Though this looks like any pretty fruity, fizzy, cool summer drink, there’s a lot more to it. This organic apple cider vinegar-blueberry soda is made with Pompeian’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar – a bottle that includes the “mother.” Not all vinegars do.
Vinegar is a fermented product made from wine, fruit, grain, or cider. When you expose alcoholic drinks to air, they pretty much always attract a bacteria called acetobacter, which turns the sugars into alcohol into a tangier liquid–vinegar. You already know this if you’ve ever left a bottle of wine uncorked on the counter for a few days and found a glass tasted tangier than before. Vinegars don’t need a starter – or mother – to ferment, but adding some live vinegar to some wine or cider you’d like to ferment is a foolproof way to get things started. Once they’ve become tangy, most commercial vinegars are then pasteurized to remove the bacteria meaning they no longer contain the acetobacter itself. They’re no longer alive.
Yet many people believe that raw vinegar, a.k.a. vinegar that is still alive, or still contains the mother, is incredibly healthful, especially when swallowed daily. That’s why you see health-conscious types swearing by their kombucha, and weirdos like me nurturing sourdough starter to make bread, pizza, and savory sourdough pancakes. In the case of vinegar, the community of bacteria and metabolic by-products of fermentation have been thought for millennia to help with digestion, boost the immune system, and even keep skin healthy. To drink vinegar every day, though, it helps to have something delicious to help it go down–in this case blueberries, honey, and Thai basil. I blended the fruit, sweetener and herb together with a few tablespoons of the organic vinegar together to make a thick, blueberry skin-speckled tonic. Then, to turn the tangy elixir into a cooling, drinkable glassful, I topped a few spoonfuls off with super cold seltzer. Is this really truly a soda? Not exactly? But it is, for sure, a potentially cure-all drink.