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The 9 Most Similar Substitutes for Irish Whiskey

Irish whiskey being ooured into a glass

Are you trying to make Irish coffee and have found out that you are out of Irish whiskey? Do not fret, as there are a lot of alternative substances that you can put in your Irish coffee. I have listened to what alcohol experts have said and can help you find the right substitute for your Irish whiskey, no matter what you are making.

There are several options for substitutes available. Each of these substitutes has its own plusses and minuses if they are being used in baking recipes instead of drink recipes. Continue reading to understand which substitute is going to work for your current predicament.

1. Blended Scotch

Another option is to put drinks in your coffee that are very similar to Irish whiskey. One of these drinks is blended scotch. Blended scotch is of the same family as Irish whiskey, which is why it is a great substitute for Irish whiskey. Scotch is made with barley and water. Irish whiskey comes from a sour mash of malted cereal grains such as barley, which is why they substitute well.

Scotch whiskey glass on an old wooden barrel

2. Canadian Whiskey

Canadian whiskey is also very similar to Irish whiskey, which makes it a great substitute. Both of them are prepared in the same way. The only difference is that Irish whiskey is made with barley, and Canadian whiskey is made with rye.

Both of these drinks have the same overall texture, even though the taste is different. However, Canadian whiskey isn’t great to use as an Irish whiskey substitute in something that you are going to drink. It works better as a substitute in baked dishes that call for Irish whiskey.

Related The 6 Best Chasers for Irish Whiskey (Jameson).

3. Single Malt

Single malt whiskey is basically just Irish whiskey. There are so many different types of Irish whiskey, and so most recipes are forgiving with Irish whiskey variants.

Single malt whiskey is made from the exact same ingredients as Irish whiskey. The only difference is that when making single malt, the malted barley is distilled in a pot. Overall, you will have a similar drinking experience if you replace Irish whiskey with single malt whiskey.

4. Bourbon

Bourbon is also very similar to Irish whiskey. It is best to use it as a substitute in baking recipes that call for Irish whiskey. It is commonly used in chocolate cakes, waffles, and sundaes. Sweets, in general, pair really well with bourbon.

Bourbon is a type of whiskey that is made in a barrel and aged with distillation. Bourbon is best served on ice, so if your drink does not have ice in it, you may not want to use bourbon as an Irish whiskey substitute.

Close-Up of Jim Beam Bourbon Being Poured

5. Wild Turkey

Wild turkey is another great whiskey variant that is a great Irish whiskey substitute. It is made up of 75% corn, 13% rye, and 12% barley. As you can see, the barley usage in wild turkey is very small, so it is not a perfect substitute, but it would work well in baking recipes. It has that deep flavor that you want from Irish whiskey. It is also strong enough to withstand the heat of an oven.

6. Single Pot Still Whiskey

Single-pot still whiskey is another barley-based drink, which makes it a very good substitute for Irish whiskey. Single-pot still whiskey is created using a combination of non-malted and malted barley. This adds a different flavor tone to the drink.

Related The 5 Best Substitutes for Gin in Drinks and Cooking.

7. Grain Whiskey

Irish whiskey, as previously established, is a grain-based whiskey, so it can easily be substituted by grain whiskey. Grain whiskey is made from constant distillation in coffee or a column.

Grain whiskey can be made from any type of grain in general. You can make it closer to Irish whiskey if you can find one that has barley as its primary ingredient, yet you can probably make the other grain types work as a substitute since grain is the main factor you should worry about.

In general, the taste of grain whiskey is very neutral and tends to be very light. You do not want to use grain whiskey if you are making a blended whiskey drink. If you are doing so, you will want to use one of the other options mentioned above.

8. Vanilla Extract and Water

If the reason why you are switching out your Irish whiskey is because of the alcohol content, another option would be vanilla extract and water. You are going to want to use one part vanilla extract and two parts water.

Now, be aware this is really only good for baking recipes. Vanilla extract is not a good flavor substitute for Irish whiskey. Vanilla extract is made with vanilla and a small amount of alcohol. The water will dilute the vanilla flavor, but it will still be apparent in the baked goods you are making.

Jelly Grandma's Homemade Vodka Vanilla Extract
Some of my homemade vanilla extract.

9. Peach Nectar and Cider Vinegar

If you are making a fruity substitute for your Irish whiskey, you can use peach nectar and cider vinegar. Peach nectar and cider vinegar are great substitutes for drinks that are more fruity in taste that uses Irish whiskey. For instance, you can use it in drinks and punches. You do not want to use peach nectar and cider vinegar as a substitute for Irish whiskey in baking recipes.

Overall, there are many different things that you can use in various drinks and baked goods as a substitute for Irish whiskey. Which one you will use will vary depending on your personal preferences, what you have on hand, and what you are making.

Thanks for stoppin’ by!

For more, check out 15 Best Substitutes For Alcoholic Beverages in Recipes.