White balsamic vinegar is a popular ingredient used in many recipes, from salad dressings to marinades and sauces. However, if you don’t have it available on hand, you may be wondering what you can use as a white balsamic vinegar substitute.
Fortunately, there are several options available that can provide a similar flavor and acidity level. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best white balsamic vinegar alternatives and how to use them in your cooking.
White balsamic vinegar is a type of vinegar that is made from white Trebbiano grapes, which are grown primarily in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy.
Unlike traditional dark balsamic vinegar, white balsamic vinegar is not aged for an extended period of time and does not undergo the caramelization process that gives dark balsamic vinegar its characteristic deep color and rich flavor.
White balsamic vinegar has a clear, light color and a more delicate flavor than traditional balsamic vinegar.
It is also less acidic and has a slightly sweet taste, with notes of honey, fruit, and flowers.
This type of vinegar is often used in dressings, marinades, and sauces, and can also be drizzled over fruits, vegetables, and grilled meats.
It is a popular ingredient in Mediterranean and Italian cuisine, and has become increasingly popular in the United States and other parts of the world in recent years.
So what does white balsamic vinegar look like? Here are some characteristics of this delicious vinegar:
Contrary to its name, white balsamic vinegar is not white. Instead, it has a clear, golden hue.
This golden color will also turn dark with time as it is prone to oxidation. The change in color does not affect its taste, though.
Regarding texture, white balsamic vinegar has a lighter consistency than dark balsamic vinegar.
It is not as syrupy as a dark version, so expect a thinner texture when using it.
Here are our top white balsamic vinegar substitute options:
As mentioned, traditional balsamic vinegar is made from grape must too. The difference is that it is cooked for longer at higher temperatures. Then, it is aged in charred barrels. This contributes to its complex and rich caramelized flavor.
Balsamic vinegar is the best substitute for white balsamic vinegar. This is true if you don’t mind changing the color of your dish, as it is significantly darker. Yet, it provides the same flavor as balsamic vinegar, just a bit stronger.
Its consistency is thicker, though. But a simple dilution with water will fix that and mellow its flavor. Dilution is unnecessary if you are using it for soups and stews.
Balsamic vinegar is also a kitchen staple, making it an accessible option. It can work in most dishes as the closest alternative to white balsamic vinegar.
The next best option is white wine vinegar if you want an option with a similar color.
White wine vinegar is fermented and oxidized white wine. It has fruity notes and is more acidic than white balsamic vinegar.
Adding a pinch of sugar can offset the acidity, though. Plus, it gets milder as you cook it. Because of this, substituting white balsamic vinegar with this works in cooked dishes.
Rice wine vinegar is made from fermented rice. Since it is not made from grapes, it is not as sweet as white balsamic vinegar. For this reason, it is not an exact flavor match.
Expect a bit of change in the taste of your final dish.
Yet, rice vinegar shares the same color and consistency. This makes a great substitute when only the recipe’s appearance is concerned.
To add, this vinegar is fairly accessible. It might not be as common in households, but you can easily find it in stores.
Another great alternative to white balsamic vinegar is Chinese black vinegar.
This is another dark-colored vinegar, though. So the change in the color of your dish is inevitable, especially in lighter sauces and recipes.
This vinegar is a kind of rice wine vinegar, as charred glutinous rice is used to make it. The taste is described as malty, as most recipes also use malt in addition to rice in making this.
Its flavor is also mild compared to most kinds of vinegar. It blends well ingredients that pair with white balsamic vinegar.
The red counterpart of white wine vinegar is red wine vinegar. Made from fermented red wine, this vinegar has a dark pinkish color.
Obviously, this will give you a different hue than what you’d get if you used white balsamic. Yet, its tangy flavor still makes it a good alternative.
Just be warned that red wine vinegar has a more acidic taste. You may need to adjust the other ingredients to compensate for this. It might not work when you’re in a hurry. But if you’re in the mood for a little experiment, then go for it.
Apple cider vinegar can also substitute white balsamic vinegar. As it is made from apples, this vinegar has a noticeable fruity taste. The good thing is that, in most recipes, this taste is a welcome addition.
Because of this, you can use it as a replacement in most dishes that call for white balsamic vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar has also grown in popularity, so it is not difficult to find. You may already have it in your pantry. After all, this is also a vinegar that boasts a lot of health benefits.
Yet another great white balsamic vinegar in recipes is sherry vinegar. Sherry vinegar is also made from wine, particularly sherry wine.
It has a distinct nutty flavor that identifies it from other kinds of vinegar.
You cannot find this nutty flavor in white balsamic vinegar. That said, a little variation in taste is to be expected. Not to mention, it has a darker hue, which will also make a difference in the color of your dish.
However, it provides the acidity you need to brighten up your dishes. Plus, they can be found in most large grocery stores.
Yes, you guessed it – this vinegar is made from fermented champagne.
It has a sweeter taste than white balsamic vinegar. Yet it also has that tart flavor you need to season your recipes. Because of this, champagne vinegar can be a viable white balsamic vinegar alternative.
However, it has a very mellow taste – so it is best used when it is not the main ingredient. Other ingredients can easily overpower it. Do consider that when using this as a substitute.
Malt vinegar is also among the best substitutes for white balsamic vinegar. It is made from ale, the same ingredient used to make beer. For this reason, the malt vinegar flavor has a note of caramel aside from its sour taste.
There are wide varieties of malt vinegar, and its color ranges from light to dark. This allows you to choose which one will suit your dish best without worrying about a color change.
White balsamic vinegar is as versatile as its dark counterpart.
You can use it wherever you can use dark balsamic vinegar.
The most significant change would be in color.
Most cooks use white balsamic vinegar if they don’t want their dish to look dark.
The main use of white balsamic vinegar in the kitchen is seasoning. It lends a mild, sweet, and sour flavor to recipes. This makes a good pair for savory dishes, especially braised ones.
It is also added to soups and stews, especially if you want your final dish to have a lighter color. White balsamic vinegar is also used to add flavor to sauces and dips.
The tangy flavor of white balsamic vinegar also makes it perfect for a salad dressing.
Mix it with olive oil and season with salt and pepper for a quick recipe. Drizzle over greens and enjoy!
Like other kinds of vinegar, you can also use white balsamic to marinate meats and even tofu.
Its acidic nature plays a vital role in tenderizing meat.
This kind of vinegar’s sweet and tangy taste also makes perfect cocktails. It blends well with the following alcoholic drinks:
Surprisingly, white balsamic vinegar can also work in sweet treats! Add sugar and reduce to a syrup.
The resulting liquid can be drizzled over ice cream and cakes.
It can also be used as a pancake topping. Who would have thought, right?
Yes, you can! It has a similar flavor profile as it is made from the same ingredients, using almost the same methods. You have to consider that balsamic vinegar has a darker hue, though.
No, balsamic vinegar is not the same as white vinegar. White vinegar is made from acetic acid. On the other hand, white balsamic vinegar’s main ingredient is a grape must.
Yes, you can. It has a similar tangy flavor, which is the primary taste you are looking for in a substitute. Lemon juice can add that missing acid to your dish. Yet, it does not have the sweetness that white balsamic offers. You can fix this by adding a pinch of sugar.
A substitute for white balsamic vinegar is easy to find. You just have to look for another mild and tart vinegar, and you can get cooking. The biggest consideration here is the color.
If you want to maintain the light color of your dish, go for similar, light kinds of vinegar. Your options include white wine vinegar, cider vinegar, and rice wine vinegar.
But if you don’t mind a slight color change, regular balsamic vinegar will do. You can also opt for sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar.