TikTok can often be a platform that fosters innovation and creativity, with users taking ideas or recipes and putting their own spin on them -making them bigger and better and sharing them with the wider community.
However, it’s also the place where you hear about the weirdest concoctions ever - things that leave you wondering how on earth anyone ever came up with them in the first place.
One such creation doing the rounds at the moment is the “healthy coke” recipe which claims to be a convincing alternative to the sugary drink with just… balsamic vinegar and sparkling water.
So, a user by the name of Amanda Jones (@mandyvjones) posted on TikTok about a recipe that her pilates instructor makes as a healthier alternative to Coca-Cola.
In the video, she says: “I am not joking you, it tastes just like a coke, and you’re gonna think I’m insane.”
Jones, who posted the video on 6 June, has racked up over 600,000 likes, 17,000 comments and 45,000 shares.
It’s safe to say that most in the comments of Jones’ video were sceptical to say the least.
One person wrote: “Okay, I’m gullible but nothing will convince me that that tastes like a coke.”
Another commented: “I just know I’m being punked.”
“Now you know damn well that doesn’t taste like coke,” wrote another.
So how do I make it?
To make the healthy coke, all you’ll need is:
- Balsamic vinegar
- Sparkling water
There aren’t any specific measurements given to make the drink, just a glass of ice, a splash of balsamic vinegar and a sparkling beverage of your choice - in the original video, Jones uses a can of LaCroix.
What’s the verdict?
Listen, on occasion, TikTok is known to come up with some not half bad recipes - that viral baked feta pasta recipe that was doing the rounds that year was honestly not bad at all.
But balsamic vinegar and sparkling water does not a Coca-Cola make, no matter how much ice you put in the glass.
Yes, visually, it looks like a glass of Coke. The combination of sparkling water and the balsamic vinegar looks like a carbonated brown drink, but that’s where the similarities end.
The predominant taste, and smell, is, unsurprisingly, that of balsamic vinegar. Anyone who has ever tasted balsamic vinegar will know everything they need to know about what this drink tastes like already without having to go to the effort of making it themselves.
Maybe my ratio of balsamic vinegar to sparkling water was off, even though Jones didn’t give any specific measurements in her original video, or perhaps it’s just unrealistic to expect that an ingredient used predominantly in salad dressings could be magically transformed into a dupe of a sugary and sweet Coke.
Jones has attempted to defend herself on TikTok by saying that all she really drinks in her day to day life is water, so this “healthy coke” mixes things up for her - and if she really enjoys this drink, then fair enough, but in no way, shape or form does it resemble anything close to a coke.
She also tried to justify the creation of the drink by drawing similarities with another drink called a strawberry balsamic shrub, which is a drink made, according to a recipe from the Little Epicurean, with strawberries, sugar, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar and sparkling water.
The key differences here, in my opinion, is:
- Strawberries and balsamic vinegar is a proven flavour combination that we know works well together, so I’m sure this drink tastes fine
- I bet it doesn’t taste like a coke either