Saturday, September 10, 2011

Drinking Vinegar Taste Test, Part 2

To get caught up on our drinking vinegar tasting, be sure to read Part One.

The friends who volunteered to taste the vinegars had never had a drinking vinegar before. They were all a bit apprehensive but up for an adventure. My friend, John Waller,  mentioned that his mom used to make him drink apple cider vinegar when he was getting a cold. Most were expecting the sharp, sour tang of vinegar. I can't say that people were all that excited to taste the vinegars... what good friends I have!

After a quick drinking vinegar history and letting everyone examine the bottles, I whipped up our tastings.
I diluted the vinegars 4 to 1, about 1/2 cup of the drinking vinegar to 2 cups water. Being very fancy and trying to keep things a little bit "blind", I used measuring cups and had Justin bring each one out. We called them sample A, B, and C. The guests didn't know which was which. I recorded comments while everyone tasted the samples.

Each person was given a small sample, one at a time. Below are the notes on each tasting. Overall I think everyone was really pleased with how the drinking vinegars tasted.

A (Apple Good Health Vinegar)
Darkest in color
Thicker vinegar (straight from the bottle)
Strongest apple scent
"Really good and refreshing, strong apple presence"
"Better than expected, not sour, no bitterness"
"Hint of apple, but no bitterness"
"Sweeter than expected"
"Very light and refreshing"
"Tangy with a touch of honey"
and my favorite: 
"Hey, it is good!?"

B (Pok Pok's Apple Som Vinegar)
light in color
very strong vinegar smell
"not as strong as I expected"
"lighter flavor and sweetness"
"not as juicy"
"spicy, sweet and a little nutty"
"flatter flavor than the first tasting"
"more refined"

C: My homemade drinking vinegar
Hardly any or no smell - apple or vinegar
Dull color
"least overall flavor, the apple doesn't shine through"
"almost like a neutral water with a little tartness"
"less complex, but delicate"
"more summery because it is more refreshing"
"dry, with a tanin, and a vinegar after taste"
"in between the other two in terms of sweetness"

After the tasting we tallied up our votes - which did they think they would buy and drink again, A,B, or C?
Pok Pok's Som was the winner!!!
But.....when I showed the price differences between Som and the Good Health, the two store bought bottles became tied. 

This was a fun evening and I am really grateful that my friends were good sports about being taste testers. And, I clearly need to rework my recipe :) I think I will try it again with some honey :) 

So, tell me, have you tasted either of these brands? Or another one I should track down? What is your thoughts on store bought drinking vinegars?


  1. How interesting. I definitely want to try a drinking vinegar. Thanks for the info:)

  2. So what would you change to improve your recipe to more closely match Pok Pok's version? I'm loathe to pay $18 for a drinking vinegar when they are so easy to make at home. Thanks!

  3. Great posting! I just bought the pineapple Som drinking vinegar from Pok Pok myself which was so delicious, but I went through it in a week and at $18 a bottle, I just can't justify the purchase! I love your recipes and can't wait to try them out. I think I'm going to try out a batch of peach since I just went to Hood River for some peaches! I was wondering where you bought the Apple Good Health vinegar? I also live in Portland so if you found it locally, that would be helpful. Thanks again for a great posting!

  4. Hi BaxterBunz - You are going to love the peach! It is so fragrant. I love the idea of a trip to Hood River for peaches! I bought the Good Healthy Vinegar at Funbon on 82nd. It is on a top shelf by the canned drinks.

    Please let me know how the drinking vinegar comes out.