Dry Cider Substitutes: Everything You Need to Know

Are you tired of the same old sweet, syrupy ciders? Looking for something with a little more bite? Then it’s time to get acquainted with dry cider. This underrated beverage is the perfect balance of tart and crisp, with just the right amount of sweetness to keep you coming back for more.

But what exactly is dry cider, you may ask? Well, unlike the sugary ciders that dominate the market, dry cider is fermented until all of the residual sugars have been consumed. This leaves you with a refreshing, slightly sour beverage that pairs perfectly with savory snacks, sharp cheeses, and even spicy dishes.

So why hasn’t dry cider caught on in a big way? Well, for one thing, it can be a bit intimidating to the uninitiated. Dry cider lacks the sweetness and familiar flavors of other ciders, so it can take a bit of getting used to. Plus you can easily use many substitutes of dry cider for your recipes.

7 Best Dry Cider Substitutes

If you’re a fan of dry cider, you know that there’s nothing quite like its crisp, refreshing taste. But what if you can’t find dry cider in your area or you’re simply looking to mix things up a bit? Fear not, because there are several dry cider substitutes that can satisfy your craving for something tart and bubbly. Here are seven of the best:

Brut Champagne

If you’re looking for a luxurious dry cider substitute, look no further than Brut Champagne. Made in the traditional method, this sparkling wine has a crisp, dry finish that’s perfect for sipping on its own or pairing with light appetizers.

Dry White Wine

Another great dry cider substitute is dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. These wines have a similar acidity and crispness to dry cider, making them an excellent pairing with seafood dishes or light summer salads.

Sparkling Water with Lime

For a non-alcoholic option, try mixing sparkling water with a splash of lime juice. This will give you the same bubbly, tart sensation as dry cider, without the alcohol.

Hard Seltzer

Hard seltzers have exploded in popularity in recent years, and for good reason. These low-calorie beverages are light, refreshing, and often come in a variety of fruity flavors. Look for seltzers that are marketed as “dry” or “extra dry” to get that same crisp finish as dry cider.


Kombucha is a fermented tea that has a slightly sour, fizzy taste. It’s a great substitute for dry cider, as it has that same tangy flavor profile without the alcohol content.

Cider Vinegar

While not a direct substitute for drinking, cider vinegar can be used in cooking to add that same tangy, acidic flavor to dishes. Use it in marinades or salad dressings for a delicious, dry-cider-like taste.

Tonic Water

Finally, tonic water can be a surprisingly good substitute for dry cider. It has a similar bitterness and effervescence, making it a great option for mixing with gin or other spirits.

Dry Cider and Its Substitutes: Everything You Need to Know

Here is a table comparing the different dry cider substitutes:

SubstituteAlcohol ContentFlavor ProfileCarbonationBest Pairings
Brut ChampagneYesCrisp and DryHighLight appetizers, seafood dishes
Dry White WineYesCrisp and DryMedium to HighSeafood dishes, light summer salads
Sparkling Water with LimeNoTart and BubblyHighNon-alcoholic option
Hard SeltzerYesFruity and CrispHighLight summer dishes, outdoor gatherings
KombuchaYesSour and FizzyMedium to HighNon-alcoholic option, pairing with spicy dishes
Cider VinegarNoTangy and AcidicN/ACooking, marinades, salad dressings
Tonic WaterNoBitter and EffervescentHighMixing with gin or other spirits

Best Dry Cider Substitutes For Cooking and Baking

If you are looking for a dry cider substitute for cooking or baking, there are several options that can work well in recipes. Here are seven of the best dry cider substitutes:

Apple cider vinegar: One of the closest substitutes for dry cider is apple cider vinegar. It has the same tangy flavor and acidic bite as cider, which makes it a good substitute in recipes like braised meats and sauces.

White wine: White wine can also be used as a substitute for dry cider in recipes that call for a dry, acidic ingredient. It’s particularly good in recipes that involve cooking with chicken or seafood.

Chicken or vegetable broth: Broth can be used as a substitute for dry cider in savory recipes. It adds depth and richness to stews, soups, and braises.

Apple juice: Apple juice can be used as a substitute for dry cider in baking recipes, such as cakes and muffins. It has a similar sweetness and apple flavor, but lacks the tanginess of cider.

Sparkling water: If you are looking for a non-alcoholic substitute for dry cider, sparkling water can work well. It provides the carbonation and effervescence that cider adds to a recipe.

Hard apple cider: If you have a recipe that calls for dry cider but want to add a little bit of alcohol, hard apple cider can be a good substitute. It has the same apple flavor and acidity as dry cider, but with a slight alcohol content.

Lemon juice: Lemon juice can be used as a substitute for dry cider in recipes that call for a sour ingredient. It adds a bright, tangy flavor to dishes and can work well in marinades, dressings, and sauces.

When substituting dry cider, it’s important to keep in mind the flavor and acidity of the original ingredient. Experiment with different substitutes to find the one that works best for your recipe.

Uses of Dry Cider Substitutes | QUESTIONS

Dry cider is a popular ingredient in many recipes, adding a tart apple flavor to dishes such as stews, gravies, and marinades. But what if you don’t have dry cider on hand? Can you substitute apple cider vinegar or white wine instead? What exactly is a dry cider, anyway? In this section, we’ll answer all of these questions and more.

