I’ve personally taste-tested a variety of petimezi substitutes to find the best one for every cooking or baking occasion.
Whether you’re on the hunt for the closest flavor match, in need of a last-minute pantry substitute, or seeking an alternative tailored to your specific dietary requirements, rest assured that I’ve got you covered.
Pomegranate molasses is a great substitute for petimeiz because it’s made in a similar way and shares the same fruity sweet flavor. Balsamic vinegar also works if you mix it with honey to tone down its acidity. Pantry-staple honey can save the day if you can’t make a grocery run.
Ready? Let’s jump right in.
I made a batch of waffles to try different petimezi substitutes.
Petimezi is also known as grape molasses. It’s thick, syrupy, and has a sweet flavor with a caramel undertone and a subtle tart note.
It’s a common ingredient in Greek cuisine, but you can also use it with different desserts, baked goods, and even savory dishes.
There’s no exact flavor match, but there are substitutes that you can use the same way as petimezi.
Here are the substitutes I tested and my verdicts:
|Replace in a 1:1 ratio
|Replace in a 1:1 ratio with balsamic vinegar and honey mixture
|Replace with an equal amount of honey, then add lemon juice to taste
|Replace with ¾ the amount
|Replace in a 1:1 ratio
|Replace with ¾ the amount
|Brown Rice Syrup
|Replace in a 1:1 ratio, adjust to your liking
Common uses of petimezi
Here are some popular ways to use petimezi and the best substitutes for those situations:
- As a topping for desserts/sweets: Try using pomegranate molasses, honey, homemade petimezi, or date syrup. You can also mix balsamic vinegar with honey in a pinch.
- As a sweetener: Try using pomegranate molasses, honey, homemade petimezi, date syrup, or golden syrup.
- Sauces, glazes, and marinades: Try using pomegranate molasses, balsamic vinegar, or honey.
Pomegranate molasses is very similar to petimezi. They’re made in the same way – by boiling fruit juices into a concentrated syrup.
But the finished products do have one key difference.
Pomegranate molasses has a more pronounced tart flavor than petimezi, making it a solid alternative for those who don’t have a sweet tooth.
It was the perfect contrast to my fluffy waffles!
Pomegranate molasses also shines in salads and glazes, just like petimezi.
Pro-tip: you can make you own pomegranate molasses really easily with pomegranate juice. Or you can use unsweetened cranberry juice.
How to substitute: replace petimezi in a 1:1 ratio with pomegranate molasses.
Although it’s not an exact flavor match, balsamic vinegar shares a crucial element with petimezi – both are made from grapes.
Balsamic vinegar, with its fruity, caramel-like notes, echoes petimezi’s flavor profile but has a distinct tart edge.
It works best in salad dressings and savory dishes rather than in desserts.
Find it too acidic? Mix it with homey to soften its tanginess. This can also make it suitable for sweets and desserts.
How to substitute: replace petimezi in a 1:1 ratio with balsamic vinegar and honey mixture.
Honey is a pantry staple you could use as a substitute for petimezi in a pinch.
It’s naturally sweetened and has no added sugar, just like petimezi.
You can use any honey you have, but if you want to match to petimezi’s fruity sweetness, I recommend going with wildflower honey. It’s got a distinct flavor and is deliciously sweet.
I also added a spritz of lemon juice to replicate petimezi’s sour notes, but you can skip step if you don’t care.
How to substitute: replace petimezi with an equal amount of honey, then add lemon juice to taste.
If you’re up for a challenge, you can whip up a batch of homemade petimezi!
Fresh grape juice is always best (you can make it from grapes), but you can definitely use the store-bought version if you want to take a shortcut.
It does require an odd ingredient that might be tricky to find though – wood ash.
And to make things harder, Mostly Greek says the ash has to come from untreated plain wood. Without the wood ash, your homemade petimezi could end up too sour.
Making your own petimezi also requires some patience! The juice needs to rest for 24-hours to filter out the impurities before you can use it.
How to substitute: replace petimezi in a 1:1 ratio with your homemade version.
Date syrup is another natural sweetener you can use in place of petimezi.
It’s a lot sweeter, but its deep caramel notes tasted fabulous with my waffles!
And like with honey, you can mix this with freshly squeezed lemon juice to balance the flavor.
You can easily get this in your local grocery store. But making it from scratch is just as easy – it’s just dates and hot water.
I used Medjool dates because they’re softer, so I only had to soak them for 30 minutes.
But if you’re using the more affordable Deglet noor, you’ll have to soak them in boiling water for two hours to soften them.
How to substitute: replace petimezi with 1/2 the amount of date syrup.
Golden syrup is a departure from petimezi’s fruity notes, and like date syrup it’s a lot sweeter than petimezi.
But it’s also got caramel, butterscotch-like undertones that make it oh-so-decadent.
This ingredient is more common in the UK, but I found a bottle in my local Walmart’s British food section.
Or you can make your own golden syrup with this easy recipe.
How to substitute: replace petimezi with ¾ the amount of golden syrup.
Brown rice syrup
Brown rice syrup tastes nothing like petimezi, but it’s a good alternative if you want something less sweet.
It has a mild, nutty flavor that’s great for sweet and savory dishes.
Just a heads up, though – some tout brown rice syrup as a healthier alternative to petimezi, but it still has a pretty high glycemic index.
Moderation remains key, just like petimezi!
How to substitute: replace petimezi in a 1:1 ratio with brown rice syrup.
Other substitutes to consider
The substitutes listed above are my top picks for petimezi replacements. But they’re not the only options. Here are some more things you can try if you have them on hand:
- Brown sugar – this is not as liquid as petimezi, but its rich, molasses-like sweetness can still do the job. It’s great for adding depth to baked goods or sprinkling on top of oatmeal.
- Sorghum syrup – this is a lesser-known syrup made from sorghum grain. Its consistency isn’t as thick as petimezi, but its sweet and slightly earthy flavor will add complexity to your baked goods.
- Dark molasses – this is much thicker and darker than petimezi. It has a deep, robust sweetness with a hint of bitterness that I love in savory dishes.
Avoid using white sugar
White sugar could be a decent substitute for petimezi if we’re only worried about sweetness.
But its flavor is far more one-dimensional than petimezi and the other substitutes I’ve suggested. You’ll have to sacrifice a lot of depth and complexity if you use white sugar.
10 Best Petimezi Substitutes + 1 To Avoid
- 4 to 5 kg grapes
- 1 tsp sifted wood ash
- Blitz the grapes until they're liquid. Using a strainer over a bowl, strain the grape juice of the skin and seeds.
- Boil the strained grape juice. Add the wood ash. Remove the foam as the grape juice boils. Allow the juice to cool and let the ash settle. This should take 24 hours.
- In a frying pan, reduce the grape juice into a syrupy consistency. Transfer the syrup into a sterilized jar. Use immediately or store in a sterilized bottle.