How to Make Sherry Vinegar at Home – Some Great Substitutes

If you’ve run out of sherry vinegar when you need it the most, it can be tempting to try out possible substitutes. 

We recommend some excellent sherry vinegar substitutes: red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, champagne vinegar, balsamic vinegar, and rice wine vinegar.

If you have a wine allergy or intolerance, honey vinegar, lime juice, Apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and vanilla extract will do the job. 

Alternatively, it can also be tempting to test your brewing skills by making sherry vinegar at home. 

Even though making sherry vinegar at home is uncommon, it is not impossible. Therefore, allow us to show you how to make sherry vinegar at home in this article. 

How to Make Sherry Vinegar at Home – A Step-By-Step Process

Making sherry vinegar at home doesn’t have to be strenuous, especially with our step-by-step guide. 

You need four things to make sherry vinegar at home successfully; water, a crockpot or container, sherry wine, and a vinegar starter (unpasteurized vinegar, mycoderma aceti, or the mother).

If you have all these, let’s get brewing!

  • 1. Cover all parts of the inner surface of the container you’d be using with the vinegar starter. 
  • 2. Dilute the sherry wine with water; 1 cup of sherry wine to 2 cups of water. 
  • 3. Seal the opening of the container with cheesecloth and firmly attach it to the container using a rubber band. 
  • 4. Leave the container in a dark and warm place and check on it until it reaches a good point. It can take between 3 weeks and six months to be well-fermented. 
  • 5. When it has fermented to your satisfaction, drain the sherry vinegar with a cheesecloth before bottling and storing it for use. 

Making sherry vinegar at home may not produce the same quality as the industrially-made sherry vinegar from Spain because of the absence of the solera system. 

Main sherry vinegar ingredients

The main ingredient in sherry vinegar is sherry wine. 

Sherry wine is the principal ingredient in industrially-made sherry vinegar from Spain. 

White grapes like Palomino, Moscatel, and Pedro Ximenez make palomino the most commonly used sherry wine. The production process involves turning the alcohol into acetic acid using active bacteria. 

The principal ingredients in homemade sherry vinegar are water, sherry wine, and a vinegar starter. 

How to make sherry vinegar dressing

It is commonly called a vinaigrette; it can serve as a marinade or a salad dressing. 

Here are three sherry vinegar vinaigrette recipes you can use in your following marinade or a salad dressing. 

How to make sherry vinegar shallot vinaigrette

You’ll need; one medium shallot (chopped), one tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, two tablespoons of sherry vinegar, one teaspoon of mustard, preferably Dijon, nine tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, salt, and ground pepper. 

  • 1. Add the lemon juice, vinegar, shallot, and mustard to a bowl, mix, and let it sit for about 15 minutes. 
  • 2. Add the olive oil to the mix gradually while still mixing it. 
  • 3. Add salt and pepper to boost the flavor. 
  • 4. If you wouldn’t be using it when you make it, pour the mix into an airtight container and cover. 
  • 5. Continue to keep the flavor vibrant by adding lemon or lime juice to it every few days. 

How to make sherry vinegar garlic vinaigrette

You’ll need; freshly ground pepper, salt, roughly chopped garlic (1 or 2 medium gloves), one teaspoon of Dijon mustard, one and a half tablespoons of sherry vinegar, six tablespoons of virgin olive oil, mortar, and pestle.

1. Use the mortar and pestle to pound the garlic along with ¼ teaspoon of salt till it achieves a paste-like consistency. 

2. Add the garlic, mustard, and sherry vinegar to a bowl, then whip as you add the olive oil. 

3. Balance the flavor with the ground pepper. 

How to make honey mustard sherry vinaigrette

You’ll need; a teaspoon of honey, four teaspoons of sherry vinegar, 1/8 teaspoon of kosher salt, half a teaspoon of Dijon mustard, and eight teaspoons of freshly produced ground pepper, a bowl, and three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.

