I was so keen to try the TikTok ‘healthy Coke’ trend when I saw it – not because I’m an avid Coke drinker, I can’t really stand the stuff unless it comes with rum – but because I’m morbidly curious about weird trends like this.
From watching the videos, I already had a gut feeling that it would probably taste just like drinking a cup of vinegar, but I just had to try it out myself for science.
The trend seemed to first surface after Amanda Jones first shared a tutorial for the low-sugar alternative to Coca-Cola earlier in June, using a ‘splash’ of balsamic vinegar and ‘any sparkling beverage’ in a glass with ice.
She said her pilates instructor suggested it to her, and promised TikTokers that the beverage tasted ‘just like a coke.’
At the end of the video, she smiles after taking a sip and says it’s ‘so good.’
I mean, if it looks like Coke, surely there’s a teeny tiny chance it might actually taste like it too, right?
And the drink really does resemble the sugary syrupy favourite in the way it looks, so let’s say I was slightly hopeful.
I already had fizzy water in because I’m a big fan of it, and after rooting around in the cupboards I acquired the balsamic vinegar and hoped for the best that it was still in date.
I took a deep breath and put plenty of ice in the glass, kind of regretting my decision to make the so-called healthy drink already.
After putting a ‘splash’ of balsamic in, I added plain fizzy water.
I admired my handiwork – it really does look like Coke! – but then realised now I’d gone to all this effort I had to try it.
The temptation to hold my nose and try the beverage was real because I’d over-hyped it so much in my head, but I realised that would completely defeat the object of my trying the alternative.
I was shocked to learn that actual Coca Cola has 35g of sugar in a 330ml can – so was determined to give this a go.
The day was glorious so I took myself, a good book, and the healthy Coke outside and tried it.
To say it took every fibre of my being to not spit it out again would be an understatement. I was grateful I’d made it in such a small glass.
As soon as it hit my lips it was an assault on my senses – the strong acidic balsamic taste stayed in my mouth for at least ten minutes after.
I’m not sure what Coke this TikToker has been drinking, but it isn’t the syrupy treat we’re all used to.
It’s safe to say that I won’t be reaching for the rum, sparkling water and balsamic vinegar on a night out anytime soon…