• Top 25 Best Japanese Black Vinegars in 2021 - Tried and True! 1
  • Top 25 Best Japanese Black Vinegars in 2021 - Tried and True! 2
  • Top 25 Best Japanese Black Vinegars in 2021 - Tried and True! 3
  • Top 25 Best Japanese Black Vinegars in 2021 - Tried and True! 4
  • Top 25 Best Japanese Black Vinegars in 2021 - Tried and True! 5

Top 25 Best Japanese Black Vinegars in 2021 - Tried and True!

Black vinegar is popular as a diet and health supplement, and it also makes a delicious, refreshing drink! Of course it has other culinary uses too, so why not pick some up? But, which one is the best? Our editors searched Japanese e-commerce sites such as Amazon, Rakuten, and Yahoo! Shopping for the best black vinegars available online. We then picked out the most popular products and tested them.


We focused on drinking taste for this verification. You may be using black vinegar for health reasons, but you still want it to taste good!

We then ranked the products and put what we learned into a buying guide to help you choose the best Japanese black vinegars available online.


  • Last updated: 05-30-2021
  • 2,927 views
Table of Contents

Why Drink Black Vinegar?

Black vinegar is aged and fermented vinegar. It's popular in cooking, especially in China, but today we're looking at kurosu with a focus on ones you can drink. In Japan, kurosu (the Japanese word for "black vinegar") is made primarily from raw brown rice or semi-polished white rice, sometimes with barley malt added.

Black Vinegar is Used as a Weight Control Supplement

Black Vinegar is Used as a Weight Control Supplement

Black vinegar is full of amino acids and citric acid. Citric acid works by converting fat into energy, helping to prevent it from accumulating in your body!


Amino acids activate the enzyme lipase and support fat-burning. It works more efficiently when consumed anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour before exercise.

It Can Reduce Blood Sugar and Blood Pressure Levels

It Can Reduce Blood Sugar and Blood Pressure Levels

The acetic acid in black vinegar can help those suffering from hyperglycemia and hypertension if one half ounce (15ml) is consumed daily.


A study by the Japanese Society of Clinical Nutrition found that consuming a half ounce of black vinegar containing 750mg of acetic acid after a meal reduced blood sugar 89% more than not drinking it.


According to the Japan Health and Nutrition Food Association, when this same amount of black vinegar was given to patients with high blood pressure for 10 weeks, their blood pressure showed a measurable drop.

Top 25 Japanese Black Vinegars to Buy Online 2020

Top 25 Japanese Black Vinegars to Buy Online 2020

So with all that in mind, we picked out some of the most popular products and taste-tested them to see which were the best for drinking. Then, based on our tests, we ranked the top 25 Japanese black vinegars available online.

We used a radar chart to describe the characteristics of each vinegar and score it. Here's an example. From the top, clockwise, the categories are:

  • acidity
  • sweetness
  • bitterness
  • astringency
Top 25 Japanese Black Vinegars to Buy Online 2020

Japanese prices for some of the products are given, but they've been converted into US dollars to make it easy for you.

1

YakultBlack Vinegar Drink

6 pack

$24.97

Japaneseヤクルト黒酢ドリンク
TypeMade from white rice
FlavorUmeboshi (sour plum) and honey
AdditivesYes
Size34 oz. (1000 ml)
Calories per 100 ml18.4
Recommended for cooking?No
Overall score4.4
2

Sakamoto BrewingBlack Vinegar and Red Grape

$10.42

Japanese坂元醸造黒酢と赤ぶどう
TypeMade from white rice
FlavorRed grape
AdditivesYes
Size17 oz. (500 ml)
Calories per 100 ml249
Recommended for cooking?No
Overall score4.2
3

MelodianHealthy Black Vinegar

Apple and honey, 24 pack

$15.55

Japaneseメロディアン黒酢で元気 りんご味
TypeMade from brown rice
FlavorApple and honey
AdditivesYes
Size6.75 oz (200 ml) x 24
Calories per 100 ml16
Recommended for cooking?No
Overall score4.1
4

Kisaichi BrewingPure Brown Rice Black Vinegar Drink

$28.12

Japanese私市醸造純玄米黒酢ドリンク
TypeMade from brown rice
FlavorApple and honey
AdditivesNone
Size17 oz. (500 ml)
Calories per 100 ml290
Recommended for cooking?No
Overall score3.9
5
Japaneseミツカンヨーグルト黒酢
TypeMade from white rice
FlavorYogurt
AdditivesYes
Size17 oz. (500 ml)
Calories per 100 ml48.3
Recommended for cooking?No
Overall score3.9
6

