Apple juice is used in a lot of dishes, either directly in the recipe or as a spray. Its sweet and honeyed taste is leveraged to raise the overall taste and aroma of dishes- be it sweet or savory.
However, many people are allergic to apples and don’t know what things they can use in place of apple juice. Even the ones who aren’t might not have apple juice at their disposal at all times.
So, is there any other juice that one can use instead of apple juice in the recipe? The answer is yes. There are a variety of options that you can try in your cuisine, like apple cider, lime juice, red wine vinegar, etc.
For better understanding, we have bifurcated it into sweet and unsweet categories.
11 Best Substitutes For Apple Juice (Unsweet Version)
1. Rice wine vinegar
One of the great replacements for unsweetened apple juice is rice wine vinegar, which is a kind of vinegar that is made of fermented rice.
In literal terms, it is manufactured by fermenting rice starches and sugars until they turn to alcohol, then acetic acid, which gives vinegar its acidic flavor.
Thus, it has a sweet and acidic flavor that is akin to apple juice. However, the color of vinegar is pretty light.
So, if you want to add them to your dish, make sure to add a little more of them. No, you don’t have to stress about the taste of the recipe. It will not affect it much.
You can drizzle them on salads as they have a mildly acidic flavor, and you can substitute them easily in every dish using the same ratio.
It’s okay if you don’t have rice wine vinegar either because you can try our all-rounder alternative, which is mentioned next on our list.
2. Lemon juice
Have you replaced apple juice with lemon juice in your dish? Well, if not, then you must try it once.
I am sure you will love it. Plus, it is an all-rounder household stuff that is always easily available in the kitchen, and you can make its juice in one squeeze.
It has a great acidic flavor that can make your food mouthwatering. You can dash some juice into various other salad dressings, smoothies, and soups too.
Well, while substituting, you have to take care of the quantity. Just like rice wine vinegar, you cannot put them in the same quantity because it is more acidic than apple juice. So, bear in mind to add only a tiny amount.
The ratio of lemon juice while substituting will be half the amount of apple juice. In case you want it more, you can adjust it as per your need.
3. Lime juice
Using lime juice can also work wonders while replacing it with apple juice. However, not every individual loves its taste because it is not much sweeter and has a slightly bitter taste. Lime and lemon share the same health benefits, but lemons are sweeter.
However, you can still exchange it for all the recipes that call for unsweet apple juice. Like you can add it to your juices, soups, stews, and smoothies too.
4. White wine
White wine comes next on the list of apple juice replacements. It’s prepared from white grapes that have been peeled and fermented into alcohol.
It carries a citrus flavor, just like freshly cut stone fruits, and has a floral aroma.
This substitute will only work if you use it in the proper manner. And once you use it appropriately, it can work wonders in place of unsweetened apple juice.
Note: As it contains alcohol, you cannot make dishes for kids using this.
Speaking of the amount, it almost has a similar flavor. You can put 2 tbsp of it in place of 1 tbsp of apple juice in your cuisine.
5. Red wine vinegar
Adding red wine vinegar in place of unsweet apple juice in your recipe can work magic as it will add a tangy and little bit sweet flavor to your dish.
Moreover, it also contains healthy antioxidants, and you can use them in Mediterranean dishes, gazpachos, marinades, and pickling cuisines.
It is prepared by fermenting red wine with a starter culture and acidic bacteria in a sour fermentation process. The alcohol is converted to acetic acid during fermentation, which is the primary ingredient in vinegar.
The acidity level in apple juice and red wine vinegar is nearly identical. The flavor, however, may differ slightly.
Well, while substituting it with apple juice, you have to keep in mind that you should use it in a small quantity. Add 1 tbsp in place of 2 tbsp of apple juice in the recipe.
If you want, you can add the quantity as per your preference.
Note: The red color of the wine may change the color of your dish.
6. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a famous natural treatment. Because it contains numerous antioxidants and antibacterial properties, it has been used in cooking and medicine for decades. You can try apple cider vinegar in spite of apple juice in your dish if you don’t have any.
It is made from fermenting apples till the sugar turns into ethanol. Later, microbes work and transform it into acetic acid. It carries a strong smell and sour taste.
If you are using apple juice in sweet cuisine, then you can add a little sugar to apple cider vinegar while substituting.
7. Pineapple juice
Try using pineapple juice in spite of apple juice in savory dishes. I promise you, you will like it and won’t even miss the apple juice.
It contains a sweet and tart flavor that you can use in your salad dressing, and if you add apple juice to pork, then you can always try pineapple juice in the absence of apple juice.
8. White wine vinegar
Fill the void of apple juice with white wine vinegar. It is also an acid with a delicate fruity flavor fermented and oxidized from white wine.
White wine vinegar has a softer, more delicate flavor than red wine vinegar. Therefore, it won’t go that well with large components like red meat.
Using this substitute might change the taste of your dish very little. However, the acidic level is akin to that of apple juice. Still, it will be nice and workable.
