Things I Love: Drinking Vinegar

March 27, 2015

People have been fermenting fruit into alcohol since the beginning of civilization. It follows, then, that old alcohol – vinegar – has been a staple of our diet for at least as long. The Mesopotamians made vinegar from dates, the Romans made vinegar from grapes, and from China to Greece, nearly every other kind of fruit has been discovered in vinegar form at the bottom of some ancient barrel. 

So why does it feel fresh to see drinking vinegars being produced in this country? Everything old is new again – again. Long popular in Japan and Korea, and of course important to some niches in shrub and switchel form, drinking vinegars provide a perfect counterpoint to rich meals. Just mix a tablespoon or two with a bit of sparkling water. Or if so inclined, add a jigger of vodka.

 I’m besotted with the shiso offering from Genki-Su, a company that makes Japanese-style coconut vinegar-based drinking vinegars. It’s also worth checking out the Pok Pok  line; theirs was the first drinking vinegar I ever tried, and I've had at least one of their bottles in my cupboard ever since. 



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  • And I was just reading someone’s post on FB about how beneficial it is to drink pickle water, which is basically vinegar. Good to know there’s drinking vinegars out there, which I’ll have to give a try.

  • Thank you for sharing this product with us.. I love Japanese food and ingredients. Now, I need to find a place that sells it here in Toronto.

  • Cat Wurdack says:

    Belberry, a Belgian company, has an excellent line of drinking vinegars. The cucumber is my favorite.
    Of the Genki-Su vinegars, I’ve been enjoying the Asian Pear (Nashi) with Q club soda.


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