There’s a new fermented concoction about to fill your health food store shelves.
As far as old wives tales go, vinegar does it all. It cleans stale beer off countertops, you can put it on your salad, dip your baguette in it, and it cures a slew of health issues. Vinegar, specifically apple cider vinegar, has long been touted as a superfood (is it considered food? You know what we mean), aiding in everything from digestion to curing hiccups. But shooting a tablespoon of the stuff, or mixing it with H2O makes it near impossible to commit to including it in your health routine full time.
Which is why drinking vinegars, the fruit-infused, fermented beverages you’re about to see EVERYWHERE, are the answer to all of that. But just like almost all super-buzzy-health-industry-inducted concoctions, drinking vinegars aren’t actually *new* at all; using vinegar as a tonic goes way back to 400 BC when Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, prescribed vinegar elixirs for practically every ailment. Fast forward to the 17th century, when shrubs (a.k.a drinking vinegars) were used to preserve excess fruit. Which brings us to right now, when we’re finally shining a light on what’s sure to be the new kombucha.
Why it’s Good for You
Just like its fermented friends, drinking vinegars are packed with prebiotics and probiotics, which are a godsend for gut health. Apple cider vinegar, the most common vinegar used in this super-beverage, is an amazing antibacterial and contains pectin, something that can soothe intestinal spasms (a.k.a stomach aches). Vinegar creates an acidic environment, which creates a not-so-ideal home for bacteria (this is a good thing!), so it’s an ideal remedy for sore throats and stuffy noses. Plus, it’s been proven to lower bad cholesterol. Oh, and, it’s also been said to aid in weight loss and water retention reduction. Honestly, the list goes on and on.
For all you lazy people out there (us!!), there are a myriad of brands doing all the concocting for you, bottling up drinking vinegars in pretty packaging, and making them available in an increasing number of health food stores. To know that you’re getting the real deal, always look for three key things: fruit, sugar (go for organic or natural sugars), and vinegar. Like McClary Bros, whose pineapple, fennel seed and organic apple cider vinegar mixture is best served with gin, or Lives’ sparkling tart cherry tonic best served with vodka. Or, you know, all are good (and way more healthy) on their own, too.
Shout out to all you crafty Kombucha-making freaks out there (*virtual hand claps*), this is for you. Making your own drinking vinegars in your kitchen isn’t actually all that difficult.
This is what you’ll need:
1 cup, fresh fruit (of your choice—it’s all about doing things to your taste and playing with flavors)
1 cup of organic apple cider vinegar (again, play around)
3/4 sugar (we like subbing for honey)
What you need to do:
Step 1: Put fruit and vinegar into a jar. Seal tight and shake for 15 seconds.
Step 2: Let the vinegar and fruit infuse for a week in room temperature, shaking the jar daily.
Step 3: Strain the liquid through a double layer of cheesecloth into a clean jar or bottle.
Step 4: Add sugar (or other sweetener), shake and place in the fridge for another week before enjoying.