Can you use apple cider vinegar instead of dry cider?

In a pinch, you can use apple cider vinegar instead of dry cider. However, keep in mind that apple cider vinegar is much more acidic than dry cider, so you may need to dilute it with water before using it in a recipe. The flavor will also be slightly different, as apple cider vinegar has a stronger, more pungent taste than dry cider.

What is dry cider for cooking?

Dry cider is a type of hard cider that has a low residual sugar content, meaning it is not as sweet as other ciders. It is commonly used in cooking to add a slightly tart, apple flavor to dishes, such as stews, sauces, and marinades. It is also a popular ingredient in baking, particularly in recipes for apple cider donuts and cakes.

What can I use instead of cider in gravy?

If you don’t have cider on hand, you can substitute apple juice or white wine in gravy recipes. Both of these ingredients will add a slightly different flavor to the dish but will still provide a similar acidity and sweetness as cider.

Can I substitute dry cider for white wine?

Yes, you can substitute dry cider for white wine in most recipes. Dry cider has a similar flavor profile to white wine, with a slightly tart apple taste. However, keep in mind that dry cider has a lower alcohol content than most white wines, so you may need to adjust the recipe accordingly.

What is considered a dry cider?

Dry cider is a type of hard cider that has a low residual sugar content, typically less than 1% sugar. This means that the cider is not as sweet as other ciders and has a slightly tart apple flavor. Dry ciders are popular in Europe and the United States and are often served as a refreshing alternative to beer or wine.

Why is it called dry cider?

Dry cider is called “dry” because it has a low residual sugar content, which means that it is not as sweet as other ciders. The term “dry” is used to describe the absence of sweetness rather than a lack of liquid, as some people may assume.

What can be made into cider?

Cider can be made from a variety of apples, including sweet, tart, and bitter varieties. Some cider makers also add other fruits, such as pears or berries, to create unique flavor combinations. In addition to apples, other fruits, such as grapes, peaches, and cherries, can also be used to make cider.

Can you substitute juice for cider?

Yes, you can substitute apple juice for cider in most recipes. However, keep in mind that apple juice is typically sweeter than cider, so you may need to adjust the amount of sugar in the recipe accordingly.

How do I make my own cider?

To make your own cider, start by selecting a variety of apples with a balance of sweet, tart, and bitter flavors. Wash and chop the apples, and then crush them to release the juice. Place the juice in a clean container, and add yeast to begin the fermentation process. Allow the mixture to ferment for several weeks, stirring occasionally. Once the fermentation is complete, strain the cider and bottle it for storage.

What can be made into cider?

Cider can be made from a variety of apples, but there are specific types of apples that are preferred for cider-making. These apples are typically referred to as “cider apples” and are often different from the apples that are typically found in grocery stores. Cider apples are typically more bitter, tannic, and less sweet than regular eating apples. Some popular varieties of cider apples include Kingston Black, Dabinett, and Yarlington Mill. However, it is also possible to make cider from a mixture of eating and cider apples.

Can you substitute juice for cider?

In some recipes, it is possible to substitute juice for cider. However, it is important to note that juice will not provide the same flavor profile as cider. Juice is typically sweeter and less complex than cider, which can affect the overall taste of the dish. Additionally, some juices may not have the same level of acidity as cider, which can also impact the outcome of the recipe.

How do I make my own cider?

Making your own cider can be a fun and rewarding process. To make cider, you will need apples, a cider press or juicer, and some basic equipment such as fermentation vessels, airlocks, and yeast. The basic process involves crushing the apples to extract the juice, then fermenting the juice with yeast to turn the sugars into alcohol. The cider is then aged and bottled. There are many variations in this process, depending on the type of cider you want to make and the equipment you have available. It is important to follow proper sanitation practices to ensure that your cider is safe to drink.

What is the main ingredient in cider?

The main ingredient in cider is apples. Cider is made by pressing apples to extract the juice, which is then fermented with yeast to turn the sugars into alcohol. Some types of cider may also include additional ingredients such as spices or other fruits, but apples are the primary ingredient.

Is cider a beer or wine?

Cider is not considered to be a beer or a wine but rather its own distinct alcoholic beverage. While beer is typically made from grains such as barley or wheat and wine is made from grapes, cider is made from apples. Additionally, the fermentation process for cider is typically different from beer or wine, and the resulting beverage has a unique flavor profile.

What fruit can be used to make cider?

While apples are the most common fruit used to make cider, other fruits can also be used. Some popular alternatives to apple cider include pear cider (also known as perry), cherry cider, and berry cider. However, it is important to note that the resulting beverage may not be called “cider” if it is made from a different fruit than apples. For example, a fermented beverage made from pears would be called “perry” rather than “pear cider.”

Final Thoughts

So there you have it, our top picks for dry cider substitutes to try next time you’re in the mood for something tart and refreshing. Whether you opt for a sparkling wine, hard seltzer, or a simple mix of sparkling water and lime, there’s no shortage of options for those who love the crisp, dry taste of cider.

Leave a Comment