19 Best Cognac Substitutes/Cooking, Non-Alcohol Alternative

Cognac is a great ingredient in cooking, but what do you do when it’s out of stock? We’ve got the perfect solution – our selection of cognac substitutes will let you keep cooking those amazing dishes without skipping a beat.

Not only are our replacements just as good as cognac, but they also come with some major advantages. For one, many of them are non-alcoholic, so they’re perfect for anyone who can’t or doesn’t want to drink alcohol. And secondly, they’re all available at amazing prices, so you’ll be able to save big on your next recipe.

Check out our selection of cognac substitutes and find the perfect one for your needs!

What exactly is Cognac in Cooking?

Cognac is a brandy distilled from wine and comes exclusively from the French region of Cognac (hence its name).

For every grape-based alcohol that is sold as Cognac, there are about three grape-based alcohols that are sold under brandy. The original purpose of Cognac is to preserve grape-based alcohols. The reasoning for this was that grapes ferment very quickly, and a winemaker could lose his entire harvest of grapes due to this quick fermentation.

This is where Cognac comes into play; it is more of an after-thought step. The winemaker is now able to store grape-based alcohols for longer periods of time.

Cognac, being a French brandy, has quite a big following in the European countries, and Cognac houses are often family-owned and operated.

There are many popular recipes that use cognacs, such as the classic French dish coq au vin, which is a chicken stew cooked in red wine and cognac. Other popular dishes include beef bourguignon, a stew made with beef, mushrooms, red wine, and shrimp scampi, a pasta dish made with shrimp, garlic, and white wine. Cognac can also be used in desserts, such as the French dessert crepes Suzette, which are pancakes served with a cognac-flavored sauce.

What can replace cognac in a recipe?

You become happy after coming to know there is more than 20 alternatives option available while you don’t have cognac.

You can use brandy, Grand Mariner, Whiskey, Sazerac, Rum, Sherry, Bourbon, Stinger, Armagnac, Hennessy, Martell, White wine, Port wine, Calvados, etc. now going to non-alcoholic brandy extract, vermouth, rum extract, ACV, fruit juice and cooking wine with sugar- these all can be used instead of cognac.

See in Details…

Cognac Substitutes in Recipe

1. BRANDY – Perfect Substitute for Cognac

Cognac brandy substitute cooking. The most essential thing to remember is that Cognac is a type of brandy, so any kind of brandy can be substituted in most Cognac-based recipes.

Brandy is a type of distilled alcohol that is made from grapes. It’s generally clear in color and has a sweet taste.

When substituting brandy for cognac, it is important to use a liquor that has a comparable alcohol content. Brandy typically has an alcohol content of around 35%, while cognac has an alcohol content of around 40%.

brandy is one the best substitute for cognac

If you are using a brandy that has a lower alcohol content, you may need to adjust the recipe accordingly. For example, if you are using a brandy with an alcohol content of 20%, you would need to use twice as much brandy as cognac in order to achieve the same level of flavor.

There are many popular recipes that use brandy, such as the classic Brandy Alexander cocktail or the Peach Melba. Try a non-alcoholic substitute for brandy.

Other favorites include dishes like coq au vin or beef bourguignon, which often call for a splash of brandy to round out the flavor. No matter what you’re cooking up, adding a bit of brandy is sure to give it that je ne sais quoi.

2. GRAND MARNIER- A Good Cognac Substitute

Grand Mariner is a type of cognac that is made from a blend of different types of wine. It’s frequently utilized in cocktails and mixed drinks.

Grand Marnier can also be used in cooking, such as the classic Orange Julius drink, and it is a popular choice for desserts like Crème Brûlée. 

Even savory dishes like Rack of Lamb with a Grand Marnier Sauces, glazes, or whipped cream. Grand Marnier is also a great addition to coffee or tea. Be sure to try it in some of your favorite recipes!

No matter what you’re in the mood for, there’s bound to be a recipe out there that will tantalize your taste buds. So go ahead and explore all the delicious possibilities that Grand Marnier has to offer!

3. WHISKEY – Easy Alternative to Cognac

Whiskey is a kind of purified alcoholic beverage made from grains, such as rye, malt, wheat, or corn.

If you need to substitute whiskey for cognac in a recipe, you can use rye.

Whiskey can be used in a variety of different recipes to add a unique flavor.

Some popular dishes that include whiskey are steak with whiskey sauce, whiskey chicken, and whiskey-infused desserts. 

