Cocktail Hacks

Hacks For A Low-Stocked Bar: Substituting Ingredients

Scrumptious Toast cocktail recipes turn up in your inbox every Thursday, and we hope you’ve had a chance to try some of them. If not, we understand the dilemma of lacking a few key elements. Our guide to substituting ingredients might help with that.

Trying to whip up a cocktail without the right ingredients isn’t the easiest of tasks. If you’re short on vermouth, do you choose a completely different cocktail or bring on spirit to take its place?

Most liquor cabinets aren’t filled to the brim with an assortment of spirits so when it comes to making cocktails, a bit of substitution will go a long way. 

Swap like for like

The best place to start is with similar ingredients. Strong spirits such as vodka, gin and tequila can be swapped without disrupting the quality of the cocktail. Using vodka in a Negroni instead of gin is only going to change the character of the drink, rather than turn it into a cocktail disaster. Who knows, you might even prefer your substituted drink. 

Specific swaps

Ingredients such as triple sec and vermouth don’t feature in every at-home booze stash, but luckily you might have some substitutions on hand that will work just fine. 

Don’t have Cointreau or Grand Marnier?

Try Curacao, grenadine, orange extract, orange zest or brandy.

Don’t have sweet Vermouth?

Try a fortified wine such as Port, Sherry or sweet Madeira

Don’t have Campari?

Try orange bitters or Aperol. 

Like cooking, mixology doesn’t follow a strict set of rules. Play around with what you have and make calls based on flavour, aroma and texture. 

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