Balsamic vinegar substitutes and alternatives

Balsamic vinegar is a type of vinegar which is made from white grapes when they are crushed under pressure. it is mainly found in Italy and some other parts of the world. it taste some what similar to wine and just like wine it gets better in taste as its age increases. balsamic vinegar substitutes are easy to source across the world where you cant balsamic vinegar.


it is used in wide variety of dishes for different purposes like for making sauces, salads, grilling different items, dessert preparations and many more. when you ran out of balsamic vinegar at home or don’t want to buy it from grocery store due to its expensive price tag, you can make it fresh at home if you have grapes or just use one of the substitutes shared below instead of original balsamic vinegar as they can be found easily everywhere and are quite cheap when compared to original and authentic balsamic vinegar.

Balsamic vinegar substitutes and alternatives

1. sugar and fruit less vinegar

Non fruit based vinegar which is also know as white vinegar is popular across the world for its usage in various food recipes and cleaning purposes.

it can be used as substitute for balsamic vinegar when mixed with little bit of sugar. to make the perfect blend of this alternative to be used, you need to mix 1 cup of sugar along with 5 cup of white vinegar and let it cook in pot until the sugar gets melted completely. once it has been cooled you can then add black vinegar or brown rice vinegar in very small quantity to get the color of balsamic vinegar.

After that you can use this in your recipes to make them more delicious.

2. Black Chinese vinegar

It is made from malt and sticky rice mixer which is also called gluten rich rice in some places. it comes with a taste which resembles to balsamic vinegar and comes in cheaper price rates than normal black Chinese vinegar so people can use it when they don’t have authentic balsamic vinegar. the main ingredients of this vinegar are glutenous rice, sorghum, wheat and millets.

It is quite popular in Chinese food items like fish, cold noddle’s, dipping sauces for wontons to make them taste good overall. it gives that unique sweetness and tangy flavor to your dishes which pairs well when you use it with braised, roasted, fried and grilled food items like tofu salad, cheese salad, vegetables etc.

it also comes with lot of health benefits as it comes with amino acids in it which counter and reduce the unwanted lactic acids in your blood making you much more fit and less fatigued. it has been found to improve you mood and energy levels so you can add in your dishes without any second thought if you like the taste.

3. soy sauce, lemon juice and molasses mixture

mixing and using these 3 ingredients will give you a tasty alternative to balsamic vinegar. to make a perfect mixture, lets say which is equal to 2 spoons of balsamic vinegar you need to 1 spoon each of soy sauce, lemon juice and molasses and you will get good tasting mixture. you can adjust the quantity of these elements as per your taste.

moreover if you don’t have molasses with you then you can use brown sugar syrup also.

soy sauce lemon juice molasses mixture

4. malt vinegar

This is made from barley which gives it some what similar taste to a beer which makes it great alternative to balsamic vinegar. if you want it to taste like balsamic vinegar then add some sugar to it and then you are good to go for using it as balsamic vinegar alternative.

malt vinegar

Malt vinegar has lot of uses in cooking as it can be mixed with olive oil and added to the salad dressing to improve the taste. you can add in marinades for roasting chicken and other items. it can be drizzled on sea food while cooking and braising to enhance the flavor. It is also used to make pickles from various different vegetables like zucchini, cucumber, onions etc.

generally coleslaw as we all know have white vinegar in it which you can replace with malt vinegar to change the flavor profile a little if you like. it can also be added to green beans, waxed beans, normal beans salad for making it taste good.

if you a sauce person and like to enjoy your dishes with various sauces and dips like bbq sauce, spinach dip, ponzu sauce, mint sauce then you can also make aioli sauce with malt vinegar to get a kick in it and later enjoy it as dip for French fries or add in your sandwiches, hot dogs, quesadillas etc.

5. sherry vinegar

It comes with mild and sweet taste which makes it very close alternative to be used as balsamic vinegar alternative. you don’t require to add anything else to it.

It also comes with other popular health benefits like helps in weight loss, aids digestion, reduces blood sugar level in body, promotes good cholesterol in body and many more.

