Verjus rogue (also called verjuice) is popular juice made from young, unripe grapes. It adds a unique tart flavor to the dishes it is added to. Additionally, it gives dishes a distinctive aroma.
Loosely translated, the word verjus means green juice. It does not contain alcohol because no fermentation process takes place in the manufacturing of verjus.
Verjus is a versatile ingredient that is used in several recipes. Unfortunately, it can be a little difficult to find. Luckily, there are several suitable substitutes you can use in its place.
White wine vinegar, vermouth, apple cider vinegar, white wine, lemon juice, mirin, white vinegar, and citric acid are ideal substitutes.
If you have time, you can make homemade verjus to use in your recipes.
This article will discuss these substitutes in detail, but first, let us talk about verjus rouge in detail to know how best to substitute it.
Verjus rouge uses
Verjus rogue is a versatile ingredient. You can use it in recipes that require you to use vinegar, lime juice, or lemon juice.
Verjus is a great addition to salad dressings, marinades, and dishes that need a little bit of acidity—drizzle verjus over oysters, grilled baby octopus, or grilled fish.
You can also add verjus to mustards or meat sauce to bring out a sour-like taste. I particularly love adding it to my meat sauce.
Where to buy verjus
Most supermarkets and grocery stores in the United States stock verjus rogue.
If you don’t find it in your local grocery store, try checking in beverage stalls and Middle Eastern grocery stores close to where you live.
Alternatively, you can buy verjus online. I have come across several reputable online vendors that stock it.
You can buy any verjus brand you prefer since all of them serve the same purpose.
How to properly store verjus
Once you open a bottle of verjus, you should recork it and store it inside your refrigerator.
Stored properly, it will maintain its good quality for up to three months.
If you want verjus to last longer, you can freeze it. Pour it in ice cube trays, then place the trays in your freezer. It will last for six months.
The flavor of verjus rogue is a bit difficult to replicate. However, these eight substitutes will give you decent results.
They may slightly alter the flavor of your dish, but they will still taste amazing.
White wine vinegar
White wine vinegar is one of the best verjus rouge substitutes. Additionally, it is cost-friendly.
The flavor of white wine vinegar is intense compared to verjus, but once you cook your dish, the sour flavor reduces.
It would be best if you chose high-quality white wine vinegar to get the best results. You may have to spend a few dollars more, but it’s worth it.
Since white wine vinegar is less sweet than verjus, it would be best to add a sweetener to your dish. Depending on the dish you are making, you can use honey, orange juice, or sugar.
Substitute verjus rouge with white wine vinegar in equal amounts.
You can use vermouth in most recipes that call for verjus rouge. It significantly enhances the flavor of dishes and gives them an amazing aroma.
Vermouth is a popular cooking wine. Note that it can easily overwhelm your dish, so you should use it sparingly. It also contains alcohol hence the need to give your dish sufficient time to cook.
I highly recommend using sweet vermouth in recipes that call for verjus rogue and dry vermouth in any other recipes. You will love the outcome.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another ideal substitute for verjus rouge. Its sweet and tart flavor is similar to that of verjus rouge. Therefore, you can use it in most recipes that require you to use verjus.
Note that most apple cider vinegar brands are quite sweet, so you should reduce the amount of sugar in your recipe.
Apple cider vinegar may not give you the same flavor as a verjus, but it will not be out of place in your dishes.
Apple cider vinegar is readily available. You can buy it at any grocery store near you.
White wine is a good alternative to verjus rouge. Like verjus, it is made from grapes.
However, white wine goes through a fermentation process and therefore contains alcohol. Note that the alcohol flavor in white wine is very distinct.
You should choose white wine that is astringent. I highly recommend using dry white wine for the best results. It would also help to add a little bit of honey to your recipes to enhance the sweet flavor.
If you don’t like the lingering taste of alcohol, I suggest using one of the other substitutes.
You can use lemon juice in recipes that call for verjus rouge. It is the go-to substitute for most people because it is readily available, and the chances are you have it stocked in your refrigerator.
The flavor profile of lemon juice is not as complex as that of verjus, but it still makes for a decent alternative.
Note that lemon juice has a very sharp flavor, so you should use it sparingly. It would also help if you added a little bit of sugar to the recipe.
I don’t recommend using this substitute in uncooked dishes, including salad dressings. If you don’t have any other choice, use a very small amount of lemon juice because it can easily overwhelm your uncooked dish.
Mirin is another good verjus rouge substitute. It is popular Japanese rice wine.
Like verjus, mirin has a sweet flavor with a slight tang. Therefore, it works well in most recipes requiring you to use verjus rouge.
The only downside with this substitute is that it does not offer the sourness that verjus does.
To counter this, you can add a splash of lemon juice. The lemon juice will provide the sourness that mirin lacks.
If you have white vinegar in stock, you can use it to substitute verjus rouge.
Note that white vinegar has a harsh flavor that can easily overwhelm your dish. Therefore, you should use it sparingly.
To counter the harsh flavor, add a little bit of sugar to your recipe.
If you want to add an acidic flavor to your dish, you can use citric acid in place of verjus rouge.
Citric acid enhances the flavor of dishes and adds brightness.
Use quarter a teaspoon of citric acid in any recipe that calls for verjus rouge.
If you don’t have any of the substitutes discussed above, you can make homemade verjus. Follow this simple recipe to make the best verjus ever.
You will need:
- Unripe grapes (5 pounds)
- Food mill
- Latex gloves
- Coffee filter
- Wash all the grapes thoroughly and get rid of their stems.
- Transfer the grapes to a food mill. Use the coarse plate to mill the grapes until they form a pulp.
- Place a sieve over a bowl and pour the pulp on the sieve. Wear the latex gloves, then use your hands to squeeze the pulp to collect the juice in the bowl below.
- Pour the juice into a coffee filter to get rid of any residue.
- Transfer the juice to a jar. Add ½ teaspoon of citric acid. At this point, your verjus is ready.
- Store the verjus in your refrigerator until you are ready to use it.
If you store homemade verjus properly, it can last for six months.
Note: If you don’t have a food mill, place the grapes in a plastic bowl and mash them using a pestle.
Verjus rouge is a great addition to recipes. However, you may not always have it in stock.
You can use any of the substitutes we have discussed above in recipes that call for verjus rouge.