-Whiskey Sour

-Old Fashioned


-Mint Julep

-Irish Coffee

-Rusty Nail

-Rob Roy

-Bourbon Smash

Adding a shot of whiskey to your favorite recipe can really take it to the next level!

4. SAZERAC – Suitable Replacement for Cognac.

Sazerac is a type of cognac that is made with rye whiskey and Peychaud’s Bitters. It has a sweet and spicy flavor that makes it a popular choice for cocktails.

Whether you are looking for a new cocktail to try or just want to learn more about sazerac, this drink is definitely worth checking out. It is sure to impress your friends and family alike. So next time you’re searching for a unique drink to order, be sure to give sazerac a try!

5. RUM- Reasonable Alternative to Cognac

Rum is a purified beverage produced from sugarcane byproducts such as molasses or sugarcane juice. It is typically light brown in color and has a sweet taste.

In cocktails, you can substitute equal amounts of rum and cognac. For cooking, you can use 1/2 cup of rum in place of 1/2 cup of cognac.

However, note that the flavors of rum and cognac are different, so the end result may not be exactly the same.

There are many popular recipes that use rum, including the classic daiquiri, piña colada, and mojito. Other favorites include rum cakes, rum balls, and rum punches. Basically, any recipe that calls for alcohol can be made with rum instead. 

So get creative and mix up your favorite drinks and dishes with this versatile spirit.

If you’re looking for a substitution that will yield similar results, try using bourbon instead of rum.

6. Substituting SHERRY For Cognac is a Great Idea. 

Basically, sherry is a fortified wine that originated in the southern region of Spain. It is made by adding brandy to a wine base, which makes it ideal for use in cocktails or cooking.

In some cases, sherry can be substituted for cognac in recipes. However, it’s essential to remember that the two spirits have different flavors, so the results may not be as desired.

There are many popular recipes that use sherry as an ingredient. Some of these recipes include chicken with sherry, shrimp with sherry, and beef with sherry. These are simply some of the many recipes that use this type of alcohol as an ingredient. 

Sherry can be used in both sweet and savory dishes, so it is a versatile ingredient to have on hand. If you’re searching for a unique recipe to try that uses sherry, there are many great options out there to choose from.

For example, a sherry-based cocktail may be too sweet if cognac is substituted. When cooking with sherry, it is important to choose a recipe that calls for its specific flavor profile, as opposed to simply using it as a substitute for sherry.

7. BOURBON – Best Cognac Substitution

My all-time favorite cognac substitute is Bourbon. Bourbon is an American whiskey made from corn. It is typically distilled to 80-90 proof (40-45% alcohol by volume).

Bournbon can mimic the cognac. Bourbon can be utilized in a number of other ways in cooking, from adding flavor to sauces and marinades to infusing meats with their unique taste. 

It also makes an excellent deglazing agent for pan-seared dishes. When used judiciously, bourbon can really enhance the flavor of a dish without overpowering it. 

Here are a few recipes that make use of bourbon:

-Bourbon Glazed Salmon: This recipe calls for marinating salmon fillets in a Bourbon glaze before cooking them on the grill or in the oven.

-Bourbon Chicken: A classic dish made with chicken breasts that are simmered in a bourbon-based sauce.

-Bourbon BBQ Sauce: This recipe is perfect for those who love to put bourbon in their barbecue sauce. It can be utilized as a marinade, basting sauce, or even a dipping sauce.

-Bourbon Pecan Pie: A delicious twist on the classic pecan pie, this recipe features a bourbon-infused filling.

-Bourbon Cream Cheese Frosting: This creamy frosting is perfect for topping cakes or cupcakes. It is made with cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and of course, bourbon.

8. Try STINGER Instead of Cognac

Stinger is a type of liquor made from brandy and peach liqueur. It is a sweet, fruity drink that can be enjoyed on its own or mixed with other drinks.

If you’re searching for a replacement for cognac in cocktails, Stinger is a good option. It has a similar flavor profile and will add a touch of sweetness to your drink. Just be sure to use a quality brandy for the best results.

For a delicious and refreshing cocktail to enjoy, try mixing Stinger with ginger ale or lemon-lime soda. 

· This is an excellent drink for hot summer days. You can also make a winter version of this cocktail by adding a touch of cranberry juice.

· Whether you are mixing it with soda or juice, this drink is sure to be a hit. So next time you’re searching for a substitution for cognac, give Stinger a try!

