We Tried It: LIVE Sparkling Drinking Vinegars (A.K.A. How You Can Actually Drink Vinegar Without Cringing)
Everyone has that grandparent/mom/Uncle Jim who swears by taking a shot of apple cider vinegar as a remedy for this, that, and everything else. (Cue that scene from My Big Fat Greek Wedding extolling the benefits of Windex.)
For those who've wondered if ACV (that's apple cider vinegar for short) is the holy grail of health the liquid gold claims to be, but cringes at the thought of taking a pucker-worthy shot, enter: drinking vinegars.
LIVE Beverages's, based out of Austin, Texas, debuted its new line of drinking vinegars in March. With 2 tablespoons of raw vinegar per bottle, and only 15 calories and 2-3 grams of sugar per serving (there are 1.5 servings per bottle), the drinking vinegars are made of a blend of apple cider and coconut vinegars, organic fruit juices, purified carbonated water, and a little bit of stevia. Which means they have fewer calories and added sugar than kombucha, but offer similar good-for-your-gut benefits like improving nutrient absorption, supporting good digestion, and boosting immune levels. For more about vinegar benefits, head here.
While drinking vinegar means a surplus of health benefits, that doesn't mean diddly if it tastes like chugging acid. This is where these drinking vinegars come into play for us: a middle ground between flavor and health benefits. Bubbly and fruity, they're the approachable way to get your vinegar fix in. They're kind of like funky (in the best way possible) soda.
Recently, we had a chance to try all four of LIVE Beverages's drinking vinegar flavors: Concord Grape, Blueberry & Ginger, Tart Cherry, and Pomegranate & Elderberry. Here's what our staff had to say about them:
Pros: Smells and taste like grape soda; indeed very "grape-y"; slightly medicinal, but not off-putting.
Cons: Again, slightly medicinal.
Blueberry & Ginger
Pros: Ginger beer-esque; refreshing; "fave of the four"; awesome ginger aftertaste.
Cons: The blueberry flavor is way overpowered by the ginger, which isn't really a problem if you like ginger.
Pros: Great cherry flavor; "tastes like cough syrup, but not in a bad way."
Cons: Again, tastes like cough syrup. Or, perhaps more apt, a cherry cough drop.
Pomegranate & Elderflower Berry
Pros: "Oooh berries!"; mild fermented flavor; fruity and tart; "strange but addicting."
Cons: The most vinegary tasting of the four. If you're looking for a vinegary drinking vinegar, this is it. If not, the other three offer a more mild option.