White balsamic vinegar is made from sweet, white Trebbiano grape pressings which are called ‘must’ that are simmered for hours until they thicken and caramelize. The process of aging in barrels made from different kinds of woods adds character to the vinegar.
White balsamic vinegar is fantastic in vinaigrettes, salad dressings, sauce, and vegetable dishes. These white balsamic vinegar substitutes can give the same delightful results.
Tasty White Balsamic Vinegar Substitutes You Can Try
1. Balsamic Vinegar (Black)
Balsamic vinegar is the first on the list and is the best sub for white balsamic vinegar.. But contrary to uninformed belief, balsamic vinegar is not white balsamic vinegar and vice versa. Although they both come from grapes, balsamic vinegar is more syrupy in texture, has a deep brown color, and is slightly sweeter than white balsamic vinegar.
Differences in texture and color aside, balsamic vinegar has a very similar flavor to white balsamic vinegar since both of them are made from grapes and aged in wood barrels. Both vinegars work wonders in fresh fruits, vinaigrettes, salads, dressings, sauces, and many more.
A little caution though, since balsamic vinegar has a deep brown color, it may slightly tinge light-colored food when added to the recipe.
2. Golden Balsamic Vinegar
Golden balsamic vinegar originated from the same Italian region as the traditional balsamic vinegar and white balsamic vinegar. This is the next-in-line best white balsamic vinegar because of its similarity in taste and sweetness.
Golden balsamic vinegar is produced by cooking white grape ‘must’ or pressings at very low heat so that it won’t caramelize and result in a deep brown color. Since this vinegar undergoes a shorter aging process, it has a consistency close to that of white balsamic vinegar and tastes slightly more acidic than dark balsamic vinegar.
You can use a 1:1 ratio when substituting golden balsamic vinegar to white balsamic vinegar in any recipe. But keep in mind that it has a golden brown hue that might affect light-colored dishes or other light-colored ingredients a little.
3. White Wine Vinegar
White wine vinegar is considered to be another excellent white balsamic vinegar substitute. It is made by fermenting white wine and then oxidized into an acid.
White wine vinegar is generally fruity and less sweet than white balsamic vinegar so if you’re looking for that sweet tone you can dilute a bit of sugar into the white wine vinegar.
You can also use a 1:1 ratio for the substitution as white wine vinegar has similar characteristics and taste to white balsamic vinegar. White wine vinegar also works great in salads, marinades, dressings, sauces, and other recipes.
4. Red Wine Vinegar
Red wine vinegar works great as a white balsamic vinegar alternative like white wine vinegar. Red wine vinegar is made with red grapes so it has a pinkish or magenta color which may affect the color of your dish. It is also fruity in flavor and less sweet than white balsamic vinegar.
Red wine vinegar is popular in Mediterranean cuisine and is also a popular choice in making salad dressings, reductions, and marinades. It amps up any beef, chicken, and vegetable recipes and makes wonders in grilled vegetables.
5. Sherry Vinegar
Sherry vinegar is another vinegar that is made from wine. Its base is Sherry wine and originated from Southwestern Spain. Sherry vinegar has a fruity, rich taste with just a little hint of sweetness.
Sherry vinegar is well-loved for its rounded, complex, and crisp acidity balanced by its caramel notes and nutty tones. Its taste and tone is similar to red wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar.
You can substitute this vinegar to white balsamic vinegar in salsa, salad dressings, sauces, marinades, and any other recipe. Try using it in a pot of beans, soups, leafy salads, and pan-roasted chicken.
6. Cider Vinegar
Cider vinegar is made with similar methods in producing wine vinegar. This vinegar has hints of apple and is actually made from fermented apple cider.
Cider vinegar has been around for centuries and is used as a taste enhancer, nowadays it is popular for its versatility as well as its medicinal properties.
It makes a good replacement for white balsamic vinegar in fruit pickles, salads, and dressings. However, this vinegar is sharper and less sweet than white balsamic vinegar. To work around it, you can add a bit of sugar.
7. Brown Rice Vinegar
Made from brown rice, this rice vinegar is produced by fermenting the sugar and starches in rice for a long period of time. This process allows the fermented rice to produce alcohol that eventually turns into acetic acid until it finally becomes brown rice vinegar.
Its light hue to dark brown color, sweet and sour taste, and subtle acidity make this a good white balsamic vinegar alternative. In many Asian countries, this vinegar is also used in pickling, dipping sauces, and condiments in many dishes.
Sometimes referred to as rice wine vinegar, this product can be used in place of white balsamic wine in any recipe for marinade, sauces, salad dressing, dips, and other dishes. In Japan, rice wine vinegar is used as a condiment for sushi. Rice vinegar can be made with white rice, brown rice, or black rice. We chose to feature brown rice vinegar for its high nutritional quality.
8. Malt Vinegar
Malt vinegar is another good substitute for white balsamic vinegar although its taste and color are more similar to regular or dark balsamic vinegar.
This vinegar is used for pickling vegetables and has a more intense or sharper acidity than both white balsamic and dark balsamic vinegar.Produced from malted grains of barley, malt vinegar has a tart, nutty, and subtle caramel flavor. It is a favorite condiment for fish and chips.
When using malt vinegar as a substitute to white balsamic vinegar for salad dressings, sauces, and marinades, start with a smaller ratio first and gradually adjust to your liking.
9. Herb Vinegar
Herb vinegars are simply vinegars infused with fresh herbs and sometimes spices. It gives an added zing to the sour taste of vinegar plus a fresher aroma. This is a must-try replacement for white balsamic vinegar.
Usually homemade, you can quickly make your own by firstly preparing a store bought vinegar of your choice. Heat it to a simmer, don’t boil and pour the hot vinegar over dried herbs. That’s it. For the base vinegar, you can use either wine vinegar, malt, or cider.
Whether it’s for marinades, sauces, sushi, or dressings, feel free to use this product just like any typical vinegar or how you would with white balsamic.
Is white vinegar the same as white balsamic vinegar?
Absolutely not. White vinegar is usually made from sugar cane extract which goes through fermentation that eventually produces the vinegar or by combining acetic acid with water.
White vinegar has a very sharp smell and strong acidity level. On the other hand, white balsamic vinegar is produced from grapes and has a smooth, mellow acidity with hints of fruit, and slightly sweet flavor.
Is white balsamic vinegar good for your health?
Since white balsamic vinegar contains very little natural sugar due to its processing, it is a safer choice or additive to those who are watching their sugar levels. It is also proven to be effective in lowering cholesterol levels, can be an appetite suppressant, and stabilize blood pressure.
Studies have also found strains of probiotic bacteria in white balsamic and regular balsamic vinegars which is good for your gut health.
Can I use apple cider vinegar instead of balsamic vinegar?
Yes, you can. Apple cider vinegar will give your dish not only the tanginess that comes with vinegar but also an added fruity zing. You can use the same amount of apple cider vinegar to the same recipe or double the amount depending on your taste.
White balsamic vinegar should not be confused with regular (sometimes called dark) balsamic vinegar or with white wine vinegar. Although they are all made from fermenting grapes, the process and aging aren’t the same.
There are a lot of vinegar types in the market but not all of them have similar taste, acidity level, and characteristics. That is why we only picked the most suitable white balsamic vinegar substitutes.
Nevertheless, these kinds of vinegar are still different from one another in terms of tart and acidity so start with a smaller quantity first and gradually add generously until it suits your taste.