I made substitutions but I don't think they affected the flavor very much. I used red wine vinegar, olive oil, and only 1/4 cup of sugar which is still enough to make it sweet. I substituted green pepper, and added one red Jalapeno or Fresno pepper, chopped small, for a little heat. I resisted the temptation to add herbs or spices, This salad doesn't need them. Thanks for the recipe, it was just what I was looking for.