1. Add the honey, mustard, vinegar, pepper, and salt into the bowl and mix.

2. Add the virgin olive oil while carefully mixing.

3. Taste and add more seasoning or vinegar for a bolder flavor. 

Best substitutes for sherry vinegar

Here are some excellent substitutes for sherry vinegar.

  • White wine vinegar 
  • Red wine vinegar 
  • Sherry wine
  • Champagne vinegar 
  • Rice wine vinegar 

White wine vinegar

White wine vinegar is a calorie-free alternative to sherry vinegar. In addition, white wine vinegar has a mild flavor and isn’t too acidic, like sherry vinegar. These similarities make it such a perfect substitute. 

Red Wine vinegar

Although more acidic than its white wine counterpart, it still makes a good sherry vinegar substitute. Because its taste is harsher than that of sherry vinegar, you would need less in your recipe compared to sherry vinegar. 

Sherry wine

Since sherry wine is the main ingredient of sherry vinegar, this seems like the safest option if you ask me. In addition, Sherry wine works well as an alternative to vinegar. 

Rice wine vinegar

Rice wine vinegar tastes like sherry vinegar. This sweet but calm taste of rice wine vinegar makes it a viable substitute for sherry vinegar. 

Champagne vinegar

Champagne vinegar resembles sherry vinegar with its mild flavor. This mild flavor makes it an easy substitute for sherry vinegar. Here are some non-wine vinegar substitutes for sherry vinegar. 

  • Apple cider vinegar. 
  • Lime and lemon juice. 

Apple cider vinegar

This sherry vinegar alternative comes with a mild flavor and is slightly more acidic than sherry vinegar, so you may need to adjust the amount when substituting it in your meals. 

Lime juice and lemon juice

These citrus extracts make suitable sherry vinegar substitutes with easy-going and sweet flavors. A squeeze of lemon or lime juice would give your meal a burst of freshness. 

Read also: Is Sherry Vinegar the Same as Red Wine Vinegar?

Can I Use Apple Cider Vinegar Instead Of Sherry Vinegar?

Yes, apple cider vinegar is an excellent alternative to sherry vinegar. It has a similar taste to sherry vinegar; it is sweet, mild, and relatively acidic. If you’re allergic to wine or have a wine intolerance, using Apple cider vinegar instead of sherry vinegar is good. Adding Apple cider vinegar to your meals comes with some health benefits, such as:

  • Facilitating healthy weight loss.
  • Reducing blood sugar levels. 
  • Lowering cholesterol. 
  • Decreasing blood pressure levels. 
  • Facilitating healthy skin. 

You can also include apple cider vinegar in your vinaigrette or marinade for a more robust taste. Here’s a quick apple cider vinaigrette recipe you can try.

You’ll need; one garlic glove (chopped), 1/4th cup of extra virgin olive oil, one tablespoon of honey, 1/4th cup of apple cider vinegar, one teaspoon of Dijon mustard, a bowl, a serving jar, 1/4th teaspoon of sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper. 

1. Put the garlic, honey, apple cider vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper in the bowl and whisk. 

2. Slowly pour the olive oil into the mix while still whisking until it is well-mixed. 

Can You Make Sherry Vinegar By Mixing Sherry And Vinegar? 

No, you can’t make sherry vinegar by simply mixing sherry and vinegar. However, that is a viable substitute for sherry vinegar. 
You don’t just mix any vinegar with sherry wine. For example, you can mix sherry wine with red wine vinegar in a 1:3 ratio to give a sweet and mild-flavored sherry vinegar substitute. 

How long does it take to make sherry vinegar?

It takes about three to six months for homemade sherry vinegar to be well-fermented. 
Alternatively, it takes at least six months for industrially-made sherry vinegar from Jerez, Spain, to be fermented and well-aged. The usage of the solera system is the reason for the more extended brew period in industrially-produced sherry vinegar. 

By Luong Tan

Luong Tan, the creative and passionate founder of Bourbono, is a multi-talented individual with a deep love for the culinary arts. An accomplished food blogger, cookbook author, and former Ambassador of US cuisine in Vietnam (2015-2016), Luong has been on a mission to share his appreciation for food with the world.

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