14 Delicious Substitutes for Apple Cider with Ratio and Usage Tips You’ll Love

The fall season is not only about pumpkin spice but also apple cider. It is a wonderful drink that is warm, comforting, and perfect for cold days.

Apple cider has a perfect balance of sweet and tart flavors that make it an all-time favorite in many households.

But what if you run out of apple cider or can’t find it in supermarkets?

Don’t worry; there are several substitutes for apple cider that you can use and enjoy. In this article, we will share 14 ideal apple cider substitutes, along with their ratios and usage tips you’ll love.

In short, " What can I use instead of apple cider?"

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What is apple cider, and what does apple cider taste like?

Apple cider is a drink made from the pressing of apples. It is typically unfiltered and unpasteurized, allowing it to retain its natural flavors and nutrients.

Apple cider can be served cold or hot, and it is a popular beverage during the fall season.

The taste of apple cider is characterized by its sweet and tangy flavor profile. It has a refreshing apple taste with a balance of acidity and natural sweetness. 

The flavor can vary depending on the variety of apples used and the production process. Some apple ciders may have a more pronounced tartness, while others lean towards a sweeter profile.

Apple cider often exhibits a rich and fruity aroma reminiscent of fresh apples and orchards. The natural flavors of the apples shine through, providing a crisp and vibrant taste experience.

The texture of apple cider is typically smooth, with a moderate thickness that adds to its overall enjoyment.

In addition to its delicious taste, apple cider is often associated with the flavors and aromas of the autumn season. 

It is commonly enjoyed on its own, but it can also use as an ingredient in various recipes, including mulled cider, apple cider vinegar, or as a base for apple-flavored cocktails and desserts.

Overall, apple cider is a flavorful and refreshing beverage with a distinct apple taste that captures the essence of the autumn harvest.

Uses of apple cider

Apple cider is an incredibly versatile ingredient when it comes to cooking, allowing you to create a wide variety of dishes.

From sweet to savory, apple cider can bring a unique and tasty flavor to your meals. 

The acidity of the cider can be used to tenderize meats in marinades and glazes, giving them an extra depth of flavor as well as helping break down tough fibers.

It’s also perfect for adding a light and fruity note to salad dressings, soups and sauces. 

Apples themselves are often baked using sweet-tart juice as a base or added into desserts such as pies, cakes and crumbles for added sweetness.

Apple cider also pairs nicely with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom, adding warmth and complexity to dishes like mulled wine or warm spiced apple drinks.

As an additional benefit, apples contain pectin, which helps thicken recipes naturally without having to use synthetic thickeners. 

With its many uses in cooking, apple cider is an ingredient that every kitchen should have stocked on its shelves!

Where to buy apple cider?

If you are looking for apple cider where to buy, there are a few various places you can go. Many specialty food stores carry it, as do some international grocery stores

You can also order online from many retailers that provide a variety of diverse flavors and types of apple cider.

Best substitutes for apple cider with a ratio

Here are seven ideal apple cider substitutes with ratios and how to use them:

1. Mulled Apple Juice  – a good Substitute for Apple Cider

mulled apple juice is a great apple cider substitute

Mulled apple juice is a great substitute for apple cider. This comforting and classic drink perfectly blends apple juice with a balance of warm spices for a spicy flavor. 

Ratio or measurement: To make it, you'll need 5 cups apple juice, one orange, 1 lemon, 4 cinnamon sticks, 3 star anise, and 4 whole cloves.

Flow the juice into a pan, add the spices, and cook for 30 minutes on low heat. Once done, add the juice of the orange and lemon, mix and serve.

2. Mulled Grape Juice

For those who don’t like the taste of apples, mulled grape juice is a great alternative. The flavor is unique and has a rich, warming, and comforting taste. 

Ratio or measurement: To make it, you'll need 4 cups grape juice, 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 whole cloves, and 2 cardamom pods.

Mix all ingredients in a pot, simmer over low heat for 30 minutes, and serve.

3. Try bMulled Cranberry Juice to replace Apple Cider

mulled cranberry juice is a good substitute for apple cider

Another apple cider substitute you should try this fall is mulled cranberry juice. It’s delicious, warming, and has a tangy flavor similar to apple cider.

Ratio or measurement: To make it, you'll need 4 cups cranberry juice, 1 cup water, 1 orange, 1 lemon, 3 cinnamon sticks, 8 cloves, and 1/4 cup honey.

In a pot, combine cranberry juice and water then add cinnamon sticks, cloves, and honey and stir to mix well.

Slice the lemon and orange and add them, then steam over low heat for 20-25 minutes before serving.

4. Mulled Cider Tea

If you prefer tea, you won’t miss out on savoring a mug of warm and comforting apple cider substitute. Mulled cider tea is easy to make and a great alternative to apple cider.

