Skip to Content

The 6 Best Substitutes For Sherry In Cooking

Cooking with sherry is a great way to add depth and complexity to your dishes.

But what do you do when you don’t have any on hand?

Don’t worry, there are plenty of substitutes that can be used in place of sherry in cooking.

From dry white wine to apple cider vinegar, these alternatives will bring out the flavor of your food without overpowering it.

In this article, I’ll share six of the best substitutes for sherry in cooking so that you can make delicious meals no matter what ingredients you have on hand.

What is Sherry?


Sherry is a type of fortified wine made in the region of Jerez, Spain.

It is produced from white grapes that are fermented and aged using a process known as solera.

This involves blending wines from different vintages to create an overall flavor profile with balanced complexity.

There are three main types of sherry: Fino, Manzanilla, and Oloroso.

Fino is the lightest and driest type, with a pale golden color and intense nutty flavors; Manzanilla has a slightly saltier taste due to its higher acidity; and Oloroso has richer aromas due to the longer aging period (up to 18 years!).

Sherry can be served on its own or as part of classic cocktails such as the Martinez or Adonis.

It also serves as an excellent accompaniment to appetizers, cheese boards, desserts, or even ice cream!

The 6 Best Substitutes For Sherry In Cooking

If you don’t have sherry on hand, there are a few good substitutes that can be used to recreate its flavor.

In this article, we will look at six of the best alternatives for sherry in cooking:

1 – Dry Vermouth

Dry Vermouth

Dry Vermouth has become increasingly popular lately due to its versatile flavor profile and ability to be used in a variety of recipes.

It is a type of wine, typically with an alcohol content between 16-18%, that is flavored with botanicals like roots, herbs, flowers, and spices.

It pairs nicely in savory recipes, like all types of soups or stews.

But it also shines as part of cocktail recipes like martinis or Manhattans.

The mix of sweetness and acidity blends perfectly with some bitters as well!

When considering when to use Dry Vermouth instead of sherry—it all comes down to the recipe you’re using it for.

If searching for something that provides robust dry flavors which stands up against other cocktail ingredients better than sherry would—Dry Vermouth is your best bet!

When added into certain dishes that feature intricate layers of flavor such as gravy or chutney—Verouth adds complexity without changing the deep notes established by other ingredients.

2 – Dry White Wine

Dry White Wine

Dry White Wine has become one of the most popular ingredients in recipes because it can bring a whole range of different flavors and textures to dishes.

It is often used for deglazing after searing meats or adding more depth to sauces.

Due to its light, flavorful properties, Dry White Wine can act as an amazing substitute for added salt and fat when cooking.

When it comes time to deciding between Dry White Wine or sherry, think about what you’re aiming for in your dish.

Sherry provides a sweeter flavor than dry wine, which might add too much sweetness depending on your preference.

Use dry white wine if you’re looking for a light flavor or if you want something that won’t mask other subtle tastes in the dish like fish or poultry.

3 – Chicken Stock and Lemon

Chicken stock and lemon are two ingredients that pair very well together, which is why they’re so popular.

The combination of the savory chicken and the bright pop of acidic flavor can instantly elevate any dish.

When it comes to using this combination instead of sherry, there are a couple of factors to consider.

Sherry adds a nutty, sweet flavor with almost no acidity; however, combining chicken stock with lemon gives you an entirely different depth of flavor that again pairs perfectly with many dishes.

For instance, you might use it in soups or sauces as an alternative to sherry for added balance between savory and tart flavors.

In other words, if your dish needs simultaneous umami and acidic zing (rather than just one), this combo would be perfect over sherry!

4 – Dry Marsala

Dry Marsala

Dry Marsala wine is a hugely popular ingredient because it adds decadent, complex flavors to dishes.

It has an intense aroma of dark chocolate and dried fruits, followed by flavors of espresso, walnut, caramel, and almonds.

It would be best to use Dry Marsala instead of sherry in savory dishes like soups or risottos that call for a lot more flavor complexity than what sherry could bring.

The aromas and flavors make it great for slow-cooked or braised meat dishes as well.

5 – Dry Madeira

Dry Madeira

Dry Madeira has been a popular cooking and baking ingredient for centuries because of its unique flavor.

Nearly two hundred years ago, it acquired this flavor due to how it was transported in heated ships, which resulted in a style of wine that couldn’t be replicated elsewhere.

Madeira pairs especially well with strongly flavored dishes – try combining it with wild game or fish dishes!

It also can add a beautiful bitterness to desserts like pound cakes and cheesecakes.

While sherry is also often used in cooking, the light sweetness of many types of sherry may not provide enough contrast when paired with more robust flavors; Madeira is great for adding complexity to these kinds of recipes.

6 – Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) and Honey are incredibly popular ingredients for a variety of culinary dishes.

This is likely due to the fact that they can be used in both savory and sweet recipes, making them incredibly versatile.

Additionally, their flavor profiles make them excellent complements to other ingredients without overpowering the dish.

When deciding between using honey or ACV compared to sherry, it will depend on what kind of dish you’re making as well as what type of flavor profile you’re looking for.

In general, Apple Cider Vinegar offers a milder tartness than sherry while still imparting a complex depth of flavor.

On the flip side, Honey provides a subtle sweetness which makes it perfect for adding just enough balance without detracting from more delicate flavors in the dish.


There are many substitutes for sherry in cooking, and each one will bring a unique flavor to your dishes.

Dry Vermouth, Dry White Wine, Chicken Stock and Lemon, Dry Marsala, Dry Madeira, and Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey are all good alternatives for sherry.

Each one will bring out the flavors of your food without overpowering it, and you can find them all in your kitchen or at the grocery store.

With these substitutes, you can make delicious meals without worrying about having sherry on hand.

Sherry Wine

The 6 Best Substitutes For Sherry In Cooking

If you've got no sherry on hand but still want to add a kick to your dish, look no further! In this article, I'm revealing my top 6 substitutes for sherry in cooking. From white wine to orange juice, I've got you covered with some great alternatives that will still give you the flavor you're after. Plus, I'll provide some tips for when and how to use each substitute in order to get the best results. So whether you're a novice or an experienced cook, I've got you covered!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Substitutes
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 321 kcal


  • Dry Vermouth
  • Dry White Wine
  • Chicken Stock and Lemon
  • Dry Marsala
  • Dry Madeira
  • Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey


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