Substitute for Sake

Substitute for Sake
Substitute for Sake

Sake is a drink made from fermented rice. It originates from the Japanese and it follows a precise crewing procedure. On top of that sake, it also contains about 15% of alcohol and it’s a bit sweeter than other drinks. A lot of people like it for marinating meat but it has a lot of uses in the kitchen. For example, you can also use it to prepare sauces and soup. You can also use it in my other different recipes to get a sweet flavor. But if you don’t have this ingredient available you can try some of the alternatives below.

1. White grape juice

White grape juice it the most popular alternative forsake. The only difference between these two drinks is that white grape juice does not contain any alcohol contents. So if you are also looking for an alternative with zero alcohol contents then White grape juice will be the most suitable for you.

You can add small amounts of lemon juice to elevate the flavor to the same level as sake. The proportion of white grape juice should be equal to that of sake. Apart from making one of the best alternatives in terms of taste, white grape juice is packed with a lot of nutrients that have many benefits to our health. For example, it is low in calories and also it contributes to carbohydrate intake. On top of that white grape juice is a good source of Iron and also Vitamin C.


White grape juice is the best substitute of sake. It blends nicely in all the dishes and it has a lot of health benefits.

2. Rice wine vinegar

Rice wine vinegar is also referred to as rice vinegar. This is the second-best option that you can use since it’s prepared almost in a similar way as sake. It is made by fermenting rice and turning the sugars inside it to alcohol. The process is repeated to change the alcohol into acid. Rice wine vinegar is a great second option forsake but the flavor is a bit mild. However, if you use it in dipping sauces or salad dressings then you will get that sweet kick that you are looking for.

Rice wine vinegar is widely available in supermarkets and it’s also preferred by most restaurants. You need to add some sugar so as you can get the same taste as sake, otherwise, you will get a sour vinegar taste.


Rice wine vinegar have one thing in common and that is they are both prepared by fermenting rice. However, you will need to add some sugar so that you can get the same taste.

3. Soy Sauce

If you are looking for a substitute that is widely available across the world then you should try soy sauce. It makes a good substitute for sake but you can some amounts of white grape juice so as to get accurate results. The sweetness will not reduce so the taste will remain the same.

Soy sauce is affordable and it can be obtained from many places. Besides, it makes a good alternative in terms of nutritional value and health benefits. For example, it is a great source of vitamin B12, carbohydrates, and proteins.


Soy sauce is the best option in terms of availability and affordability. But if you want the exact taste then you can add some white grape juice.

4. Dry vermouth

Dry vermouth is another suitable alternative forsake. It has been fortified by brandy which makes it a perfect substitute forsake. Dry vermouth comes in two types that is white and red. The white vermouth is the best to use but you must add some good amounts of sugar. Doing this will help to maintain the flavor the same as sake.

Once you use dry vermouth in salad dressings or dipping sauces you are going to like it. Dry vermouth can be found in various supermarkets and shops. It’s also packed with multiple nutrients and it can very helpful to your health.


There are two types of vermouth, eg. Dry and red. Dry vermouth is the best to use but in the company of some sugar to meet the required taste.

5. Mirin

Mirin is a great alternative for those people looking for similar alcohol levels. Also in terms of flavor, Mirin does not fall very far behind. The difference is very small that a lot of people will not even notice. Mirin tastes sweet when added to several dishes but it does not change the overall taste and feel of sake.

You should be avoiding be adding sugar into Mirin because it already has sugar naturally. Adding some sugar will degrade the whole dish and you will not get the sake’s taste that you are after. Mirin is easy to find at the shops and the supermarkets so you do not have to worry about is availability. Also, if alcohol contents are not a problem to you then Mirin will be able to serve you well.


Mirin tastes sweet just like sake. Besides, it has alcohol contents making it a great alternative.

6. Sweet sherry

Just like the names suggests, you will not need to add any sugars. Sweet sherry is already sweetened hence saving you the struggle of trying to balance the tastes. You can add this wine to your favorite dish and you will fall in love with the aroma even more. Sweet sherry has been tested by many chefs across the world and approved as a suitable alternative forsake. You can easily find it in a shop or supermarket near you.

You should only use sweet sherry as an alternative in dishes that require small amounts of sake. Sweet sherry is not only a good substitute for sake but also a great nutrient supplement. Also, sweet sherry is a great ingredient for people that are looking to lower their cholesterol levels. In addition, it’s good for your heart health just like what most red wines offer.


Sweet sherry is a great alternative for sake because it does not need any additional sugars. Besides, you can easily find it in grocery stores or supermarkets near you.

Summary Table

Ingredient Substitute Flavor Profile Texture Best Used In Source
White Grape Juice Apple Juice Sweet, mild fruitiness Liquid Cooking, marinades, beverages Grocery store
Rice Wine Vinegar White Wine Vinegar Mild acidity, slightly sweet Liquid Salad dressings, marinades, pickling Grocery store
Soy Sauce Tamari Sauce Savory, salty, umami Liquid Asian dishes, marinades, dipping Grocery store
Dry Vermouth White Wine or Apple Juice Herbaceous, slightly sweet Liquid Cooking, sauces, cocktails Liquor store
Mirin Dry Sherry or Rice Wine Vinegar with Sugar Sweet, slightly tangy Liquid Japanese dishes, glazes, sauces Asian grocery store
Sweet Sherry Dry Sherry or Port Sweet, nutty, fruity Liquid Cooking, sauces, marinades Liquor store


Can I substitute sake with mirin?

While sake and mirin are both traditional Japanese rice wines, they serve different purposes in cooking. Sake is used to enhance flavors, while mirin adds sweetness and balance. In some cases, you can use mirin as a substitute for sake, but keep in mind that the flavor profile might change slightly.

What is a non-alcoholic substitute for sake and mirin?

For a non-alcoholic substitute, you can use a combination of water or broth with a small amount of sugar. This can mimic the mild sweetness of mirin. For sake, you can use a combination of water or broth with a small splash of vinegar to replicate the acidity.

Can I use apple cider vinegar instead of sake?

Apple cider vinegar can add acidity and a tangy flavor to dishes, but it won’t replicate the complexity of sake. If you’re looking for a non-alcoholic alternative, consider using a combination of broth and a touch of vinegar or lemon juice.

Can I substitute sake for white wine in a recipe?

Yes, in some recipes, you can substitute sake for white wine. However, keep in mind that sake has a different flavor profile than white wine, so the result may vary. It’s a good idea to consider the flavors of the dish before making the substitution.

Mei Lin Zhang

Written by Mei Lin Zhang

I love to writes about stories and cooking. I really enjoys creating new recipes and taking pictures of my food. When I am not writing, you can find me in the kitchen or snapping photos of my tasty creations.

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