Ratio or measurement: To make it, you'll need 4 cups hot water, 4 tea bags, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 orange slices, and 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg. In a pot, begin brewing tea bags in hot water for 3-5 minutes.

Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange slices, and continue simmering for ten more minutes before serving.

5. Spiced Hot Cranberry Punch – a good alternative for Apple Cider

Spiced hot cranberry punch is another delicious apple cider substitute that’s perfect for fall and winter.

It’s made with fresh cranberries, apple juice, and warm spices for a comforting and warm drink.

Ratio or measurement: To make it, you'll need 4 cups cranberry juice, 1 cup apple cider, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 cinnamon stick, 3 cloves, 2 cardamom pods, and ½ lime juice.

In a pot, combine all ingredients, simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes, then serve.

6. Hot Spiced Grape Punch

hot spiced grape punch is a great alternate for apple cider

If you want a non-alcoholic grape punch, this hot spiced grape punch is a great alternative for an apple cider substitute. The flavors are warm, sweet and spicy, making it a perfect drink for fall parties.

Ratio or measurement: To make it, you'll need 6 cups grape juice, 1 cup water, 2 cinnamon sticks, 6 whole cloves, 1 orange, and 1 lemon.

In a large pot, mix grape juice, water, cinnamon sticks and cloves, let it simmer for 10 minutes. Slice the orange and lemon, add to the punch and continue simmering for 10 more minutes before serving.

7. Spiced Hot Cranberry Apple Cidersimilar to Apple Cider

Spiced hot cranberry apple cider is the best blend of two crisp flavors in one. It’s the perfect drink for autumn, and it’s also great for entertaining. 

Ratio or measurement: To make it, you'll need 4 cups apple cider, 1/4 cup honey, 2 cups cranberry juice, 1 orange, 4 cinnamon sticks, 8 cloves, and 1/4 tsp nutmeg. In a pot, simmer apple cider with cranberry juice over low heat.

Add the cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, cloves, honey and orange slices, and continue simmering for 15-20 minutes for maximum flavor and aroma.

8. Cranberry Juice 

It has a slightly tart and sweet flavor, just like apple cider.

Ratio or measurement: Mix an equal amount of cranberry juice with water and add honey or maple syrup to sweeten it.

If you want a spiced cranberry cider, add cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.

9. Pomegranate Juice  – a good replacement for Apple Cider

pomegranate juice is a nice replacement for apple cider

It has an alike sweet and tangy flavor, like apple cider.

Ratio or measurement: Blend an equal amount of pomegranate juice with water, add honey and lemon juice for sweetness, and spices like cinnamon, cloves, and ginger to make it more flavorful.

10. Grape Juice 

This is perfect for those who prefer a sweeter cider.

Ratio or measurement: For every cup of grape juice, half a cup of water, add cinnamon for flavor.

Boil the mixture until it becomes syrupy, and then add water to weaken it to the desired consistency.

11. Use Orange Juice instead of Apple Cider

It works best when mixed with warm spices.

Ratio or measurement: Add half a cup of orange juice to one cup of water, and add cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

Heat the mix on low heat and add honey or maple syrup to sweeten it.

12. Tea 

Tea is another great substitute for apple cider.

tea is another great alternative for apple cider
Ratio or measurement: Brew two cups of black tea and mix it with one cup of water, cinnamon, nutmeg, and honey.

13. Mulled Wine  – a great Substitute for Apple Cider

If you want a more adult cider version, then mulled wine is perfect.

Ratio or measurement: Mix one part red wine with one part apple juice, cinnamon, and honey.

Heat the mixture on low heat for around 20 minutes.

14. Apple Juice 

If you have apple juice lying around, you can use this as an alternative to apple cider.

Ratio or measurement: Mix two parts of apple juice with one part of water and add cinnamon, nutmeg, and honey.

More: Delicious Catawba Wine Substitutes with Proper Ratios

Substitute for apple cider in bone broth

Apple cider vinegar can be substituted for bone broth in recipes with a ratio of 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar for every 1 cup of bone broth.

This substitution is ideal for adding a tangy and slightly acidic flavor to dishes, as apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid and other potent compounds that can enhance flavors while also providing health benefits.

Apple cider vinegar also contains vitamins B1, B2, B6, folic acid, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin C and vitamin E.

Additionally, it contains magnesium, calcium, potassium and phosphorus minerals that are essential for good health.

When substituting apple cider vinegar for bone broth in recipes, it is vital to remember that the dish will not have the same rich umami flavor that is provided by the gelatin-rich collagen naturally occurring in the bone broth.

However, its strong taste can be used to enhance flavors within various dishes.

