Vinegar is one of the oldest known flavoring ingredients to mankind for thousands of years. Even today, it’s a must-have ingredient in some of the delicious recipes we have.
Vinegars are popularly used in making sauces, pickles, salad dressings, marinades, and even some baked foods.
Among all the vinegars, distilled white vinegar is the most commonly seen vinegar in every kitchen. This strong vinegar contains about 5 to 7 percentage of acetic acid.
This versatile vinegar provides for a treasure trove of uses such as gardening, cleaning, and cooking. It even has medicinal applications, too.
It’s enough you have some basic knowledge of vinegar to find a substitute fitting for your recipe.
Substitutes for white vinegar
Undoubtedly, white vinegar is the most affordable and easily available type of vinegar on the market.
The clear color and neutral flavor profile make the white vinegar highly versatile. In a pinch, you can use it in place of any other type of vinegar.
Now the question arises, what can you use as a replacement for distilled white vinegar? Here are some of the best substitutes for white vinegar.
White Wine Vinegar
White wine vinegar is made by allowing white wine to turn into vinegar.
It has a complex flavor profile but less acidic than distilled white vinegar. Similarly, it’s less tangy than white vinegar as it comes in a highly diluted form.
When you are in a pinch, you can easily use white wine vinegar as a suitable alternative to white vinegar. Of course, the white vinegar has a mild fruitiness flavor of grapes but that won’t make much difference to most of your recipes.
The light colors of both of these vinegars are identical. You can confidently use white wine vinegar without the fear of discoloring your light-colored dishes.
White wine vinegar suits well in sauces, marinades, and salad dressings.
While substituting, use the white wine vinegar in more quantity to achieve the same level of acidity and tanginess of distilled white vinegar.
Champagne vinegar is a mild, floral vinegar type typically made from Chardonnay and pinot noir grapes. It comes in an apricot orange or pale gold color, and consistency like that of water.
This super-bright vinegar has a sharp tang but a light flavor. Since it has a mild flavor, use it in unheated applications such as making vinaigrettes, or finishing hot sauces.
Though light in flavor it adds enough acidity to dishes just like the white vinegar does. Use it in more quantity if you wish to have a stronger acidity flavor like the white vinegar.
Certainly, it’s a good substitute for white vinegar especially for pickling, making mayonnaise, hot sauces, and vinaigrettes.
Distilled Malt Vinegar
Malt vinegar is produced from malted cereal grains of barley. There are a few different types of malt vinegar that include distilled, light, and dark malt vinegar.
Distilled malt vinegar, also referred to as spirit vinegar, is colorless, mildly aromatic, and very sharp in flavor. Like the white vinegar, the distilled malt vinegar is suitable for light-colored dishes and pickles that need to retain the colors of the core ingredients.
Most verities of malt vinegar have a strong flavor and acidity that match the common white vinegar.
Both distilled and light malt vinegar can very well substitute the distilled white vinegar.
If you need white vinegar substitute use lemon juice.
In fact, many people prefer the taste of lime or lemon juice over vinegar, for it has a milder flavor and nutritiously rich as well.
Lemon juice works well in baked goods or salad dressings.
Use a one-to-one ratio of lemon juice in place of white vinegar. To your advantage, lemon is easily available and it makes the swap a breeze. Simply swap one tablespoon of lemon/lime juice for the same amount of distilled white vinegar.
Rice wine vinegar is traditionally used as a condiment for sushi rice and light marinades.
The white vinegar is more acidic and has a sharper sour flavor than rice vinegar. The latter is sweeter and has mellow acidity.
Despite being less acidic the rice wine vinegar can still be an effective substitute for distilled white vinegar. Some love the sweet and mild flavor of rice vinegar as they don’t prefer the harsh taste of white vinegar.
Importantly, unseasoned rice vinegar is a better choice than seasoned rice vinegar to use in place of white vinegar.
Since the rice vinegar is mild in flavor, you may need to use it in a little more quantity than the white vinegar while substituting.
The Bottom Line
White vinegar, also known as distilled white vinegar, is commonly used in cooking and household cleaning. This vinegar adds flavor to sauces, salads, and pickled vegetables.
When you have run out of white vinegar, use any substitutes that match its flavor and color. I would recommend you to use either cider vinegar or malt vinegar in place of white vinegar.
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