I’ve been learning a lot from my students regarding Japanese health practices, and one of the things that keeps coming up in conversation is this idea of ‘drinking vinegar’. Not just the actual action, but the ‘vinegar that is flavored for drinking’. Maybe people don’t drink normal white vinegar for fun.
Of course, we have a similar idea in the states, which often shows up in the form of pins on Pinterest from people planning to drink Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar (left).
Here in Japan, the idea is that drinking a little bit of vinegar every day can boost your energy as well as your immune system. People drink it straight, or mixed with a bit of honey or yogurt. And the flavors are endless. There’s a lot of Acai, but also other flavors like Pomegranate, Apple, Yuzu, etc. It turns out that there are a lot of different companies that specialize in just Vinegar for drinking, such as the quite popular Genki-su, founded in the USA by a Japanese native.
After talking about it with my father one day, I went out to the shop and bought myself some pomegranate drinking vinegar. Shortly after this, my dad sent me a giant bottle of Bragg’s in the mail. I don’t even want to think about what the cost to ship!
I started drinking the Pomegranate first: it’s really good on its own, if not a little strong and vinegar-y, of course. Then I started mixing it with my daily water intake. Add a shot to a full Nalgene bottle and then continue to refill at about the halfway point throughout the day to dilute it. But it was really SO GOOD. I finished the bottle in about 2 weeks.
I then moved on to the Bragg, which was stronger and more like what I was used to growing up in the states. The flavor is great, but maybe a bit hard on its own. So I mixed this one with water as well, and added a bit of Yuzu mitsu (my other absolute favorite thing to drink in Japan) to make it a bit sweeter.
Is it working? Do I feel like I have more energy, or that my immune system is better off because of it? I have no idea, and I don’t think so. But it tastes great, and if people in Japan drink it and they have the highest life expectancy on the planet (86.5 for women!), then I’ll do it. That’s enough proof for me!