Substitute for apple cider in baking

1. White Wine

White wine can make an excellent substitute for apple cider in baking recipes. The flavor is slightly different, but it can add a nice depth of flavor to cakes and bread.

Ratio or measurement: To substitute white wine for apple cider, use a ratio of 3/4 cup of white wine for every 1 cup of apple cider.

2. Pineapple Juice

Pineapple juice is another popular substitution for apple cider in baking recipes. It has a light sweetness and tropical flavors that work well in muffins, quick breads, and fruitcakes.

Ratio or measurement: Use a ratio of 3/4 cup of pineapple juice for every 1 cup of apple cider.

3. Lemonade

Lemonade makes an excellent substitute for apple cider when baking desserts like cakes and muffins.

It adds a tart lemony flavor that complements the sweetness of the dessert ingredients while still providing moisture and structure to the cake or muffin batter.

Ratio or measurement: Use a ratio of 3/4 cup of lemonade for every 1 cup of apple cider.

4. Orange Juice

Orange juice can use as a substitute for apple cider in sweet baked goods like cakes and muffins, as it adds some sweetness and acidity to the recipe while still maintaining the desired structure from the liquid ingredient in the recipe.

Ratio or measurement: Use a ratio of 3/4 cup of orange juice for every 1 cup of apple cider.

5. Apple Juice Concentrate

For an intense apple flavor in your baking recipes, use frozen concentrated apple juice as your liquid ingredient in lieu of traditional apple cider or other substitutions such as white wine or pineapple juice.

Ratio or measurement: Use a ratio of 2 tablespoons per 8 ounces (or one cup) of water to replace each 1 cup of traditional apple cider called for in the recipe instructions​.

Apple juice concentrate helps to enhance the flavor of recipes like those for apple pies, cakes and breads without making them overly sweet or acidic.

6. White Wine

A great substitute for apple cider in baking recipes is white wineIt adds a more subtle savor than traditional apple cider but still provides enough liquid to keep your recipe structure intact.

Ratio or measurement: To replace 1 cup of apple cider, use 1/2 cup white wine combined with 1/2 cup water.

For an even lighter option, use 3 tablespoons white wine combined with 7 tablespoons water to replace one cup of apple cider in your baking recipe​.

7. Pineapple Juice

Another viable option when looking for an alternative to traditional apple cider is pineapple juice, as it has similar sweetness and acidity.

Ratio or measurement: To replace 1 cup of apple cider, use 3/4 cup pineapple juice plus 1/4 cup water in your baking recipe.

For a richer flavor, you can also use 1/2 cup pineapple juice combined with 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice added to your baking mixture, as the additional acid will help to give your recipe an extra boost.

apple cider substitute for ribs

Apple cider is a popular substitute for ribs in many recipes. It lends a sweet, tart flavor that often pairs well with the smoky savor of the ribs.

Apple cider can be successfully substituted for beer in ribs, providing a unique flavor profile to the dish.

The natural sweetness of apple cider will give the ribs a subtle sweetness and tangy flavor that complements the savory spices used in the recipe. 

Additionally, using apple cider instead of beer also helps keep the ribs moist as they cook, ensuring that they are tender and juicy.

To increase the flavor further, you can reduce some of the juice down on the stovetop until it’s thick and syrupy to brush over the ribs before they go into the oven or onto the grill.

This will help add a layer of complexity to your dish while ensuring it stays moist and succulent.

dry cider substitute for cooking

Cooking with dry cider can add a slight tartness and complexity of flavor to dishes. Dry cider substitutes for other types of alcohol, like beer, in marinades or slow-cooked recipes.

It also can use as an ingredient for braising meats and vegetables, providing a balance to the natural sweetness of foods.

Substituting for dry cider can be done in a variety of ways. Hard apple cider, for instance, is a great alternative as it is made from apples and has the sweetness and tartness that dry cider offers. 

Alternatively, ginger beer could be used. It has the same effervescence as hard cider, although its flavors are more subtle than those of hard cider.

Additionally, sparkling white wines or rose wines are good substitutes for dry cider.

They offer light fruit flavors with bubbly carbonation and can provide an acceptable alternative to dry ciders when needed.

apple cider substitute for brine

Apple cider vinegar can use as an excellent substitute for apple cider in making brine.

Apple cider vinegar combines apples with yeast to produce alcohol, which is then fermented into acetic acid – the main component of vinegar.

It has a tart and barely sweet flavor that works well in marinades and sauces. When used in brine, it helps season the protein and adds a hint of flavor to it. 

Apple cider vinegar also works well to draw out moisture from the protein, resulting in juicy, tender meat or seafood after cooking.