9. Substitute ARMAGNAC for Cognac

Armagnac is a kind of French brandy that is produced in the Armagnac region of France. It is produced from grapes that are picked and then distilled and used for cooking to add flavor.

It is often used in sauces, marinades, and even desserts. Armagnac can also be added to coffee or tea for a special treat. It is also a popular after-dinner drink.

When cooking with Armagnac, it is important to remember that it is strong alcohol and should be used sparingly. A little goes a long way when using this brandy in cooking.

Here are some popular recipes that use Armagnac, including dishes like chicken Armagnac, beef bourguignon, and coq au vin. 

Each of these recipes features the unique flavor of Armagnac, which is why they are so popular. If you’re searching for a special recipe to try, consider one of these classics.

10. Hey! Do you Have HENNESSY? Try it instead of Cognac

Hennessy is a type of Cognac, a type of Brandy. Substitute Hennessy for Cognac in any recipe that calls for it. Hennessy is available at most liquor stores.

Use Hennessy in a number of different ways in cooking, from marinade for meats, as a base for sauces to even just to add flavor to dishes.

When using Hennessy in cooking, it is important to remember that a little goes a long way. Hennessy is also a popular ingredient in a number of mixed drinks and cocktails.

There are quite a few popular recipes that use Hennessy, but some of the most well-known ones include:

-The “French Connection,” which is Hennessy, Cointreau, and lemon juice

-The “Cognac Sidecar,” which is Hennessy, Cointreau, and lime juice

-The “Cognac Sour,” which is Hennessy, lemon juice, sugar, and egg whites

-The “Classic Cognac Cocktail,” which is Hennessy, bitters, and sugar

-And, of course, the “Hennessy Martini,” which is just Hennessy and dry vermouth.

11. Take MARTELL to substitute Cognac

Martell is a brand of cognac that is made from grapes that are grown in the Charente region of France.

Martell is a versatile cognac that can be used in a number of different cocktails and dishes. Here are some recipes that feature Martell:

-Martell VSOP Fine Champagne Cocktail: This cocktail is made with Martell VSOP, lemon juice, simple syrup, and Angostura bitters. It’s a refreshing and sophisticated drink that’s perfect for sipping on a summer evening.

-Martell Cordon Bleu Cocktail: This classic cocktail is made with Martell Cordon Bleu, Lillet Blanc, orange bitters, and a lemon twist. It’s a refreshing and elegant drink that’s perfect for enjoying on a special occasion.

-Martell VSOP Braised Pork Belly: This dish features succulent pork belly that’s been braised in Martell VSOP. It’s a rich and flavorful dish that’s perfect for a special occasion.

-Martell XO Chocolate Mousse: This decadent mousse is made with Martell XO, dark chocolate, heavy cream, and eggs. It’s a rich and indulgent dessert that’s perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth.

12. WHITE WINE – Easy Substitution for Cognac

White wine is a type of wine that is typically light in color and made from white grapes. It can be utilized as a replacement for cognac in certain cocktails.

For example, a White Russian can be made with white wine instead of cognac. White wine can also be used in place of red wine in recipes that call for it.

13. CALVADOS- Another Choice to Replace Cognac

Calvados is another great option when you run out of cognac; they are also my preferred.

Just like cognac, Calvados is a type of French brandy. But instead of being made from grapes, calvados is made from apples.

Since it is a stronger flavored liquor. Start by substituting just a few tablespoons of calvados for cognac, and then taste the dish to see if you need to add more. Keep in mind that calvados is also a bit sweeter than cognac, so you may want to adjust the other ingredients (such as sugar or spices) accordingly.

Read More- Best Calvados Substitutions

14. substitute port for cognac

Do you have port wine in your home? Great. Port wine is another best substitute for cognac. It is also a great idea to use port wine in your brandy Alexander recipe. The flavor of the port wine will give the drink a unique twist.

In general, you want to look for a port wine that is aged and has a complex flavor. If you can find a vintage port, that’s even better. Just make sure that it is not a fortified wine, as those wines are not meant to be used in cocktails.

When it comes to making a brandy Alexander, you want to use about two ounces of port wine for every six ounces of brandy. Simply mix the ingredients together in a shaker with ice and strain into a glass. You can also top the drink off with a little bit of cream if you’d like.

For a unique twist on this classic drink, then give port wine a try. It’s an excellent substitute for cognac and will give your cocktails a delicious flavor.

You can use port wine in your dessert drinks or even in mixed drinks. So, next time you’re looking for a new flavor to add to your cocktails, give port wine a try. You won’t be disappointed.