6. Balsamic vinaigrette

It comes with little bit of balsamic vinegar in it which makes a solid contender to be used as substitute for balsamic vinegar. it works great with salads and similar types of items. it may taste a little bit different as the vinaigrette mixture contains different elements like salt, sugar, oil and some variety of herbs.

add as per your taste requirements in the dishes you like to make them more delicious with the vinaigrette.

7. Apple cider and sugar mixture

It is quite popular alternative to balsamic vinegar as its found easily everywhere. just mix a spoon of apple cider along with 1/2 spoon of sugar to use in dishes as balsamic vinegar substitute.

mix the sugar fully in the apple cider before adding to the the dish you are making. to make this mixture any type of sugar can be used including cane sugar, brown sugar etc. whatever is available with you.

you can adjust the ratio of sugar and apple cider to get the best taste as per your requirements and preferences.

apple cider and sugar mixture image

8. sugar and red wine vinegar mixture

It is very similar tasting mixture which makes it great substitute for balsamic vinegar. mixing 1/2 spoon sugar with 1 spoon wine vinegar along with some honey if you like will give the best blend to replace for balsamic vinegar. red wine also contains lot of antioxidants in it which makes it good for using it in this mixture.


Balsamic vinegar gets better with age and the older it gets the expensive it becomes, so you can buy as per your pocket. balsamic vinegar which is 3-6 years old would be termed as young, 6-15 middle origin and beyond 15 wound be old and expensive one for sure and best of all.

If you are thinking to buy balsamic vinegar but looking to get it for cheap then you can buy in bigger quantity from some whole sale shop which sells to restaurants also, you will get big discount with big quantity and storing it wont be a problem as it comes with shelf life of 3-5 years.

if you have some sale going on on your local super mart then also you can buy in bulk with big discount and keep in your pantry section or fridge to use it for long time without any issue and hassle to use on different occasions.

you can buy Condiment quality of balsamic vinegar also. it is lower quality of balsamic vinegar but is good to go without any issues. so buy it if can you get from some local store or local market.

Checkout : how to store grapes at home

balsamic vinegar health benefits

There are many health benefits of balsamic vinegar besides its delicious taste, some of them are shared below for you to look at and get informed about its body health benefits.

  • it improves blood circulation in body and improves overall heart health.
  • it aids in controlling blood sugar levels in body
  • it helps in weight loss also, if you trying for it then you can start consuming balsamic vinegar in different dishes
  • it comes with probiotics also which keep your gut health in good condition and helps in digestion of food.
  • it also maintains cholesterol in your body.

Checkout: peanut oil substitutes for daily use

Frequently asked questions about balsamic vinegar

Can i use Worcestershire sauce in place of balsamic vinegar?

yes you can definitely use this Worcestershire sauce when you cant find balsamic vinegar in market and its finished in your pantry. the taste profile is little different but it can be used to make similar tasting recipes and even better for some people if you start liking its taste.

It gives great taste for pasta dishes, casseroles, lasagnas, Bolognese recipes and make them more flavorful as it has tangy and sweet flavor mix when you don’t have balsamic vinegar with you.

can i use soy sauce in absence of balsamic vinegar?

Yes definitely it can be used in absence of balsamic vinegar but using it alone wont give you a ideal taste which can replace the balsamic vinegar. so to get taste resembling to balsamic vinegar as i have shared above in post you can mix it with lemon juice and molasses/brown sugar. If lemon juice is not available then you can add lime juice and white vinegar little bit.


Hope you like our collection of balsamic vinegar substitutes which can be found easily in market and home to make use of them when normal balsamic vinegar is not present with you in kitchen to use and make tasty dishes from it.

if you don’t have any substitute and balsamic vinegar with you then the last resort would be to use lemon juice with some sugar mixture as it can resemble in taste up to some extent because balsamic vinegar is citrusy and sweet in flavor.

if you have any other substitute idea which you use when you don’t have balsamic vinegar at home then let us know in comments section below.

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