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Best apple cider vinegar 2023: Our top dressings, drinks and supplements

Whether you use it on food, in cooking or as a daily supplement, these are the best apple cider vinegars to buy

When choosing the best apple cider vinegar, the first thing you must ask yourself is: what am I going to use it for?

Apple cider vinegar – or ACV to its fans – is so much more than a salad dressing ingredient. Made from fermented apples and a vinegar “mother” (a starter bacteria that feeds on sugars to produce acetic acid), apple cider vinegar is a tasty vinaigrette, cooking ingredient and also a tonic in its own right.

ACV has been around for centuries, but it’s experiencing something of a renaissance as a wonder ingredient. Its proponents claim it can manage weight loss, aid detox, promote good gut health and boost hair, skin and nails.

Though most health and wellness claims are anecdotal, there are a few small studies to suggest that taking regular doses of apple cider vinegar could help manage blood sugar levels, boost satiety levels (so we don’t reach for a snack) and balance cholesterol levels, though much more research is needed before we’d recommend swapping it for your morning orange juice.

On this page, you’ll find our pick of the best apple cider vinegars on the market today. First, though, why not have a read of our detailed guide to choosing the right ACV for you?

Best apple cider vinegar: At a glance

How to choose the best apple cider vinegar for you

What should I look for in an apple cider vinegar?

As a standalone product, ACV doesn’t have a huge wealth of nutritional value – just some amino acids and antioxidants. However, vinegars sold with the mother (a gelatinous disc that wobbles like a jelly) may contain extra good bacteria, enzymes and proteins. If you’re looking to enjoy those rumoured health benefits, this is the kind you’re after.

Look for labels signalling that the vinegar is raw and unpasteurised (anyone pregnant should seek advice before using) and expect a cloudy, dark yellowy-brown product. Vinegars sold with the live mother are suitable for mixing into smoothies or tonics, taking by the spoonful or using as a culinary ingredient. The small batch, organic varieties often taste great, too.

Mass-produced apple cider vinegar is standardised for flavour, so you won’t see such a variety of notes from bottle to bottle, but you will still find that tangy apple flavour. The best products also retain a good roundness – a thin, insipid apple cider vinegar is no good to anybody.

Many shop-bought vinegars will be clear. These have been filtered but that doesn’t mean they won’t taste great, and many of the studies have yet to determine whether ACV’s benefits are down to the presence of acetic acid alone, rather than the enzymes and bacteria from the mother.

If you hate the taste of apple cider vinegar (it is an acquired taste), the good news is that the health supplement industry is ahead of you. Today, there are many products harnessing the power of ACV in capsules or pre-mixed drinks, which are easier to swallow.

How we test apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar comes in many guises, but whether it’s a supplement, a drink or a straightforward vinegar, we get to grips them by testing every type ourselves. We personally trial each edible vinegar by trying them neat, mixing them into a salad dressing and diluting down with apple juice according to each manufacturer’s recommendations. Culinary vinegars are rated on their tartness, general flavour and the presence or absence of the “mother”. Those marketed as a wellbeing tonic are judged on their supposed health credentials where possible, as well as their flavour.

Our findings below reflect the best forms of apple cider vinegar we have tasted and trialled, taking into consideration price, ingredients and most importantly, how genuinely tasty they are.

READ NEXT: Best tonic water

The best apple cider vinegar you can buy in 2023

1. J. Leblanc Apple Cider Vinegar: The best apple cider vinegar for food

Price: £8.99 for 50cl | Buy now from Sous Chef

You can always rely on Sous Chef to stock the tastiest, most premium versions of a product, and this apple cider vinegar from J. Leblanc is no different. Made using the finest apple cider from Normandy, this deep amber-hued liquid tastes remarkable. With an earthy, fruit-filled taste, it’s unmistakeably both from apples and Breton cider – not all ACV has any hint of either. It delivers a rich punch that makes it ideal for adding a whack of flavour into your food without relying on an acid hit. At 5% acidity, the balance here is just about perfect, and dressings, marinades and shrubs will thank you for it, though we’d happily drink a shot of this one, too.

Buy now from Sous Chef

2. Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with The Mother: The best overall apple cider vinegar

Price: £6.99 for 473ml | Buy now from Holland & Barrett

For many, Bragg is the gold standard ACV. Bragg himself was a high-profile champion of the apple cider vinegar for health movement, opening the first US health food store in 1912 and vociferously extolling the virtues of the stuff. Today, Katy Perry is a fan and a Bragg shareholder, crediting it as a wellness remedy she has used for her vocal health since she was a child.

Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar is so cloudy it’s opaque (thanks to the mother), and has a brighter orange colour than many of its counterparts. Vinegar is the first note you’ll taste (it’s 5% acidity), before it softens into an all-American rosy apple cider flavour with good roundness and length. An all-rounder that’s well worth a place in your bathroom cabinet or kitchen cupboard.

Buy now from Holland & Barrett

3. Jitterbug Lemonade Swing Sparkling Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother Drink: The best apple cider vinegar drink

Price: £2.29 for 250ml | Buy now from Holland & Barrett

If you’re hoping for the claimed gut health benefits of swigging ACV but you’re not mad about the sour taste, try these clever pre-mixed cans. They contain a dose of apple cider vinegar with the mother alongside a refreshing fruit seltzer. Jitterbug is available in three flavours – Lemonade Swing, Orange Jive and Berry Hop – all of which are natural and handmade in Devon from British fruit, using no added sugars.

We’re happy to report that the apple cider vinegar flavour is undetectable, with the acidity merely adding a pleasantly invigorating tang to balance the natural sweetness of the drink. Lemonade Swing is our favourite, giving a delicious lemon and lime zing, at the cost of only 39 calories.

Buy now from Holland & Barrett

4. Nutrigums Apple Cider Vinegar Complex Apple Flavour Gummies: The best apple cider vinegar supplement

Price: £9.99 for 60 | Buy now from Nutrigums

Another innovative way of enjoying the perks of ACV without downing neat vinegar is to pick up a pack of these Nutrigums gummies. Made with apple cider vinegar with the mother, these gummies also include a whole host of other vitamins and nutrients.

These sweet natural apple and pomegranate-flavoured gummies are easy to take and are suitable for anyone aged 12 and over. Vegan and vegetarian friendly, only one or two gummies per day deliver a healthy dose of vitamin C, chromium, folic acid, B12 and B6 to help support immune health, while boosting metabolism and energy. We’ve been using Nutrigums daily for a month and have noticed a reduction in cravings for sweet things and an increase in satiety.

Buy now from Nutrigums

5. Willy’s Organic Live Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother: the best apple cider vinegar for health

Price: £5.55 for 500ml | Buy now from Sainsbury’s

Willy (aka William Chase of Chase Gin and Tyrell’s Crisps) makes his organic vinegar using apples from his 300-year-old orchards in Herefordshire. The whole process takes place on the farm – growing, harvesting, pressing, fermenting and bottling – without intensive modern farming practices, pesticides or artificial fertilisers. The whole apple is used, with any waste pulp ploughed back into the orchards as organic fertiliser.

Taste wise, this apple cider vinegar is hard to beat as far as unpasteurised, unfiltered raw vinegars go. It is crisp and juicy, with a strong acidic tang and plenty of funky fermented notes. The mother is very much alive in Willy’s vinegar, and the brown glass bottles protect it from sunlight to ensure precious strains of probiotic bacteria remain.

Buy now from Sainsbury’s

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