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When we were kids, grabbing a can of Coke (okay, we admit we were actually a Pepsi family) out of the fridge like six times a day felt totally normal. Then one day the fam switched to diet soda, and then eventually, thanks to “society” and “health,” we swapped soda for seltzer and saved the cola for special occassions. People abstain from drinking cola, diet or regular, for all sorts of reasons, and we’re also not here to shame anyone for drinking regular soda, diet soda, or whatever drink they want to put in their body. But we have noticed that people will go to some seriously interesting lengths to try to recapture the care-free soda guzzling of their youth, and this recent TikTok DIY cola trend is causing a lot of conversation.
TikTok user MandyVJones shared that “my pilates instructor makes this drink almost like every day, I think she told me? And it’s a healthy alternative to Coke.” She then shares the recipe, claiming that it “tastes just like a Coke.” That sounds pretty promising, but when we saw the two ingredients called for we became, well, skeptical.
Apparently, all you need to make this Coke alternative is balsamic vinegar,
and a can of sparkling water. She uses LaCroix, and says you can use any flavor — in the video, she uses guava-flavored. We can’t help but think that surely the flavor of the sparkling water you use makes a difference to the recipe, but okay.
Monari Federzoni USDA Organic Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
It definitely looks like Coke, and she says “it tastes like a Coke, and it’s healthy, and it’s good for you.” As for the claim that this drink is “good for you,” there is some evidence that balsamic vinegar helps to lower cholesterol and that the acetic acid in it contains probiotics that can improve gut health. The drink will also help to hydrate you, which is always important, but we definitely wouldn’t go so far as to call this concotion a superfood beverage or anything.
The comment section was extremely skeptical. “Zero chance that tastes like Coke,” said one person. “Have you ever had a Coke?” asked another. One other person said, “Homegirl just got at least 50 people to drink balsamic vinegar with ice lol,” and they weren’t wrong. We have to admit that yes, we did try making this 2-ingredient balsamic vinegar Coke alternative. We used balsamic vinegar and a Hi-Biscus flavored LaCroix. While it wasn’t outright disgusting, it tasted both worse than a regular Coke and worse than a regular seltzer, so we probably will not be trying this hack again.
Luckily, one other TikToker had a helpful suggestion. “Girl just drink Olipop vintage cola,” they said.
OLIPOP Variety Pack
is a low-sugar cola that contains fiber and prebiotics to support digestive health, and their flavors include classic favorites like Vintage Cola, Classic Root Beer, Strawberry Vanilla, Orange Squeeze, Cherry Vanilla, & Ginger Lemon.
If you like vinegar drinks in general, like shrubs and kombucha, then you might like the balsamic cola hack. But if you’re just trying to wean yourself off of a Diet Coke habit, you might want to look elsewhere. That being said we were sipping our balsamic cola the whole time we wrote this article and it’s truly starting to grow on us so…who even knows anymore!
In search of summer recipes? Giada De Laurentiis has plenty:
Watch: How to Make Watermelon Mango Salsa
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