9 Substitutes for Bourbon in Cooking and Baking You Can Try

What do you do when you want to bake or cook with bourbon but can’t get any for your culinary adventure?

One option is to try one of these great substitutes! For instance, Scotch, Whiskey, Brandy, Cognac, and Rum are all good choices. You can also substitute Bourbon Vanilla Extract in place of the real thing if you cannot find it. Another substitution that many people love is Peach Nectar mixed with Apple Cider Vinegar and Almond Extract. The last suggestion might be a bit more out there – ginger beer instead of bourbon.

Bourbon’s history in cooking and baking goes back to the late 1800s when a New Orleans chef named Paul Prudhomme first used it in place of wine. Bourbon has been popular ever since as an ingredient for many dishes. In fact, Kentucky bourbon is so beloved that there are even cookbooks dedicated to using only this type of liquor in recipes!

Bourbon started being used more often than wine because it was cheaper and had a longer shelf life. The popularity of bourbon continued to grow after Prohibition ended; people wanted something they could drink out of their glasses without having to worry about breaking them while still drinking alcohol!|

Bourbon can be found in many types of food today, including bread, sauces, salads, and even desserts.

But what happens when you have a recipe that calls for bourbon and you just cannot find it, order it or get it in time?

Never fear!

There are some alcoholic and non-alcoholic substitutes that will suit your baking and cooking needs beautifully.

Read on to learn more!


Scotch is a good substitute for bourbon in baking recipes because it has similar flavor notes but different properties that make cooking with it come out differently than if you used bourbon. Scotch can also be substituted one-to-one for regular whiskey or rye – so if you’re not sure which type of whiskey to use, just go with Scotch.

Scotch was first produced in Scotland and began being exported to other countries like Ireland and the United States. The word “scotch” comes from the Gaelic term meaning “to pay or settle a debt,” which relates to how this beverage became popular as a way to repay debts between countries.


Whiskey can be substituted for bourbon in many baking recipes because it has a similar taste and texture. It is also not as sweet as Bourbon Vanilla Extract, so you will need less sugar if you are using this substitute! You can even mix Whiskeys – like Jack Daniels, Knob Creek, and Jim Beam – to get the taste you want.

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Whiskey is a distilled beverage made from fermented grains such as malted barley, rye, or corn. Most whiskey today is aged in oak barrels for several years before it becomes available on store shelves; the more time spent aging, the smoother your Whiskey will be!


Brandy has been a popular substitute for bourbon in cooking and baking recipes. It has a similar taste and texture to bourbon, but you will need to use less sugar if you are substituting it into your dish. You can also mix different kinds of Brandy together to get the flavor that you want.

Brandy is made from distilled grape wine or apple juice that is then infused with herbs and spices like vanilla, cinnamon, and others. The word “brandy” comes from the Dutch word “brandewijn” which means “burnt wine” because this type of liquor became popular in the late 1600s when people began distilling alcohol by burning wine to create it.

One of the best recipes to cook with Brandy is one of my favorite roasted pork loin with Bramley apples and roast potatoes.



Cognac is a type of spirit distilled from wine or fermented grape juice. It has been made in the Cognac region of France since the early 1600s, and it is one of the world’s most popular types of alcoholic beverages. Cognac can be used to replace bourbon in many recipes, however, cognac is not as sweet.

If baking is your goal today, then one recipe that cognac is Baked Apples with Cinnamon. With a fresh Chantilly Cream or homemade custard or even a cognac ice cream on the side, this baked good is a delicious sweet treat to indulge in.

One of my favorite recipes to cook with Cognac is one of my favorites – roasted beef tenderloin with cognac butter. It instantly gives you that feeling of ‘HOME’ and cannot be beaten.


Rums come in a variety of styles and flavors, but they can be used as substitutes for bourbon when cooking or baking. Some rums are darker, some are lighter, some are sweeter than bourbon, some have a more intense taste, so choose wisely when deciding which rum to use.

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Rum also has a more intense flavor than bourbon when cooked with, so keep that in mind.

I’m a huge fan of cooking with rum. One of my favorite recipes to cook with rum is one of my favorites – roasted beef tenderloin with cognac butter. It instantly gives you that feeling of ‘HOME’ and cannot be beaten.

An easy recipe for cooking with rum is Dark Rum chocolate crêpes.

Sweet, simple, and scintillating.

Your guests will be just as delighted as you are.

Bourbon Vanilla Extract

Bourbon is a type of whiskey, with an even richer flavor than most whiskeys. It’s also sweeter, which makes it perfect for baking and cooking recipes.

But what if you can’t get any bourbon? Well, there are some substitutes that might work in your recipe! One of the best non-alcoholic substitutes for bourbon is bourbon vanilla extract.

Depending on the brand you use, you will need to use more extract than you would need to use with bourbon, but it works well as a substitute in cooking or baking recipes.

Use bourbon Vanilla Extract in baking recipes such as a Bourbon Bunt Cake or a Bourbon Chocolate Cake to give your baked goods a richer and more complex taste.

Almond Extract

Almond extract can be a substitute for bourbon in your baking and cooking needs. It has a similar taste, and unsweetened almond extract goes great in a recipe because it isn’t as sweet.

It is important to note that if you want to use Almond extract in your cooking or baking, you need to replace the Bourbon called for in your recipe with something like cinnamon, nutmeg, or pumpkin spice to add a richer depth of flavor, otherwise your recipe might lose a little of its oomph.

Peach Nectar mixed with Apple Cider Vinegar

Peach nectar mixed with apple cider vinegar is a great substitute for bourbon in cooking. It’s not as sweet, so it adds more depth of flavor to your dish. The best part about this substitution is that it only requires two ingredients that you!

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You can use peach nectar mixed with apple cider vinegar in any recipe that calls for bourbon. For example, you could add the mixture to these Bourbon Chocolate Cake or a Bourbon Bunt Cake and enjoy an easy dessert. You can also mix the peach nectar and apple cider vinegar together before adding them into your cooking liquid when you’re making something like roasted pork loin or roast beef tenderloin – just make sure to give yourself enough time for the flavors to infuse properly before serving!

Ginger Beer

Cooking with ginger beer can be a great substitute for bourbon in your recipes.

It has less of a sweet taste, which means that you won’t have to replace the bourbon called for in your recipe with something like cinnamon or pumpkin spice. Ginger Beer also gives off more of a spicy flavor than other substitutes and is perfect if you’re looking to add more depth of flavor to your dish without using as much sugar!|   Use ginger beer in baking recipes such as ginger snap biscuits to give your baked goods a full and delicious flavor profile. You can use Ginger Beer in any recipe that calls for bourbon – just make sure not to reduce the amount used too much because it’s not very sweet on its own.

Ginger Beer is a non-alcoholic beverage that originated in the United States during the 1800s as an alternative to alcoholic drinks for people who were teetotalers or just wanted something different from their usual drink. It became popular among American sailors at various ports around the world because it was part of their daily rations onboard ships traveling overseas where alcohol was not permitted.


No matter what your favorite bourbon recipe is, there are plenty of substitutes that will work just as well in the kitchen. Whether you’re looking for a substitute to use while cooking or baking with bourbon vanilla extract, almond extract, peach nectar, and apple cider vinegar mixed together (a great idea if you want something different from sweet) or ginger beer – these substitutes should help get your creativity flowing!

Remember: The best substitutions provide similar flavors, so it’s important not to go overboard on reducing the amount called for when using them in recipes.