I’ve personally taste-tested a variety of raspberry vinegar 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 swap, or want a substitute that fits your diet, I’ve got the answers.
Balsamic, red wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar are pantry staples you can substitute for raspberry vinegar. For a makeshift substitute, you can simmer raspberry jam with white wine vinegar. If you want to skip the fruity notes, champagne or sherry vinegar are good options.
Ready? Let’s jump right in.
I made a simple vinaigrette to test out a load of different raspberry vinegar substitutes.
Raspberry vinegar is made from regular white vinegar infused with fresh, ripe raspberries. It has a vibrant red color and boasts berry-like sweetness balanced with a prominent tang.
It’s prefect for brightening up dishes and is commonly used in salad dressings and for glazing chicken.
Here are the substitutes I tested and my verdicts:
|Balsamic Vinegar||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||8/10|
|Raspberry Jam + White Vinegar||1/3 cup vinegar + 1/2 cup jam||9/10|
|Apple Cider Vinegar||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||8/10|
|Sherry Vinegar||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||9/10|
|Homemade Raspberry Vinegar||Replace in a 1:1 ratio||10/10|
|Red Wine Vinegar||Replace with ½ the amount||8/10|
|Champagne Vinegar||Replace with 1 ½ the amount||7/10|
Common uses of raspberry vinegar
Here are some popular ways to use raspberry vinegar and the best substitutes for those situations:
- For vinaigrettes: Try using balsamic vinegar, raspberry jam mixed with white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or sherry vinegar. For light salads, champagne vinegar is perfect.
- For deglazing: Try using balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, or sherry vinegar.
- For sauces and marinades: Try using balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or sherry vinegar. Red wine vinegar is superb with beef.
- For pickling: Try using balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, sherry vinegar, or the homemade version.
That bottle of balsamic vinegar in your cupboard is a perfect stand in for raspberry vinegar if you don’t want to make a grocery run.
It has fruity notes like raspberry vinegar because it’s made from grape must.
But because balsamic vinegar is aged for a long time, it develop a richer, more intense flavor.
Everyone knows balsamic vinegar makes a delicious vinaigrette, but it’s also a great swap if you’re making a glaze.
Pro tip: if you want to avoid the dark color of balsamic vinegar, use white balsamic vinegar. This lighter counterpart is processed in a pressure cooker and it never caramelizes.
How to substitute: replace raspberry vinegar in a 1:1 ratio with balsamic vinegar or white balsamic vinegar.
Raspberry jam + white vinegar
This combo is an excellent quick fix if you don’t have raspberry vinegar.
For best results, you need to do a bit more than just mix the two ingredients together.
I recommend simmering the white vinegar and raspberry jam mixture in a pan. I used 1/3 cup of jam and 1/2 cup vinegar (but you can adjust these ratios to your liking.)
I repeat, simmer, not boil – this will gently infuse the vinegar without destroying the fruity notes in the jam.
Strain the mixture after simmering, and voila! You’re now armed with a berry-flavored vinegar ready for action.
And here’s the fun part, if you don’t have raspberry jam, you can always use strawberry jam or even marmalade.
How to substitute: replace raspberry vinegar in a 1:1 ratio with a mixture of simmered raspberry jam and white vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar
Let’s turn to an item there’s a good chance you already have in your pantry – apple cider vinegar!
It’s made from apples, so it boasts a naturally fruity flavor, but the fruitiness was milder than with raspberry vinegar.
And the overall flavor is much sharper.
I didn’t mind the extra sour kick, but you can always mellow it out with a dash of your favorite sweetener.
A pinch of sugar will do the trick, but honey is better because it will mix in seamlessly.
How to substitute: replace raspberry vinegar in a 1:1 ratio with apple cider vinegar.
Not a fan of raspberry vinegar’s flavor but still want something more flavorful than plain vinegar? Try sherry vinegar!
Sherry vinegar has a caramel, nutty twist that’ll deepen your dish’s flavor. I loved it with my salad.