Tamanoi VinegarHoney Black Vinegar Diet

12 pack

$37.00

Japaneseタマノイ酢はちみつ黒酢ダイエット
TypeProcessed vinegar
FlavorApple
AdditivesYes
Size30 oz. (900 ml)
Calories per 100 ml12
Recommended for cooking?No
Overall score3.9
7

YamamoriLactic Acid Bacteria Black Vinegar

Ehime Iyokan, 6 pack

$27.57

Japaneseヤマモリ乳酸菌黒酢 愛媛いよかん
TypeMade from white rice
FlavorIyokan citrus
AdditivesYes
Size17 oz. (500 ml)
Calories per 100 ml100
Recommended for cooking?No
Overall score3.8
8

Ito Kampo PharmaceuticalsVinepple Pomegranate Black Vinegar Drink

$3.04

Japanese井藤漢方製薬ビネップル ざくろ黒酢飲料
TypeMade from white rice
FlavorPomegranate, apple, honey
AdditivesYes
Size24 oz. (720 ml)
Calories per 100 ml25
Recommended for cooking?No
Overall score3.7
9
Japaneseミツカンブルーベリー黒酢
TypeMade from white rice
FlavorBlueberry
AdditivesYes
Size17 oz. (500 ml)
Calories per 100 ml58.3
Recommended for cooking?No
Overall score3.7
10

ItoenBlack Vinegar Plus Active Moromi Vinegar

$3.06

Japanese伊藤園黒酢で活性 もろみ酢プラス
TypeMade from white rice and barley
FlavorApple
AdditivesYes
Size30 oz. (900 ml)
Calories per 100 ml42.2
Recommended for cooking?No
Overall score3.6
11

Japan LunaHoney Black Vinegar Power

16 pack

$12.55

Japanese日本ルナはちみつ黒酢パワー
TypeMade from white rice
FlavorApple and honey
AdditivesYes
Size6.75 oz. (200 ml)
Calories per 100 ml64
Recommended for cooking?No
Overall score3.5
12

Japan Natural FermentationOishii Black Vinegar

$10.73

Japanese日本自然発酵おいしい黒酢
TypeMade from white rice
FlavorHoney
AdditivesNo
Size30 oz. (900 ml)
Calories per 100 ml196.6
Recommended for cooking?Yes
Overall score3.4
13

Mizkan<Mainzu> Black Vinegar Drink

$3.44

Japaneseミツカンマインズ<毎飲酢> 黒酢ドリンク
TypeMade from white rice
FlavorApple and honey
AdditivesYes
Size34 oz. (1000 ml)
Calories per 100 ml16
Recommended for cooking?No
Overall score3.1

Compare the Best Japanese Black Vinegars

Image
1
Yakult Black Vinegar Drink 1

Yakult

2
Sakamoto Brewing Black Vinegar and Red Grape 1

Sakamoto Brewing

3
Melodian Healthy Black Vinegar 1

Melodian

4
Kisaichi Brewing Pure Brown Rice Black Vinegar Drink 1

Kisaichi Brewing

5
Mizkan Yogurt Black Vinegar 1

Mizkan

6
Tamanoi Vinegar Honey Black Vinegar Diet 1

Tamanoi Vinegar

7
Yamamori Lactic Acid Bacteria Black Vinegar 1

Yamamori

8
Ito Kampo Pharmaceuticals Vinepple Pomegranate Black Vinegar Drink 1

Ito Kampo Pharmaceuticals

9
Mizkan Blueberry Black Vinegar 1

Mizkan

10
Itoen Black Vinegar Plus Active Moromi Vinegar 1

Itoen

11
Japan Luna Honey Black Vinegar Power 1

Japan Luna

12
Japan Natural Fermentation Oishii Black Vinegar 1

Japan Natural Fermentation

13
Mizkan <Mainzu> Black Vinegar Drink 1

Mizkan

Name

Black Vinegar Drink

Black Vinegar and Red Grape

Healthy Black Vinegar

Pure Brown Rice Black Vinegar Drink

Yogurt Black Vinegar

Honey Black Vinegar Diet

Lactic Acid Bacteria Black Vinegar

Vinepple Pomegranate Black Vinegar Drink

Blueberry Black Vinegar

Black Vinegar Plus Active Moromi Vinegar

Honey Black Vinegar Power

Oishii Black Vinegar

<Mainzu> Black Vinegar Drink

Features

mybest's Top Choice! A Delicious Plum Wine Taste That's Good for Digestion, Too!