While substituting, you have to take care of the quantity because it has a stronger flavor than apple juice. So, make sure to use it in small quantities, like you can put ½ tbsp of it in place of 1 tbsp of apple juice in your recipe.
9. Orange juice
Using orange juice in exchange for unsweetened apple juice in any recipe can also be done. It will add fruit flavor and an acidic level.
If you are preparing a smoothie or salad, you can add some orange juice to make your meal interesting and flavorful. Try them in any topping on your meal. I am sure you will love it.
Using this replacement is a win-win situation. You can gain a lot of nutrient benefits because it has a variety of health advantages, including enhanced heart health, reduced inflammation, and a lower chance of kidney stones.
Note: This alternative may not go well with every unsweetened apple juice recipe as it has a more citric taste. Therefore, make sure to use it appropriately.
10. Carbonated soda
You might be shocked while reading this replacement on our list, right? However, the truth is that, yes, you can replace soda with apple juice in certain cuisines.
Tip: While substituting soda, make sure to get a citrus-flavored soda to get a similar fruit taste. You can use ginger ale or sprite as well.
Well, the ratio will be the same. But remember to taste your cuisine while adding soda because your soda choice may need altering.
You can add them to your toppings and dressing. It may work in some smoothies as well.
11. Pomegranate Juice
Pomegranate juice has sour, sweet, fruity, and astringent flavors. Like all fruits, pomegranates have high sugar content, but it is quite tart due to bitter tannins.
Apart from the similarities in taste, pomegranate juice is considered to be healthier than apple juice, especially for the elderly. This is why this substitute is recommended for people of all ages. It can be used to prepare smoothies or glaze savory dishes.
So, these alternatives were all about unsweetened apple juice, but what about sweet apple juice alternatives? Well, to know that, keep scrolling.
3 Best Substitutes for Apple Juice (Sweet Version)
This section will inform you of all the alternatives for sweet apple juice that you might use in your recipe.
1. Pear juice
Pear juice can also work if you don’t have apple juice in your fridge. Both fruits belong to the same family that is the Rosaceae family.
Just like apple juice has candy and sweet flavor. Pear juice also carries sweetness and sourness. You can try them in your smoothies, fruit juice, cakes, pancakes, and cookies for the fruity flavor.
Moreover, just like apple juice, pear juice is also good for your gut, helps to lose weight, and carries antioxidants and anticancer effects.
2. White grape juice
If you don’t have apple juice, you can add white grape juice to your smoothie. It adds fruitiness and sweet sourness to your smoothie, akin to apple juice.
Moreover, it is a healthy juice, just like apple juice. It assists in improving your health condition, works on low blood pressure, keeps you safe from heart risk and high cholesterol, and is good for your brain and bone too.
3. Apple syrup
If the recipe calls for apple juice, replace it with apple syrup for a tart and delicious flavor.
You can try it in sweet meals, but if you wish to use it in a non-sweet recipe, dilute it with water first. This will eliminate all sweetness.
Substitute for apple juice in ribs
Generally, not everyone likes to marinate ribs, but some people do. And when you use a small amount of apple juice in the foil along with ribs, it will give nice steam. This will help to make the meat soft and also accelerate your cooking process. Thus, you can save your precious time.
You might also try apple juice when spritzing or “misting” the ribs during the smoke.
Substitute for apple juice in the marinade
You might want a mild-flavored sugary liquid for chicken or pork marinade. If apple juice is not available, you can try lemon juice, orange juice, grapefruit juice, etc. If you want a tsunami of flavors, you can also try cranberry or pomegranate juice.
Substitute for apple juice in a smoothie
While you can use real apples or any other fruits in the smoothie, you can also use orange juice or lime juice. Apple syrup will also go a long way in making your smoothie taste delicious.
Substitute for apple juice in pulled pork
Apple juice is used for shredding pulled pork. In case you run out of it, you can use lime juice, lemon juice, or even orange juice. These substitutes will bring the necessary sweetness and acidity to your pulled pork dishes.
Substitute for apple juice in pork roast
Just like pork marinades, you can use cranberry juice, lemon juice, orange juice, or grapefruit juice in place of apple juice as far as pork roast is concerned.
Substitute for apple juice in muffins
While baking, you can use any other sweet juice like grapefruit to orange juice in place of apple juice. Such substitutes will help you bake delicious and sweet muffins.
Substitute for apple juice in brine
Brine requires a specific taste that can be achieved through apple juice. However, if you run out of it, you can use white wine vinegar.
Well, that’s a wrap!
If you want to use unsweet apple juice in your cuisine, then you can go for orange juice, lime juice, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, red wine, or white wine vinegar.
And, if the recipe calls for sweet apple juice, then try pear juice or white grape juice as its replacement. Remember, not every alternative will go well with every dish. So, make sure to use it properly.
If you know any of the apple juice alternatives, please share them with us in the comments.
Milburn Adler is a food enthusiast and connoisseur of wine. His area of expertise is food fusions and gourmet foods. He lives to experiment with new recipes every day and spends most of his day looking for fresh and exotic fruits and vegetables.