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Best Substitute For Apple Juice: Top 13 Options Here

Are you looking for a substitute for apple juice? This article will explore the best options, from other fruit juices to herbal teas.

Perhaps you don’t have any apple juice available, and your recipe calls for it. Or maybe you just grew tired of your usual and want to try something new. No matter what your reason is, there are plenty of apple juice substitutes that can give you a similar taste.

Glass with apple juice and sliced apples next to it.

What Is Apple Juice?

Apple juice is a fruit juice that comes from the pulp of apples processed for their juice.

It is a thin, clear, golden-brown liquid you’ll find in bottles and cartons at the supermarket.

Apple juice tastes and smells just like apples; it’s sweet and fruity.

Because of its pleasant taste, you can enjoy drinking apple juice alone. Not only that, but apple juice is also nutritious.

It boasts vitamins C and E on top of fiber and potassium. Unsurprisingly, this juice is a crowd favorite as both kids ad adults enjoy its refreshing flavor.

Aside from drinking apple juice, you may also use this versatile juice to add fruity flavor to your dishes.

You can add apple juice to marinades, dressings, and sauces. This fruit juice also makes a great ingredient in dips and even savory stews.

Best Substitute For Apple Juice

Several options can serve as a substitute for apple juice, depending on the purpose it’s being used for.

1. Apple Cider

Apple cider is a versatile substitute for apple juice. Its slightly tart flavor with a hint of sweetness makes it an ideal choice.

It is a widely available option, too, as you can find it in most stores. It shares similar flavor notes, but apple cider has a milder taste than apple juice. That said, you may need to use more of it to achieve the same flavor intensity.

It is always best to opt for an organic and unsweetened variety.

Enjoy it on its own, or add it to drinks and baked goods for a delicious twist.

2. Pear Juice

Among the best substitutes for apple juice is pear juice. It gives off the same fruity aroma and taste. As a result, you can use these two ingredients interchangeably in most recipes.

Depending on the brand, you may get pear juice that’s sweeter or less tart than apple juice. You may need to do a taste test before using it in your recipes so you’ll know if you need to adjust.

Use pear juice as an alternative to apple juice in sauces, marinades, dressings, and baked goods. This sweet juice also works for most cocktails that call for apple juice.

3. Orange Juice

Using orange juice as an apple juice substitute will add a fruity flavor and acidity to your dish. It is a versatile ingredient in smoothies, dressings, and sauces.

On top of that, it has nutritional values similar to apple juice, so it is an equally healthy option.

It has a citrus flavor that apple juice does not have. That said, it may not pair well with all dishes that call for apple juice.

Expect your drink to look different, as orange juice is more vibrant than apple juice.

Nevertheless, you may use a 1:1 substitution ratio for these recipes. Freshly squeezed orange juice is still best, as store-bought varieties usually have added sugar.

It does a good job in smoothies, muffins, and cupcakes, though. Orange juice can also replace apple juice in cocktails and mocktails.

4. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is great on its own, mixed with sparkling water and honey for a refreshing beverage. And if you’re looking for an alternative to apple juice, lemon juice is also a great option.

You can easily make it at home by squeezing fresh lemons. If that is not an option, buying it is easy too, as you can find it at any store.

And due to its flavor profile, lemon juice works particularly well in savory dishes and is a good choice for people trying to avoid sugar. When substituting for apple juice, use a 1:1 ratio and adjust the sweetness if needed.

One important thing to note is that lemon juice is more acidic than apple juice. You should start with smaller quantities to avoid an overly acidic dish.

5. Lime Juice

Like lemon juice, lime juice is an excellent option for an apple juice substitute. The only downside is it is less popular than lemon juice. Finding it in stores can be challenging, but just the same, squeezing limes at home is easy.

Note that limes can have a hint of a bitter flavor. Some may find the taste a bit off-putting, but it can add a refreshing twist to dishes if you use it in moderation.

As with any more acidic swap than apple juice, adjusting the amount to achieve the desired level of acidity is key.

Feel free to use it to replace apple juice in cocktails, marinades, and dressings. Similarly, adding sugar or honey is a quick fix to balance its sour taste.

6. White Wine

If you don’t have apple juice, white wine can be an excellent substitute if you use it correctly.

Remember, this alternative adds alcohol to your dish if you use it in raw dishes. The alcohol cooks off in cooked dishes, though. You should consider other swaps if you feed children or minors.

White wine has a mildly fruity and sweet flavor but lacks acidity. Still, it works well in most recipes due to its similar sweetness.

The good thing about white wine is that it can range from dry to sweet. The availability of these variations gives you the flexibility to choose which one suits your taste and your dish.

This alternative has no clear-cut substitution ratio, so start with a small quantity and adjust accordingly.

It can add depth of flavor to dishes like risotto or sauces. And it pairs well with fruits like pears and peaches. You may even use it as a spritzer if you mix it with sparkling water.

7. White Wine Vinegar

White wine vinegar is another decent option if you are out of apple juice. It adds complexity to sweet and savory dishes. White wine vinegar doesn’t have a fruity flavor like apple juice, so your dish’s taste may differ slightly.

It offers a similar level of acidity, though. So, it will work perfectly for some dishes that only need an acidic note.

Note that white wine vinegar is a strong-tasting ingredient. To compensate, mix it with water in a 1:1 ratio before using it in any recipe that calls for apple juice.