Deliciously Versatile! It Tastes Just Like Grape Juice!

A Mild Apple Flavor That's Great for Kids and Dieters on the Go

The Best Brown Rice Vinegar We Tasted

A Unique Flavor for Those Who Want Something Different

Recommended for Health-Conscious People with a Sweet Tooth

A Refreshing and Summery Citrus Drink

A Luxurious Taste That Would Make a Perfect Gift

Burn Fat with a Balanced Fruity Taste

Enjoy the Sweet & Sour Taste of Okinawa

It's Easy to Drink and Easy to Store

The Best Black Vinegar for Cooking

Recommended if You're Counting Calories

Price$24.97$10.42$15.55$28.12$6.20$37.00$27.57$3.04$6.23$3.06$12.55$10.73$3.44
Japaneseヤクルト黒酢ドリンク坂元醸造黒酢と赤ぶどうメロディアン黒酢で元気 りんご味私市醸造純玄米黒酢ドリンクミツカンヨーグルト黒酢タマノイ酢はちみつ黒酢ダイエットヤマモリ乳酸菌黒酢 愛媛いよかん井藤漢方製薬ビネップル ざくろ黒酢飲料ミツカンブルーベリー黒酢伊藤園黒酢で活性 もろみ酢プラス日本ルナはちみつ黒酢パワー日本自然発酵おいしい黒酢ミツカンマインズ<毎飲酢> 黒酢ドリンク
TypeMade from white riceMade from white riceMade from brown riceMade from brown riceMade from white riceProcessed vinegarMade from white riceMade from white riceMade from white riceMade from white rice and barleyMade from white riceMade from white riceMade from white rice
FlavorUmeboshi (sour plum) and honeyRed grapeApple and honeyApple and honeyYogurtAppleIyokan citrusPomegranate, apple, honeyBlueberryAppleApple and honeyHoneyApple and honey
AdditivesYesYesYesNoneYesYesYesYesYesYesYesNoYes
Size34 oz. (1000 ml)17 oz. (500 ml)6.75 oz (200 ml) x 24 17 oz. (500 ml)17 oz. (500 ml)30 oz. (900 ml)17 oz. (500 ml)24 oz. (720 ml)17 oz. (500 ml)30 oz. (900 ml)6.75 oz. (200 ml)30 oz. (900 ml)34 oz. (1000 ml)
Calories per 100 ml18.42491629048.3121002558.342.264196.616
Recommended for cooking?NoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYesNo
Overall score4.44.24.13.93.93.93.83.73.73.63.53.43.1
Link

Products That Didn't Make the Cut

And why they didn't quite make it.

Products That Didn't Make the Cut

This shiso vinegar from Marui has a powerful scent and flavor. It's more like shiso juice than black vinegar. It also has apple and ume sour plum extracts. If you like shiso, you'll enjoy it.

Products That Didn't Make the Cut

Apple Black Vinegar from Japan Natural Fermentation wasn't bad, but just kind of had a weak flavor. If you want to drink it undiluted, it has a subtle sweetness and light taste, like flavored water, that you might enjoy.

Products That Didn't Make the Cut

Aeon's TopValu brand Pure Brown Rice Black Vinegar has a sharp, crisp sourness that really says "vinegar." It's not hard to drink, and stimulated our appetites. But some may find it too strong.

These Weren't Good to Drink, but We Can Recommend Them for Cooking

Kisaichi Brewing's Black Vinegar is made with unpolished brown rice. The sourness is rather spicy. Using it in American or Chinese cuisine would bring out its strength.


Kagoshima Black Vinegar from Sakamoto Brewing is made from steamed rice and rice bran using care that has been passed down for 200 years. It would be good mixed with sugar or used on vinegared rice for sushi.


Fujisco's Oishii Black Vinegar contains black garlic and energy-providing ingredients such as coenzyme-Q10 and carnitine. It has a strong smell and could be used in place of sake vinegar.