Furthermore, it can also help to balance out the salt content of a brine solution, ensuring that it is not too overpowering.

Substitute for apple cider in pulled pork

For a flavorful twist on slow-cooked pulled pork, consider replacing apple cider with pineapple juice.

Not only does this give the dish a unique sweet-tart tang, but it also provides some crucial nutrients such as potassium and vitamin C.

When using juice instead of cider, decrease the added sugar in the recipe, as pineapple juice is already quite sweet. 

Additionally, add a little bit of apple cider vinegar for extra depth of flavor.

To help tenderize the pork while it cooks, marinate it in pineapple juice overnight before adding it to your slow cooker or crockpot.

Finally, for an extra kick of spicy sweetness, top you’re finished pulled pork with crushed red pepper flakes and fresh cilantro leaves.

Apple Cider Vs. Apple Cider Vinegar- what’s the difference?

Apple cider and apple cider vinegar are two very different products that both come from apples. Apple cider is a kind of juice made from pressed apples, while apple cider vinegar is a fermented product made with the same raw material.

Apple cider has a light, sweet flavor and aroma that reflects its sweetness from the fresh fruits. It can be enjoyed chilled or heated, depending on the season or individual preference. It is usually consumed as-is and does not contain any added sugar.

In contrast, apple cider vinegar has a sour taste and smell due to its fermentation process. It contains acetic acid, enzymes, minerals, and trace amounts of vitamins; however, its primary ingredient is still pressed apples.

Apple cider vinegar can use in cooking dishes like marinades, salad dressings, sauces and pickling recipes to bring out flavors in food.

One key difference between apple cider and apple cider vinegar lies in its nutritional content. While both are low in calories, apple cider contains more dietary fiber than apple cider vinegar due to its lack of processing during production.

Apple cider also provides some vitamin C, whereas the fermented product does not contain any vitamins other than trace amounts of B complex vitamins.

Due to this difference, regular consumption of either beverage may lead to different health benefits for consumers, such as providing antioxidants for better digestion or higher levels of iron for increased energy output.

Conclusion on substitute for apple cider

Apple cider is a great drink for fall and winter, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. We hope this list of 14 ideal apple cider substitutes with ratios and usage tips gives you other options to explore. 

Remember, there’s no perfect recipe for a cider substitute, so feel free to try out different ingredients, like mixed spices or juices, to come up with a unique and amazing flavor. 

Whatever you choose, be creative and add a personal touch to make it truly yours. Enjoy your drink!

FAQs on substitute for apple cider

Q1. What is similar to apple cider?

Apple juice is similar to apple cider, but it has been filtered and pasteurized for a smoother flavor. It usually contains added sugar, preservatives, and other ingredients like citric acid or ascorbic acid (vitamin C) for a sweeter taste.

Apple juice can also be carbonated and enjoyed as sparkling cider. Hard cider is an alcoholic drink produced from fermented apple juice that also resembles apple cider in flavor.

Q2. Can you replace apple cider with apple juice?

Yes, you can replace apple cider with apple juice. Apple juice is a good substitute for apple cider because it has a similar flavor and sweetness level. However, it does not have the same tartness that apple cider has, so some people may prefer to use cider in recipes instead of juice.

Additionally, since most store-bought varieties are processed and sweetened, they do not contain any of the beneficial enzymes or minerals found in fresh-pressed or unpasteurized ciders. Therefore it is more suitable to opt for an organic variety if possible.

Q3. What is an alternative drink for apple cider vinegar?

An alternative drink to apple cider vinegar is lemon water. Lemon water has various health benefits, such as aiding digestion, decreasing inflammation, and boosting the immune system. Lemons are the maximum of vitamin C, which helps reduce oxidative stress and acts as an antioxidant.

In addition, the citric acid located in lemons can help improve digestive function by increasing hydrochloric acid production in the stomach.

Furthermore, it can also help reduce bloating and indigestion. The hydration provided by drinking lemon water can also be valuable for maintaining a healthy weight. As an added bonus, adding lemon to your water can also make it much more enjoyable to drink and will add a subtle flavor without sugar or calories.

Q4. Can rice vinegar substitute for apple cider vinegar

Yes, rice vinegar can be used as a substitute for apple cider vinegar. Rice vinegar is produced from fermented rice and typically has a milder flavor than apple cider vinegar. It may not impart the same depth of flavor as apple cider vinegar, but it can still add the right balance of acidity to a dish.

In addition, its sweetness can help to balance out spicier dishes or provide a contrast with more savory recipes. When substituting rice vinegar for apple cider vinegar in a recipe, it’s recommended to use equal parts of each and adjust the amount according to taste. Additionally, add a bit of sugar or honey to bring out some additional sweetness in the finished dish.

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