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Savory Tweaks: 5 BEST Malt Vinegar Substitutes

Are you searching for a substitute for malt vinegar in your cooking?

Looking for an alternative with similar flavor and acidity? You’re in the right place.

In this article, we’ll provide five alternatives to help you make your dish just as delicious as if you were using malt vinegar.

What’s Malt Vinegar?

Malt vinegar is a popular condiment used for making salad dressings, dipping sauces, and marinades.

It is made from barley, which is then fermented and distilled to make the vinegar.

The flavor is similar to apple cider vinegar but with a unique taste of its own.

While its distinctive flavor can be hard to replicate, malt vinegar has several substitutes that are just as good if not better.

Understanding what malt vinegar has to offer can help you decide which substitute best suits your cooking needs.

Here’s some helpful information on this flavorful condiment: what it is, the different types available, and tips on using it in your recipes.

The most common form of malt vinegar is known as “brewed” or plain malt vinegar and is often used for fish and chips in Britain; but there are also other varieties available such as clarified (cloudy), reduced (clear), herbal, smoked, and flavored versions featuring ingredients like garlic or chilli peppers.

When shopping for malt vinegars in grocery stores look for one following these guidelines: When possible “brewed” beers should be avoided – instead choose “brewed” grain (barley) or grains with hops;.

  • Avoid vinegars labeled simply “vinegar,” as they could be made from synthetic acetic acid;.
  • Prefer those that say “malt-based” over unidentified ones;.
  • Make sure the ingredients do not include any sweeteners to mask unpleasant odors;.
  • Choose products bottled in clear glass containers so you can easily identify colour.;.
  • Choose products sold cold so they don’t have time to oxidize since oxygen will also alter their flavour over time.;.
  • Lastly look for organic vinegars when possible since these are generally free of additives such as preservatives or colorings added during production.

5 Best Malt Vinegar Substitutes to Consider

It has a distinct flavor and aroma that makes it popular in cooking and fish and chips, but if you don’t have any on hand there are plenty of other alternatives.

Here are five good substitutions to consider when you don’t have any malt vinegar around.

1 – Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is one of the best substitutes for malt vinegar.

It has a very similar flavor profile, offering tartness, with a mild sweetness.

It can be used in most recipes that call for either white or malt vinegar, but you may want to adjust the sweetness or tartness of your dish accordingly.

When using apple cider vinegar as a substitute, you may also want to reduce the amount slightly as it is much more potent than malt vinegar.

2 – White Wine Vinegar

White wine vinegar has a slightly milder flavor than other types of vinegar and will offer a similar tang to malt vinegar.

It is made from white wine, so it doesn’t have the same sweetness of malt vinegar.

If you are looking for a milder substitute for malt vinegar, this is the one for you.

It also works well in salad dressings and sauces, as it will not overpower the flavors like some of the other vinegars would.

3 – Red Wine Vinegar

Red wine vinegar is an alternative to malt vinegar that will add a mild, tart taste to foods.

To substitute for malt vinegar, it’s best used in smaller amounts since it’s more acidic than malt vinegar.

Be careful when measuring because too much red wine vinegar can overpower the flavor of the dish.

Red wine vinegar is most appropriate as a substitute for malt vinegar in dishes like salad dressings, marinades, and sauces.

Consider using a combination of red wine and sherry vinegars in certain recipes that call for malt to get the right balance of flavor and acidity.

4 – Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is a great alternative to malt vinegar if you need an ingredient with a light, acidic flavor.

It is much milder than malt vinegar, but can be used in the same way.

Lemon juice can be used for marinades, dressings, and sauces.

You can also use it to make tartar sauce by mixing it with mayonnaise and capers.

To substitute lemon juice for malt vinegar, use one tablespoon of lemon juice for each tablespoon of malt vinegar called for in the recipe.

5 – Balsamic Vinegar

For those looking to make a less intense version of their favorite malt vinegar recipes, balsamic vinegar is an excellent alternative.

Its mild flavor adds a subtle sweetness which can be adjusted with the addition of some herbs and spices.

Balsamic vinegar works especially well in dishes with fish and poultry, as it adds a light and sweet balance to the flavors of these ingredients.

However, keep in mind that balsamic vinegars come in different qualities.

Cheaper brands tend to add too much sweetness than what would be desired in many recipes.

Therefore, look for higher-end varieties that boast a more robust flavor profile for the best results.


When it comes to substituting malt vinegar, there is truly no one-size-fits-all solution.

Depending on the specific dish you are preparing and the desired flavor profile, you will need to make a wise decision based on the alternatives outlined in this article.

Overall, just remember that all of these options have different levels of sweetness and acidity that can easily affect the end result of your recipe.

If in doubt, it is best to keep things simple and choose an alternative close to malt vinegar in terms of sweetness and acidity.

Ultimately, making an informed choice about which substitute for malt vinegar is best for a given recipe can be tricky — but with knowledge about its flavor profiles and the various alternatives available, you’ll be able to confidently excecute any dish with a great outcome.

With this guide, we hope that you are now well-equipped to take on any recipes calling for malt vinegar without facing major setbacks or wasting costly ingredients.

5 Best Malt Vinegar Substitutes to Consider

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes
Cuisine Classic


  • 1 – Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 – White Wine Vinegar
  • 3 – Red Wine Vinegar
  • 4 – Lemon Juice
  • 5 – Balsamic Vinegar


  • Choose your preferred substitute from the list of options.
  • Organize all of your ingredients.
  • Use the proper substitute to cook your recipes.
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