Bottles of sherry vinegar are labeled according to how long they’ve been aged – the longer the aging period, the more depth of flavor they’ll provide.
“Reserva” means the vinegar is aged for at least two years, and “Gran Reserva” indicates an age of over ten years.
How to substitute: replace raspberry vinegar in a 1:1 ratio with Sherry vinegar.
Homemade raspberry vinegar
This won’t be helpful if you need a quick fix, but you can make raspberry vinegar from scratch for next time!
You only need two ingredients (fresh raspberries and white vinegar), and the process is relatively straightforward.
Heat the white vinegar (don’t boil), then pour it into a jar filled with raspberries.
After that, it’s a waiting game. Store the jar in a dark, dry place for about a week.
The flavor of the fresh berries will infuse into the vinegar, resulting in a vibrant, ruby-red liquid packed with sweet and tangy goodness.
Pro-tip: the quality of your ingredients will directly impact the end result. Use good-quality white vinegar and the freshest ripe raspberries.
How to substitute: replace raspberry vinegar in a 1:1 ratio with homemade raspberry vinegar.
Red wine vinegar
Red wine vinegar is an easily accessible and flavorful substitute for raspberry vinegar.
It’s got a darker color, and a darker flavor to match.
While raspberry vinegar is vibrant and fruity, red wine vinegar is robust and full bodies. But it still has fruit undertones.
Pro-tip: red wine vinegar pairs especially well with red meat and cheese.
How to substitute: replace raspberry vinegar with ½ the amount of red wine vinegar, and add more to taste.
Champagne vinegar is another option if you want to skip the fruity notes altogether.
It has a subtle floral twist with a light tanginess that’ll brighten up your dish and allow the flavors of the other ingredients to shine through.
Champagne vinegar has a very delicate flavor profile compared to other vinegars, which means it’s better suited to salads, seafood, and poultry dishes.
The downside to this substitute? It’s pretty pricey!
How to substitute: replace raspberry vinegar with 1 ½ the amount of champagne vinegar.
Other substitutes to consider
The list above are my top picks for raspberry vinegar substitutes. But they’re not the only options!
Here are some other alternatives you can consider:
- Herb vinegar – this is an infusion of vinegar with herbs, just like raspberry vinegar. Its grassy, herbal notes are a departure from raspberry vinegar’s sweet and sour kick. But it’ll still bring the depth and complexity you seek.
- White wine vinegar – another less fruity alternative. It’s lightly sweet, with a crisp flavor that’ll help cut through rich dishes or meaty proteins.
- Lemon juice – this is a good option if you’re after a non-vinegar option. It has a fresh, citrusy kick that’ll brighten your dish. It won’t give you a sweet, fruity flavor. But you can always mix it with a pinch of sugar to make up for it.
Avoid using rice wine vinegar
Rice wine vinegar isn’t as sharp as other kinds of vinegar and it’s sweeter than raspberry vinegar.
But I thought it was the least like raspberry vinegar out of all the alternatives I tried.
You can still use it as a base for vinaigrette or deglazing, but it won’t give you the same fruity notes as raspberry vinegar.
10 Best Raspberry Vinegar Substitutes + 1 To Avoid
- 2 cups white wine vinegar
- 5 ounces red raspberries
- Transfer the raspberries in a sterilized jar.
- In a medium saucepan, warm the vinegar until it begins to steam, but don't bring it to a boil. Pour the warm vinegar over the berries and allow everything to cool to room temperature. Seal the jar and shake it gently.
- Leave the jar in a cool, dry place and let the berries steep for 4 days. Shake the jar everyday.
- After the 4th day, strain the mixture with a fine mesh sieve. Rinse the jar and return the infused vinegar. Discard the raspberries.
- Rinse the sieve and line it with coffee filter over a bowl. Pour the vinegar in batches to fully strain any remaining bits in the vinegar. Transfer the vinegar into a clean bottle. Use immediately or store in a dry place for up to 1 year.