Sometimes, you may need extra sweetener since white wine vinegar is less sweet than apple juice.

Use diluted white wine vinegar for marinades, dressings, and sauces. It also tastes great in roasted vegetables and soup recipes.

8. Red Wine Vinegar

In your recipes, you may also use red wine vinegar as a substitute for apple juice. This swap shares a similar level of acidity with apple juice, after all.

But the greatest consideration is that red wine vinegar does not taste like apple juice. Because of its flavor, a 1:1 substitution ratio might not always work. Start with a small amount of red wine vinegar and add more in small increments.

Add it to salad dressings, marinades, soups, and sauces for extra depth and complexity. If you find its taste too strong, add a sweet ingredient like sugar or honey to balance it out.

9. Rice Wine Vinegar

Rice wine vinegar is a top choice for replacing the apple juice in recipes. Its sweet and acidic flavor is similar to apple juice. That said, it pairs well with savory dishes and tastes well in dressings.

But remember that rice wine vinegar is still vinegar. Using it pure will overpower your dishes with a vinegary taste. For this reason, you should always dilute it with equal parts water. Adding sugar or honey can also help balance the tartness.

Rice wine vinegar also has a lighter hue than apple juice. But once you add it to recipes, that difference will be subtle.

Use rice wine vinegar to substitute apple juice in marinades, sauces, and deglazing pans after cooking meats or vegetables.

10. Soda

Because of soda’s sweet taste, it can replace apple juice in a pinch. They’re widely available; you may even have them on your fridge any day.

Plus, you won’t have to worry about its taste not melding well with your recipes. After all, you have plenty of soda choices, and most sodas come in fruity flavors.

The only downside, of course, is that soda contains lots of sugar. You can buy sugar-free variants, but they’ll have artificial sweeteners.

For example, you can use lemon-lime or orange-flavored soda to replace apple juice. After all, the juices of lemons, limes, and oranges are good swaps for apple juice.

11. White Grape Juice

Keep in mind that white grape juice may have a slightly different taste than apple juice, so the end result may not be exactly the same.

It’s always a good idea to do a small test batch before using a substitute in a large recipe to make sure it will work well for your purposes.

White grape juice is a good option as it has a similar sweetness to apple juice and can be used in drinks and recipes.

12. Cranberry Juice

White cranberry juice can be used as a substitute for apple juice in some recipes, but it may not be the best option in all cases. It has a tart and slightly bitter taste, which may not be suitable for some recipes that require the sweetness and flavor of apple juice.

if you want to add a slightly tart taste to a recipe, such as in a marinade or sauce, white cranberry juice can be a good substitute. It can be used in cocktails and other drinks.

13. Water

You can use water as a substitute for apple juice in some recipes, but it’s important to keep in mind that water will not add any sweetness or flavor to the recipe.

The end result may be different than if you had used apple juice, and the recipe may be less flavorful.

However, if the apple juice is a key ingredient for flavor or sweetness, using water may not be the best choice. In those cases, you may want to consider using a different juice or liquid substitute that can add some flavor or sweetness to the recipe.

Water can be a suitable substitute in recipes that only require apple juice for liquid volume, such as in a cake or muffin batter.

How To Pick The Best Substitute

When picking the best substitute for apple juice, there are several factors you need to consider:


The biggest factor you should look at is the flavor of your substitute. Pick something that does not stray away from the taste of apple juice. Perfect examples are apple cider and pear juice. Picking these ingredients ensures that your swap will not result in a significant flavor change.

Nutritional Value

One of the top reasons why people use apple juice in recipes is because it comes with health benefits. For this reason, you should also opt to replace it with equally nutritious substitutes. Any other fruit juice on the list above will do great; just make sure it doesn’t have added sugar.


It would be best if you also considered your chosen ingredient’s availability. You may opt for orange juice, lemon juice, or apple cider; most stores have them.

What Can You Substitute For Apple Juice When Smoking Ribs?

Among the best swaps for apple juice when smoking ribs are orange, grapefruit, or pineapple juice. These juices will help tenderize the meat and add a subtle sweetness to the dish as well. If you don’t want an overly fruity taste, you can use apple cider vinegar, too.

The Best Substitute For Apple Juice In Baking?

The best substitute for apple juice in baking depends on the recipe and desired flavor. For a similar fruity flavor, pear or white grape juice can work well. If you’re aiming for a more tart taste, opt for orange or lemon juice.

Can I Substitute Lemon Juice For Apple Juice?

Yes, you can substitute lemon juice for apple juice! But you must remember that lemon juice is more acidic and less sweet. That said, it is perfect for recipes that call for unsweetened apple juice. But in most dishes, you may need to add sweeteners to the recipe to get a closer flavor match.


There are plenty of options if you’re looking for a substitute for apple juice. There is no shortage of swaps, from the tangy apple cider to the sweet and aromatic pear juice to the acidic lemon or lime juice.

Creative swaps include white wine, red wine vinegar, and soda. No matter which one you choose, you can enjoy a nutritious and flavorful beverage or dish by using these alternatives.

More Substitutes

Natalia | Flavorful home
Natalia is a recipe developer, food photographer, and home cook. She started Flavorful Home to document her recipes and share home cooking tips. She loves creating flavorful and nutritious meals while keeping the cooking process simple and joyful!
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