6 Great Sake Substitutes

Sake is one of the most iconic things to come out of Japan. The rice-based alcoholic drink has become renowned not only for its unique ingredients but also for its unique flavor.

Sake is very smooth and easy to drink, and can even be enjoyed both hot and cold!

But you are probably here today because you’ve run out of your own sake, and now you need a suitable and adequate replacement, right?

Luckily, there are a few good options that you can rely on to stand in for the iconic taste of sake. Let’s take a look at them now!

Dry White Wine

1. Dry White Wine

If you have some dry white wine, then you can easily drink that in place of sake, as it actually tastes very similar.

In fact, dry white wine and sake are so similar that you can actually use them as 1:1 replacements for each other.

Dry white wine is also perfect if you need sake for a recipe, as it is not too sweet. Sweetness can easily ruin a recipe that calls for sake.

Dry Sherry

2. Dry Sherry

Dry sherry actually tastes surprisingly similar to standard sake, if a little bit stronger. This makes it totally perfect as a replacement.

Sherry is only lightly sweet, but has an overall creamy flavor profile that stands in surprisingly well for sake! 

Dry Vermouth

3. Dry Vermouth

Again, it is important to note that you should avoid purchasing dry vermouth that is particularly sweet, as a drink that is overly sweet will not stand in very well for sake.

Dry vermouth works so well because of the fact that it is similar in taste to sake.


4. Kombucha

That’s right! Even though kombucha may slightly lack that alcoholic taste that so many people know it for, it can still work as an adequate replacement!

In fact, kombucha works incredibly well thanks to the fact that it is not too sweet. 

Just make sure that you buy good quality kombucha, as simple store-brand kombucha products can often prove to be very unsatisfying and even unappetizing! 


5. Water

If you simply need sake as an ingredient in a larger dish, then you could very well get away with using water in place of it, should you find yourself without it once halfway through a recipe.

Though, of course, water lacks the flavor of sake, it still has the consistency you would expect from sake, so it can easily stand in as a last-minute replacement.

Rice Wine Vinegar

6. Rice Wine Vinegar

Once again, provided you need a replacement for sake as an ingredient, rice wine vinegar can work perfectly, because it is strong in its flavor, and has a slight tanginess to it.

Make sure to only use a small amount in place of sake, as rice wine vinegar is much stronger, so you could very easily overpower a recipe.

However, rice wine vinegar is definitely our go-to when we find ourselves running out of sake that we need for recipes! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Apple Cider Vinegar Replace Sake?

Though apple cider vinegar tastes totally different from sake, you can actually use it as an adequate replacement for sake, because it can help to bring a slightly alcoholic taste to any recipes it is added to.

Can I Substitute Vodka For Sake?

Vodka can easily stand in for sake and vice versa, thanks to both spirits having such strong flavor profiles that are slightly warming on the throat.

Is Sake Same As Rice Wine?

Yes. Sake is simply the Japanese word used to refer to rice wine. Thus, you can easily use both terms interchangeably if you need to while still carrying the same meaning! 

6 Great Sake Substitutes

6 Great Sake Substitutes

Recipe by Jenna

Sake is an iconic Japanese alcohol that tastes amazing by itself, and can also be added as an ingredient to recipes. But what can you use if you run out?

Course: Substitutes
5 from 1 vote


  • Dry White Wine

  • Dry Sherry

  • Dry Vermouth

  • Kombucha

  • Water

  • Rice Wine Vinegar


  • Decide on what substitute you need
  • Pick a substitute from the list above
  • Read what you need to substitute with
  • Create the recipe and enjoy

Recipe Video

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