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The 5 Best Substitutes for Pickle Juice

Have you ever tried pickle juice? For some, it might not sound too appetizing, but its salty and flavorful taste creates a unique experience.

Pickle juice is often used to develop flavor in cooking and can be a great alternative to adding more salt for seasoning.

If you ever run out of pickle juice or want an alternative, consider lemons or limes, white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and red or white wine.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these substitutions.

What’s Pickle Juice?

Pickle juice, often referred to as a brine or pickling liquid is the liquid produced by the fermentation of pickles.

It is created when cucumbers are cured in a vinegar or salt water solution, which gives them their characteristic sour taste.

Pickle juice has been around for centuries and has developed as an important part of many cultures’ cuisine.

The flavor profile can vary depending on the type of pickling used—the most common being a mix of vinegar, sugar, and spices such as dill—but generally, it has a salty, sometimes tart flavor.

Pickle juice can be consumed directly from the jar or used as a cooking ingredient for dishes like sautéed vegetables or macaroni salad.

It can also be turned into a cocktail invention, like the infamous “pickletini”.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Pickle Juice

If you’re looking for a substitute for pickle juice, you’ve come to the right place.

There are plenty of alternatives that can offer similar or even better benefits and flavors.

Here are 5 of the best substitutes for pickle juice:

1 – Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar is starting to pop up in many popular recipes.

This cooking staple not only has a unique, sour taste, but it can also be used as an alternative to pickle juice.

Pickle lovers who are trying to cut down on the calories and fat found in pickles may opt for vinegar instead.

Using apple cider vinegar as a substitute for pickle juice is quite simple.

Simply mix one part apple cider vinegar with two parts water and add salt, pepper, and herbs.

Many of the same flavorful health benefits that can be derived from pickles can come from this mixture too.

2 – Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is one of the most versatile and refreshing ingredients in the kitchen.

It has a tangy, acidic flavor that can bring life to even the blandest of dishes.

When used as a condiment or in cocktails and mocktails, it is a real hit everywhere.

Want to substitute pickle juice that’s too salty or has too many spices? Instead, try adding some lemon juice to get that good kick of taste without being overwhelming.

Adding some lemon juice can be the perfect way to complete mouth-watering dishes and drinks.

3 – White Wine Vinegar

White wine is a perfect condiment to add an extra punch of flavor.

Its acidic nature brings a unique tangy taste to any dish, and it’s no surprise that white wine vinegar has been popular throughout history.

It’s milder and subtler than other vinegar, such as cider or balsamic, giving your food a pleasant sweet-tartness that enhances flavor without being overpowering.

White wine vinegar can be used as a delicious alternative to pickle juice – simply swap out the pickle juice in any recipe for the same volume of white wine vinegar to bring great complexity and depth of flavor.

It’s a fantastic option for those looking to reduce their salt intake, too, as it packs plenty of robust taste without the sodium levels of its briny counterpart.

4 – Rice Wine Vinegar

Rice wine vinegar is a versatile ingredient that has a sweet yet tangy flavor, perfect for adding zest to all kinds of dishes.

The complexity of its flavor makes it an excellent addition to vinaigrettes, marinades, stir-fries, and much more.

Those who find themselves without a jar of pickle juice may consider substituting rice wine vinegar due to its similar sourness – simply mix equal parts rice wine vinegar with equal parts water to replicate the taste of pickle juice.

Whether you’re using it as an acid or simply for extra zing in your food, rice wine vinegar is always sure to provide an extra flourish.

5 – Wine

Wine has a unique taste that is loved by many people. It is dry, tart, and has an earthy complexity to it.

For someone who loves the distinct flavor of pickles, there’s no need to miss out on all the delicious dishes that require pickle juice when cooking.

Wine can be used as a substitute – it adds a slight complexity and acidity while containing less sodium than most store-bought pickle juices.

Although wine may not exactly duplicate the flavor profile of pickle juice, its subtle sweetness rounds out the salty and spicy flavors in any dish like a charm.


In conclusion, pickle juice is a popular condiment with many health benefits, but for those looking for an alternative, there are plenty of excellent substitutes.

Whether you’re trying to reduce your sodium intake or just want to experiment in the kitchen, any one of these five alternatives can bring new and interesting flavors to the table.

Who knows – you might even find that you prefer the taste of one of these substitute ingredients over pickle juice itself.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 Best Substitutes for Pickle Juice

The 5 Best Substitutes for Pickle Juice
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Kemon Juice
  • White Wine Vinegar
  • Rice Wine Vinegar
  • Wine


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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