9 Best Cognac Substitutes and How to Use Them

Cognac is a popular spirit that is enjoyed by many. It is a variety of brandy that is made from white grapes. There are many uses for cognac such as using it in cooking as an ingredient in sauces, marinades, and glazes.

Cognac can also be used to deglaze a pan after cooking meat or vegetables. The alcohol content in cognac helps to release the flavorful juices that are left behind in the pan, resulting in a richer flavor.

In addition, the acids in cognac can help to tenderize meat. Whether you are looking to add a touch of sophistication to your meal or simply want to enhance the flavor of your dishes, cognac can be a great addition to your kitchen pantry.

But what happens when you run out or don’t have the funds to buy a bottle? You might be wondering if there are any substitutes for cognac.

The answer is yes! There are several substitutes that you can use that will give you a similar taste experience.

In this blog post, we will discuss the best cognac substitutes and how to use them.

Here is a list of substitutes for cognac that will save the day.

Substitutes For Cognac:

  1. Brandy
  2. Rum
  3. Whiskey
  4. Bourbon
  5. Scotch
  6. Gin
  7. Tequila
  8. Fruit Juice
  9. Wine


The first on our list is brandy. Brandy is made in a similar way to cognac and often from the same grapes.

The main difference is that brandy is aged in wood barrels instead of glass containers like cognac. This gives brandy a deeper flavor profile with notes of oak and vanilla.

To substitute, use an equal amount of brandy in your recipe. If you find the flavors too strong, cut it with water or another spirit like vodka.

You can use a variety of brandy, such as Armagnac or Calvados. These spirits have similar flavors to cognac, so they make excellent substitutes in recipes. However, they can be more expensive than cognac, so they may not be ideal for every budget.


In many cases, rum can be used as a replacement for cognac. For example, if you are cooking a dish that calls for cognac but you do not have any on hand, rum can be used as a replacement.

The results will be just as strong and flavorful. Additionally, using rum as a replacement for cognac can save you money.

Rum is typically less expensive than cognac, so substituting it in recipes can help you save money on your grocery bill. However, it is important to note that rum is a more potent alcohol than cognac.

So, if you are using rum as a replacement in a recipe, you may want to use less than the recipe calls for to avoid making the dish too boozy. All in all, rum is a great replacement for cognac in many cases and can provide similar results without breaking the bank.


Another great option is whisky. Whisky also has a deep, rich flavor but with different undertones depending on the type you choose. Scotch whisky will have smoky notes while Irish whisky will be smoother and more mellow.

There are many reasons you might want to use whiskey as a replacement for cognac. Perhaps you’re out of cognac and need a strong replacement, or maybe you’re looking for a cheaper alternative.

In either case, it’s important to know that using whiskey as a substitute can have some unexpected results.

For example, whiskey is much stronger than cognac, so you’ll need to use less of it to achieve the same flavor.

Additionally, the high alcohol content of whiskey can make it difficult to achieve the smooth, silky texture that cognac is known for.

Nevertheless, with a little experimentation, you can find a way to use whiskey that works for you and produces results that are just as good as (if not better than) those achieved with cognac.


There are a few cases when you might want to consider using bourbon as a substitute for cognac. One is if you’re looking for results that are similar but not identical.

Bourbon and cognac are both distilled from fermented grain mash, and they share some similarities in terms of flavor and aroma.

However, they also have some distinct differences. Bourbon is aged in new, charred oak barrels, while cognac is aged in used barrels.

This gives bourbon a more intense flavor that some people prefer.

Another reason to use bourbon as a substitute for cognac is if you’re looking for results that are different but still good. For example, if you’re making a recipe that calls for cognac but you want to experiment with something new, bourbon could be a good option.

It will add its unique flavor to the dish, and it can be a lot of fun to experiment with different substitutions like this.

Finally, if you’re looking for results that are similar but with slightly different results, then using a 50/50 blend of bourbon and cognac might be a good option. This will give you the best of both worlds: the familiar flavor of cognac with the unique twist of bourbon.


Cooking is all about experimentation. Sometimes, you have to get a little creative when you’re in the kitchen.

If you’re out of cognac and need a substitute, why not try scotch?

While there are some differences between the two spirits, they also share some similarities. Both cognac and scotch are made from grain, and they’re both aged in oak barrels.

As a result, they both have a strong, distinct flavor. When using scotch as a substitute for cognac, it’s important to keep this in mind.

You may need to adjust the amount you use based on the strength of the scotch’s flavor. However, if you’re looking for a similar taste and texture, scotch is a great option.


Cognac and gin are both clear, distilled spirits made from grape eau de vie. They have similar alcohol content, but cognac is aged in oak barrels while gin is not.

This gives cognac a smoother, more complex flavor with notes of vanilla and spice, while gin is usually herbaceous with a juniper flavor.

When substituting one for the other in cooking, it’s important to take these differences into account. If a recipe calls for cognac and you only have gin, you may want to add a dash of vanilla extract or another flavoring agent to approximate the flavor of cognac.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for a more assertive gin flavor, you can use it as-is in place of cognac. Ultimately, the best substitution will depend on the dish you’re making and your personal preferences.

For example, gin would work well in a beef stew with juniper berries, while cognac would be better suited for a classic chicken liver pate.

Whatever you choose, just make sure to adjust the other ingredients accordingly.


Looking for a way to add some extra kick to your recipes? Tequila can be a great substitute for cognac in many cases.

The sharp, distinct flavor of tequila can really help to liven up a dish, and it goes particularly well with spicy foods. When using tequila as a substitute for cognac, it’s important to use a high-quality variety.

A good rule of thumb is to use tequila that you would be happy to drink on its own. This will help to ensure that the flavor of the tequila comes through in the dish without being overpowered by other ingredients.

Remember, a little bit goes a long way, so start with just a small amount and then adjust as needed. With these tips in mind, you’ll be whipping up delicious recipes that are sure to please your guests.

Fruit Juice

One popular substitute for cognac in cooking is fruit juice. This is a great choice for recipes that require a small amount of cognac, such as sauces or glazes.

Fruit juice will add sweetness and acidity to the dish, but it will not provide the same depth of flavor as cognac. In addition, fruit juice is typically less expensive than cognac and easier to find in stores.

Ultimately, the best substitute for cognac depends on the recipe and the budget. But with a little creativity, any cook can find a suitable substitution for this classic ingredient.


You can use wine as a substitute for cognac in many recipes. The benefits of using wine as a substitute for cognac include that it is less expensive and has a similar flavor.

When substituting wine for cognac, you should use a dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay. Red wine can also be used, but it will give the dish a different flavor.

You should also avoid using sweet wines as they will make the dish too sweet. When substituting wine for cognac, you should use the same amount of wine as you would cognac.

If the recipe calls for more than one cup of cognac, you can use up to two cups of wine. For recipes that call for less than one cup of cognac, you can use half a cup of wine.

Using too much wine in a recipe can make the dish too acidic. If you are using wine to deglaze a pan, you should simmer the wine until it reduces by half before adding any other ingredients.


In conclusion, when deciding what to use as a cognac substitute, there are many factors to consider. The best substitute will depend on the dish you’re making, your personal preferences, and the budget.

With a little creativity, any cook can find a suitable substitution for this classic ingredient.

I hope that you found this article helpful.