September 11, 2013

Simple Home Bar Liquor Substitutions

bottles.pngWhen you're making cocktails at home, one of the most disappointing things is to find a recipe you really want to make, and then finding out you don't have all the ingredients. We know your pain - in the Before Time, in the Long Long Ago, before we had a home bar big enough to punch a hole in even David Hasselhoff's liver, we often ran into the same problem. One of the most important parts of becoming a confident home bartender is knowing when to give up and make something else, or if it's possible to substitute for another ingredient.

Luckily, Michael Dietsch of A Dash of Bitters has put together a really nice liquor substitution guide for those cursed with a low-stocked bar at Serious Eats.

Below is an excerpt from his Substitution Cheat Sheet for liqueurs (with a scant few of our own additions) and he offers some great base liquor substitutions as well:

If you don't have maraschino, try:
triple sec, other cherry liqueurs, a floral liqueur such as St.-Germain, a spicy liqueur such as a ginger liqueur.

If you don't have sweet vermouth, try:
Port, sweet Madeira

If you don't have dry vermouth, try:
dry sherry, Lillet Blanc, Cocchi Americano (or another Amaro)

If you don't have triple sec, try:
maraschino, cherry liqueur, pomegranate liqueur, a floral liqueur such as St.-Germain or St. Elder, a spicy liqueur such as Ginger Liqueur

If you don't have Chartreuse, try:
Pastis, Benedictine, Galliano, Strega


We actually did something like this recently when we were making a Satan's Circus but couldn't get our hands on Cherry Heering - we swapped in Cointreau and it still made for a delightful cocktail. Be adventurous in your swapping - you might discover a new flavor you like even more!

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Posted by Jake Jamieson at September 11, 2013 3:35 PM
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