Make room in your fridge next to the kombucha—drinking vinegars are about to steal the healthy beverage spotlight.
Okay, so “vinegar drink” doesn’t have the most appealing ring to it, but these are really just sexed-up versions of the apple cider vinegar shot you (and Hilary Duff, and Gabby Douglas, and your health-obsessed BFF who always seems to know what’s up) take to detox every morning.
But instead of simply mixing the vinegar with water as most people do—which, let’s be honest, is not so tasty—beverage brands big and small alike are blending the fermented stuff with ingredients that make it way more palatable, then bottling it for grab-and-go accessibility. “Drinking vinegars are made by muddling fruit and sugar [or alternative sweetener] together, allowing them to mix, and then adding vinegar, which ferments,” explains certified nutritional practitioner and Conscious Conversations podcast host Chloe Elgar. (Think of it as the sober sister to your favorite bitter-based cocktail.)
If drinking vinegars haven’t crossed your radar yet, they most definitely will soon. Mega-brands like BluePrint, Suja, and Kevita have all launched or expanded their vinegar drink lines this year, while boutique drink makers such as Live and GoldenBrew Tea have also followed suit.
And vinegars aren’t just popping up in grocery store aisles; restaurants are getting in on the tart-y party too. Pok Pok chef Andy Ricker started serving them in his restaurants and they were so successful that he launched his own line, Som. And Sway in Austin has its own house-made line, with flavors like pineapple, strawberry basil, and turmeric.
What Should You Look For When Picking A Drinking Vinegar?
Photo Credit to Jenna Cantagallo for Well+Good
Good For Your Gut (And Much More)
Though any vinegar can be used in a drinking vinegar, apple cider vinegar is by far the most popular one—and in Elgar’s opinion, it’s the most beneficial. “It aids digestion, is great for circulation, and has vitamin C from the apples,” she explains.
A big perk of all vinegars is that they help keep your stomach acid levels in check. “Vinegar really helps people with acid reflux because it regulates stomach acid and helps the body further break down proteins and fats,” she says. It may seem contradictory to drink something acidic if you have a tendency to get heartburn, but studies say it works.
Another benefit: they’re said to clear out your lungs, so drink up if you have a cold. “Vinegar is great for the respiratory tract because you naturally get acid from vinegars, which helps any buildup of mucus,” Elgar adds.
And it’s not just the vinegar itself that gives these buzzy drinks their power. Other healing herbs—like turmeric, ginger, and cayenne—are often added to the new bottled blends, and Elgar claims their impact is multiplied since vinegar is known to boost digestive absorption. “The vinegars have great health benefits on their own, but what’s really wonderful about drinking vinegars is you’re getting an enhanced benefit of the herbs,” she says. Consider it a two-for-one deal with serious wellness perks.
For more on the health benefits of vinegars, check out the full article on Well + Good.