Marushige's Brown Rice Black Vinegar is additive-free, using only brown rice and rice bran, and aged for one year. It was more astringent than sour. We think it would pair well with boiled or fried foods.

These Weren't Good to Drink, but We Can Recommend Them for Cooking

Mizkan's Pure Brown Rice Black Vinegar is incredibly sour, even though it's supposed to be drinkable. We'd rather pair it with pork and fried foods.


Brown Rice Black Vinegar from Japan Health System has such a strong flavor it could overpower most other seasonings. If you want to highlight black vinegar as the star in your dish, it would work well.


Shobun Organic Brown Rice Black Vinegar from Osawa Japan uses a 300-year old recipe that maybe doesn't suit modern palates. Its sourness might be a good choice for dishes requiring a strong vinegar taste.

These are Probably an Acquired Taste

These are Probably an Acquired Taste

Marui's Black Vinegar Honey Straight is undiluted and blended with honey and apples. But after diluting it, it tasted like water, and when we tried it more concentrated, a lot of people said it was an acquired taste and a bit harsh.


Pure Brown Rice Black Vinegar from Orihiro is a bit alcoholic, very sour, bitter, and astringent. If you want your healthy vinegar to taste like medicine, give it a whirl.

How We Tested the Black Vinegars

How We Tested the Black Vinegars

Five of our staff members did a blind taste test on all the vinegars to decide which was the most delicious. We diluted the products according to the manufacturer's recommendations. This time, we were focusing on vinegar for drinking, not cooking.

Fruity Flavors Won Us Over

Fruity Flavors Won Us Over

The fruity, flavored vinegars were easier to drink than those which really screamed "I'm vinegar!" Among them, those which were subtly sweet and well-balanced ranked high.


Our top choice, Yakult's vinegar, was fresh and sour, a little sweet, and highly enjoyable. At the bottom of the pack, some of the vinegars were bitter, astringent, and definitely acquired tastes. Aged black vinegars were hard to stomach unless they were blended with fruits.

How to Choose a Black Vinegar - Buying Guide

We have two points for you to think about when choosing the right black vinegar.

Choose between Diluted or Straight

Some vinegars are concentrated, so you can add water or another liquid yourself, and others are diluted so you can drink them right from the bottle. Here's how they're different.

Straight Black Vinegar is Versatile and Cheap

Straight Black Vinegar is Versatile and Cheap

These are the most versatile and the lowest cost in the long run. You can mix them with sparkling water or alcohol or use them in cooking. They tend to cost about half as much per drink as the pre-diluted types.


Not all of them are suited for cooking, however. If they contain honey or fruit those may interfere with the flavor of your dish, so check our rankings for recommend cooking vinegars.

Diluted Black Vinegar is Nutritious and Easy to Drink

Diluted Black Vinegar is Nutritious and Easy to Drink

These are easy to prepare and easy to drink. Many are blended with brown sugar or honey, and some come in individual drink boxes with straws.


Some also contain ingredients and supplements for health, such as polyphenols, oligosaccharides, or calcium. They can help to provide beneficial bacteria for gut health, too.

Brown Rice Black Vinegar is Best for Weight Loss

Brown Rice Black Vinegar is Best for Weight Loss

Most of these are made with semi-polished white rice, but the brown rice ones are better for dieters. Although all black vinegar contains amino acids for fat-burning, brown rice vinegars contain more. If you're drinking it for weight control or loss, choose brown rice.

How to Drink Black Vinegar Safely

How to Drink Black Vinegar Safely

Just because something is good for you doesn't mean that it's okay to overindulge. Most manufacturers recommend a daily dose of one half to one ounce (15-30ml) so use that as a rough guide.


Drinking too much black vinegar can lead to nasty side effects like abdominal pain and diarrhea. It may also cause discomfort if you drink it on an empty stomach, so if you're worried about that, have it after a meal.

Looking for More Healthy Drinks? Have You Tried These Other Great Beverages?

Hot or cold, these drinks are sure to satisfy while keeping you healthy in body and mind!

Summary

Black vinegar is a delicious, easy way to support your health. Remember to decide which type you need- diluted or straight, brown rice or white, for drinking or for cooking- and start this healthy regimen today!


Author: Ryuichi Ohira/Translation: Susan Lucier-Ogawa/Photos: Kazuya Ota, Yasuhiro Shimoya


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