The 4 Best Substitutes For Balsamic Glaze

What can I use instead of balsamic glaze? We found some of the best replacements for a balsamic glaze are balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, mirin, and soya sauce.

Balsamic glaze is one of those flavors that add complexity to dishes. It can be used for various meals, from salads, cheese plater, vegetables, meat, desserts, and fresh fruits. But when you are out of a balsamic glaze, there are a few substitutes that you can use to make your own glaze that will be a close replica of the tangy, sweet, sticky balsamic glaze.

The Best Balsamic Glaze Substitutes

Balsamic Vinegar

The best substitute for balsamic glaze is balsamic vinegar or a reduction of balsamic vinegar with honey, maple syrup, or brown sugar.

Balsamic vinegar is made using the must of two types of grapes, Trebbiano and Lambrusco grapes.

It is a dark, concentrated liquid from fermented grape juice that is aged for a period of two months to twenty-five years in various wooden barrels.

Authentic balsamic vinegar is produced under Moderna’s protected designation of origin (PDO) and neighboring Reggio Emilia in Italy.

The flavors are bold with mellow tartness, a fruity note, and hints of sweetness. True balsamic vinegar will have a smokiness to it, picking up on woody notes from the barrel they are aged in.

You can use balsamic vinegar on almost anything but drizzled over a Caprese salad or fresh strawberries is one way to spruce up the flavors.

Red Wine Vinegar And Maple Syrup

Red wine vinegar can make a close substitute for balsamic glaze in a pinch.

Red wine vinegar is the by-product of fermented wine. Oxygen is oxidized and turns red wine into fermented alcohol.

Its origins are ancient, and it was discovered by mistake when a cask of wine was left too long and turned sour.

The flavors are tangy with fruity nuances, and a slight sweetness helps it be a substitute for a balsamic glaze.

Red wine vinegar is ideal for vinaigrettes to drizzle over salads. It makes a perfect component to add to marinades and adds a delightful punch of flavors to a gazpacho dish.

You can add two parts red wine vinegar and one part maple syrup and reduce it in a pan to create a thick sticky glaze.


For an oriental flair, mirin can be substituted for a balsamic glaze.

Mirin is a rice wine that is sweeter than sake, made from glutinous rice, distilled alcohol, and rice culture of koji that is matured for one to two months. Its alcohol content is low, with high sugar levels, and it has a light golden-yellow hue with a syrupy consistency.

Mirin was first discovered in the mid-1400s when it was improved from sweet sake. The Mikawa region is Japan’s largest producer of mirin.

The flavors of mirin are sweet and tangy with savory notes that bring an umami flavor to your dishes.

Mirin is used to add flavor to soups and sauces. It’s also ideal to use in marinades to brighten up chicken and fish dishes or create a teriyaki sauce to baste on chicken.

Soya Sauce

Although it is saltier, Soya sauce can be an ideal substitute for a balsamic glaze.

Soya sauce is a dark brown inky condiment made from soybeans, wheat paste, salt, and fermenting agents.

It was used as a preservative for foods and a way to stretch out salt when the cost of salts was unaffordable.

Soya sauce was born in China around two thousand years ago in the Western Han dynasty. After this, it traveled through southeastern Asia and the world.

Soya sauce tastes predominately salty, with an umami flavor followed by a slight sweetness. The finish has a slight bitterness that is generally masked due to the saltiness.

It’s a great condiment to add flavoring to soups and stews.

Soya sauce can also be used as a salt replacement. Use it as a glaze for meats or create a delicious vinaigrette with sesame seed oil, honey, and rice vinegar.