15. Substitute vermouth for cognac

The substitution of vermouth for cognac in this recipe results in a different but still delicious drink.

This variation is ideal if you’re looking for something a little different than your average cocktail.

you can use vermouth as an excellent alternative for cognac

Give it a try!


1 oz cognac

1 oz dry vermouth


1. Combine the cognac and vermouth in a shaker filled with ice.

2. Shake it well and strain it into a chilled glass.

3. Enjoy!

Non-Alcoholic substitute for Cognac

1. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR – Best Non-Alcoholic Replacement for Cognac

Want to avoid alcohol-based substitution for cognac?

Use apple cider vinegar to replace cognac in your recipe. The finished product will have a tart, fruity flavor. Also, as a cheaper alternative to brandy, you can use apple cider vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar is made from fermented apples. It has a tart, slightly sweet flavor that can be used to replace brandy in many recipes. When using apple cider vinegar, you may need to adjust the amount of sugar in your recipe to account for the sweetness of the vinegar.

2. FRUIT JUICES- Quick Subs for Cognac

Use fruit juice alternative to cognac in a cocktail, or dessert. Cranberry juice or orange juice can be replaced for cognac in recipes.

· This gives the dish a fruity flavor and reduces the amount of alcohol content.

· Additionally, non-alcoholic sparkling wines or sodas can be used as substitutes for champagne in cocktails. This is a great way to reduce the alcohol content of a cocktail without sacrificing flavor.

Try using grapefruit juice in the recipe. It adds a tartness that pairs well with the sweetness of the honey and apricots.

You can also use other citrus juices, like orange or lemon, depending on your preference. Just be sure to adjust the sweetness levels accordingly. Enjoy!

3. BRANDY EXTRACT- Cognac Substitute Non-Alcoholic

When substitution for cognac, there are so many options available, from alcohol to non-alcoholic like brandy extract.

Brandy extract is a great way to add flavor to any dish, whether it’s savory or sweet. However, keep in mind that the alcohol content will be significantly lower than if you were using cognac.

You may need to adjust the other ingredients in the recipe to compensate for the lower alcohol content.

One great way to use brandy extract is in an easy apple tart. The brandy extract gives the tart a lovely flavor without adding too much alcohol.


If you don’t have cognac on hand, you can use cooking wine with sugar as to substitute. Cook the sauce over low flame until it thickens, then remove from heat and serve.

Cognac brandy substitute cooking 

Cognac substitute beef bourguignon Brandy, brandy extract, rum, Armagnac, Calvados, Grappa, whiskey,
substitute for cognac in saucecooking wine+ sugar, white wine, Hennessy, Armagnac, bourbon, whiskey, and grand mariner
substitute for cognac in coq au vinArmagnac, Brandy
substitute for cognac in french onion soupSherry, wine
cognac substitute for tiramisuDark rum, Madeira, port, brandy, Malibu, rum extract, Amaretto
substitute for cognac in steak au poivrepeppercorn sauce
substitute for cognac in cocktails Any of them

FAQs Related to Cognac & Its Alternatives 

Q1. Can I substitute whiskey for cognac?

Yes, you can substitute whiskey for cognac in a recipe. While this substitution will change the flavor of the finished drink.

Make sure the whiskey is not too young because it will lack the necessary character that older cognacs possess. So you have to choose high-quality whiskey for cognac.

Q2. What is the difference between brandy and Cognac?

Brandy is a generic term for any type of distilled spirit, while Cognac refers to a specific type of brandy from the Cognac region of France. In America, Brandy is often referred to as “Bourbon.”

In France, Cognac is a designation of origin. A region in the department of Charente, in the extreme southwest of France.

There are several levels of quality for Cognac, ranging from Petite Champagne, through Vieux and Reserve, to the name-controlled Hors d’Age.

Q3. What can I use if I don’t have brandy?

If you don’t have brandy, you can use other types of liquor. Brandy is a variety of liquor that is produced from wine. It is distilled and has a low sugar content, which means it doesn’t spoil as fast.

· Cognac

· Vodka

· Sherry

· Rum

· Grape Juice

Q4. Why is brandy used for cooking?

When cooking with brandy, you use it for two main reasons: its flavor and the alcohol content.

Brandy has a sweet, spicy flavor, making it the right choice for recipes that include fruit or spices. The alcohol content acts as a solvent to extract flavor, color, and aromas from the fruits, spices, or vegetables you are using.

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