, try using chicken stock and lemon.

This combination provides a savory flavor with a hint of acidity that can be used to enhance the flavor of dishes like risottos, soups, and sauces.

For example, if you’re making a risotto dish that calls for dry sherry, simply replace it with an equal amount of chicken stock and add fresh lemon juice to taste.

The tartness from the lemon will provide balance to the richness from the chicken stock while adding depth to your dish.

You can also use this combination as a marinade for grilled or roasted meats.

Simply mix together equal parts chicken stock and freshly squeezed lemon juice in a bowl before coating your meat evenly with it.

Allow the mixture to sit for at least 30 minutes before cooking your meat – this will help tenderize it while imparting some delicious flavor!

8 – Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has a mild, tart flavor that can add depth and complexity to dishes.

It can be used in marinades, salad dressings, or sauces to give them a bright acidity.

Apple cider vinegar also pairs well with herbs like rosemary and thyme, adding a subtle sweetness to savory dishes.

For recipes that call for dry sherry, try replacing it with apple cider vinegar at a 1:1 ratio.

This will provide the same level of acidity without all the alcohol content.

Apple cider vinegar can also be used as a deglazing liquid for sautéed vegetables or meat dishes – just make sure to reduce it down before serving so it doesn’t overpower other flavors in the dish!


In conclusion, there are many options out there for substituting dry sherry in recipes.

The best substitutes for dry sherry are dry white wine, dry vermouth, Madeira wine, sherry vinegar, white wine vinegar, dry marsala, chicken stock and lemon, and apple cider vinegar. Each of these substitutes will provide a similar flavor and texture to the dish as sherry, while also adding their own unique flavor profile.

So, the next time you’re in the kitchen and need a substitution for dry sherry, try one of these 8 options and see how it works out!

Dry Sherry

The 8 Best Substitutes For Dry Sherry

If you don't have dry sherry on hand, don't worry – there are plenty of other options you can use to add that distinctive flavor to your dishes. In this article, I'm sharing my top 8 substitutes for dry sherry so you can still make all your favorite dishes. I'll explain why each one works as a substitute, as well as how to use it in place of sherry. Now you can make delicious recipes without ever having to buy a bottle of sherry!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Substitutes
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 355 kcal


  • Dry White Wine
  • Dry Vermouth
  • Madeira Wine
  • Sherry Vinegar
  • White Wine Vinegar
  • Dry Marsala
  • Chicken Stock and Lemon
  • Apple cider vinegar


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.