The 13 Best Substitutes For Apple Juice

What can I use instead of apple juice? The best replacement for apple juice is apple cider. Other alternatives include apple syrup, pear juice, pineapple juice, white grape juice, pomegranate juice, cranberry juice, fruit flavor carbonated soda, lemon juice, rice wine vinegar, orange juice, and sweet white wine. Coke can be a handy replacement for apple juice in rib marinades.

Apple juice has a crisp, refreshing flavor and can be used to sweeten foods naturally. Many recipes require a sweet fruity tang, and apple juice is commonly used in baking, smoothies, and to flavor meat dishes. Apple juice substitutes can also be used if you love the taste of fresh apples, but the sweetness is just a little too overwhelming.

The Best Apple Juice Substitutes

Apple Cider

If you don’t have apple juice available, apple cider is the next best thing to use.

It may not have the same, shimmery clear appearance as the filtered juice, but the taste will be the same…unless it has been left unrefrigerated for too long and fermentation has begun!

Apple cider is often regarded as an autumn seasonal drink, but it is, in fact, a lot healthier than purified apple juice.

The product’s shelf life is considerably shorter than regular apple juice, which, along with the opaque color, has made it less popular.

If you use this substitution, the only discernable differences in dishes or drinks will be the slightly fuller texture since apple cider usually contains remnants of unfiltered apple pulp.

Apple cider may also be a little less sweet than clear apple juice.

Note that apple cider is not the same as apple cider vinegar (AVC). ACV is a fermented apple product with an entirely different taste profile and properties from apple juice.

Apple cider is the best substitute for unsweetened apple juice and can be substituted at a 1-to-1 ratio.

Apple Syrup

The very best substitutions for most ingredients are ones they are related to. Apple syrup will need to be diluted before it can mimic apple juice, but since it is basically concentrated apple juice, it works well as a stand-in.

Apple syrup must be diluted for taste with water until it resembles apple juice – usually, a teaspoon per cup is sufficient.

If the taste is too sweet, add a few drops of lemon or lime juice. Use the diluted mix in the same ratio as apple juice.

Pear Juice

Apples and pears belong to the same botanic family. If your recipe needs a sweet fruit juice taste, you can use pear juice instead of apple juice.

Pear juice delivers the same fruity sweet taste but without the sharpness.

Pear juice can be used as a replacement for apple juice at a 1-to-1 ratio.

Pineapple Juice

Pineapple juice is the next go-to substitute when you need a replacement for apple juice in sweet, sticky meat marinades and ribs.

Pineapple juice will work perfectly as a replacement in most savory dishes and can be used at a 1-to-1 ratio instead of apple juice.

White Grape Juice

Like apple juice, white grape juice has a fresh, fruity, sweet taste.

It has a similar clear appearance and can be used successfully as a healthy substitute in drinks or smoothies.

Use white grape juice at a 1-to-1 ratio instead of apple juice in recipes to replace sweet apple juice.

Pomegranate Juice

Pomegranate juice is a super healthy substitute for apple juice if you don’t have any available.

If your recipe requires a fruity sweet, and sour taste that can replace unsweetened apple juice, pomegranate juice can work well.

Use pomegranate juice in the same ratio as the required apple juice.

Cranberry Juice

Cranberry juice has a slightly sharper taste than apple juice, but it can work well as a replacement if you need the fruitiness to come through.

For best results, choose cranberry that does not contain additional sweeteners when using it as a substitute for apple juice.

Cranberry juice can be used in the same ratio as apple juice and works well in dishes where a decadent glaze is required.

Fruit Flavor Carbonated Soda

A fruit-flavored soda can be an excellent sweet replacement for apple juice if you don’t have any on hand.

This works especially well when baking or creating sticky marinades. Just be sure to choose a flavor that goes with what you are making, and keep checking that the sweetness of the soda doesn’t become overpowering.

Use fruit-flavored carbonated soda in a 1-1 ratio as a substitute for apple juice.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice can provide a similar fruity, acidic taste as apple juice but lacks the familiar sweetness.

It is unmistakably more acidic than apple juice, so it should be used sparingly in recipes.

However, it can provide the fruity taste that is required. Add a small amount of sugar if lemon juice is too sour for your taste.

Only substitute half the amount of lemon juice when using it to replace apple juice.

Rice Wine Vinegar

While it won’t taste precisely the same as apple juice, Rice Wine Vinegar will deliver a familiar sweet-acidic taste you may need.

Rice Wine Vinegar is made with fermented rice and has a flavor that is mildly sweet but at the same time acidic.

Another benefit is that Rice Wine Vinegar has a light, clear color similar to apple juice.

To use it as a 1-1 replacement for sweetened apple juice, add a ¼ cup sugar for every cup Red Wine Vinegar. 

Sweet White Wine

Apple juice is a popular replacement for white wine when non-alcoholic recipes are required, and it turns out that sweet white wine can also return the favor.

Although the taste won’t be as fruity as when you use apple juice, white wine can deliver a fruity overtone but doesn’t have the acidity of apple juice.

Substitute sweet white wine at a ratio of 2-1 instead of unsweetened apple juice. Remember, this is not a kiddy-friendly substitution!

Orange Juice

Orange juice works well in many recipes as a substitute for apple juice.

Although the taste may be distinctly orangy compared to what you would expect from apple juice, it provides a sweet, fruity, acidic effect when used in recipes.

Substitute orange juice for apple juice in an equal amount. 

Coke

This substitution for apple juice works well for creating sticky ribs on the barbeque. It won’t have the same fruity taste as apples but will sweeten and tenderize ribs to perfection.

Remember that sugar can burn quickly, so keep an eye on the grill if you use coke instead of apple juice when marinating ribs.

If you are short of apple juice, add coke to the rib marinade in the same amount as the recipe requires.

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