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Apple cider vinegar, which is made from fresh apples that have been crushed and then fermented, is nature’s probiotic. But not all apple cider vinegars are created equally. Some are highly processed, while others are in their natural form. To help you differentiate the good from the not-so-good, we compiled a list of the best apple cider vinegars you can buy, based on taste, quality, and ingredients.
Best Overall: Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
You really can’t bring up apple cider vinegar without also mentioning Bragg, one of the first manufacturers to bottle ACV up and sell it. Bragg opened its doors in 1912 and since its inception, has used only the highest-quality, organically grown apples to make raw, unfiltered vinegar.
The finished product is completely unprocessed so that it still contains the "mother”—the cloudy substance within ACV.
Best Organic: Thrive Market Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
For the past few years, Thrive Market has been expanding its own product line, offering high-quality items at great-for-your-wallet prices. Thrive's organic apple cider vinegar is one of those items, and as far as taste, quality, and ingredients go, it’s right on par with Bragg’s version. It’s made from only two ingredients—organic apple cider vinegar and water—and has the "mother," nice and intact.
It’s a little less expensive than others, so it’s a great budget option as well and will help you save some money, especially if you purchase ACV regularly.
Best for Drinking: Wedderspoon Apple Cider Vinegar With Monofloral Manuka Honey
If you have a hard time drinking ACV straight up, the Wedderspoon Apple Cider Vinegar has just enough manuka honey to take the edge off. Each tablespoon has 2 grams of added sugar, bringing the total carbs up to 3 grams per tablespoon (regular ACV doesn’t have any).
Best for Cooking: Dynamic Health Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
Like the other plain apple cider vinegars on this list, the Dynamic Health Organic Apple Cider Vinegar has only two ingredients—raw organic apple cider vinegar and water—but, somehow, it doesn’t taste as tart as some of the others and it has lemony citrus notes that make it a great choice for cooking.
It’s best to use the vinegar with low-heat cooking or as a finishing touch on vegetables or salad.
Best Flavor: Vermont Village Blueberry Honey Apple Cider Vinegar
Once you try the Vermont Village Blueberry Honey Apple Cider Vinegar, you’ll never try to come up with excuses for not drinking your daily apple cider vinegar again. It’s the perfect balance of tart, tangy, and sweet to make drinking apple cider vinegar something you’ll look forward to.
Unlike other flavored vinegars, it has only three ingredients: raw organic apple cider vinegar (with the "mother"), organic honey, and organic blueberries.
If you’re not a fan of blueberry, or you just want to switch things up, Vermont Village also has cranberry, turmeric, and ginger sipping vinegars that are equally delicious.
Best Spicy Kick: Shire City Herbals Fire Cider Apple Cider Vinegar Wellness Tonic
Fire Cider isn’t just a name. Made with a combination of organic apple cider vinegar, habanero, horseradish, garlic, and ginger, this apple cider vinegar tonic from Shire City Herbals really brings the heat. The original formula was made by herbalist Rosemary Gladstar in the 1970s.
The original version has honey in it to cut some of the heat, but it also comes in a honey-free option.
Best Gummies: Zhou Nutrition Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies
If you want apple cider vinegar without the face-puckering taste, the Zhou Nutrition Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies are for you. They’re made from raw organic apple cider vinegar, so they still have the "mother," combined with a small amount of sweeteners, like organic cane sugar, to mute the acidity and make them a little more taste bud-friendly.
Zhou also adds a natural harvest apple flavor that’s made from real fruit, unlike other gummies on the market.
Best Capsules: Paleovalley Apple Cider Vinegar Complex
If you prefer to reap the benefits of apple cider vinegar without any taste or flavor at all, the Paleovalley Apple Cider Vinegar Complex is your best bet. The main ingredient—organic raw apple cider vinegar—is dried, turned into a powder, and coupled with turmeric, ginger, Ceylon cinnamon, and lemon, in an easy-to-take capsule.
The capsules themselves are non-GMO, gluten-free, soy-free, grain-free, and dairy-free, and there are no artificial binders or fillers.
What to Look for When Buying Apple Cider Vinegar
ACV's can have a strong smell and a sour, bitter yet tart taste that is not the most pleasant, while others have a lighter, albeit still bitter, taste. There are also ones that have added natural flavoring from fruits, herbs, or spices. Get one that fits your taste buds and preference.
To get ACV in the purest form, look on the label for information such as raw, unfiltered, unpasteurized, organic, and with the "mother." Watch out for added preservatives and additives, such as artificial colorings or flavorings.
Apple cider vinegar comes as a liquid or in gummies or capsules. The liquid can be used for both drinking, cooking, and more, while the others are used as supplements.
How should apple cider vinegar be stored?
Unopened or opened bottles of ACV should be stored in the pantry or a cabinet. There is no need to refrigerate it.
What can be used instead of apple cider vinegar?
If you're cooking or baking, and you reach for that bottle of ACV only to find it's not there, there are a few substitutes that can be used. Lemon juice or lime juice can replace ACV in the same amount as called for in a recipe. Or you can use twice the amount of white wine to replace apple cider vinegar in a recipe.
Should you shake apple cider vinegar before using?
You most definitely should shake ACV, as you will notice that the "mother" has settled down toward the bottom of the bottle. Always shake it before use to mix all the goodies in.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Lindsay Boyers is a certified holistic nutritionist with extensive nutrition knowledge and food and beverage-testing experience. She’s developed over 1,000 original recipes and is constantly on a mission to find the healthiest, best-tasting options and ingredients across all food and drink categories.