Naturally Cheeky

Naturally Cheeky Apple Cider Vinegar shrub

Delicous, refreshing and healthy apple cider vinegar. Probably not the first sentance that comes to mind if you've ever tried ACV or looked into it.

My first encounter of ACV was via a colleague at work, who would stink out the office whenever he whipped out his bottle in the office kitchen. You could smell it a mile away and it wasn't pleasant. I had often wanted to try the stuff, given the much touted health benefits, but couldn't bring myself to ingest something that smelt like a bag of rotten fruit on a sunny day. The founders of Darwin based startup Naturally Cheeky probably thought the same thing when they created their product, hoping to package up a healthy drink in a more palateable format.

So it was with a little bit of trepidation that I tried the shrubs from Naturally Cheeky. Shrub in this case being a traditional (we're talking hundreds of years ago) blend of fruit juice, herbs, spices and apple cider vinegar. The gals at Naturally Cheeky have taken it a step further and cold press their juices and use natural unprocessed ingredients where possible, with unpasterised honey being the sweetener of choice.

It is recommended to mix 1 part of a Naturally Cheeky shrub to 3 parts soda water. Because of previous conceptions of how awful ACV tastes I started at more of a 1:8 ratio just to be on the safe side. 


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So how does it taste then? I have to honestly say, I am rarely pleasantly surprised these days, but these things did just that. First and foremost - they taste like a nice fresh juice. There's a little whiff of vinegar in there, but it's it's not that noticeable as it's well masked by the juice flavours. Think salt and vinegar chips - sounds like a terrible idea, but once you stick it in you mouth it starts to make sense. Coupled with soda water and ice and you have yourself a reaaaally nice drink on a hot Darwin day - which honestly is every bloody day.

Apple cider vinegar

I've tried four out of the five flavours over the past 3 weeks and I scientifically present my findings as follows.

Cheeky Pair - organic apple and pear juice, 100% natural Australian honey, organic ACV and organic ginger juice.
Cleverly named, great combo of soft flavours. My second favourite.

Ginger Red - Organic red grapefruit juice, 100% natural Australian honey, organic ACV and organic ginger and mint juice
Bold sharp taste, not surprising given that it's made from grapefruit. Probably needs something to take out the acidic punch in the taste buds that grapefruit gives you. 4th out of 4 for me, but the wife liked it more than I did.

Minty Blonde - Pineapple juice, 100% natural Australian honey, organic ACV and organic mint juice
I am not much of a fan of pineapple juice or mint. But via some dark sorcery that I cannot fathom, this one ended up being my favourite. It might be because the others have ginger in them and this one doesn't (not a fan of ginger). It has a really fresh soft flavour that I could down all day long. Wish I had some fresh mint lying around to stick on top to provide that extra 10% of hipster, I did have basil though, so that worked just as well.

Spicy Blonde - Organic orange juice, 100% natural Australian honey, organic ACV, organic ginger juice and Naturally Cheeky signature blend of spices.
Similar to the Ginger Red, but with orange juice instead. A little acidic and spicy, perhaps the chai tea equivalent in ACV shrub land. I think this one could grow on me quite a bit over time, 3rd out of 4 for now.

Troppo Blonde - flavourful fusion of tropical pineapple blended with certified organic Ceylon cinnamon and other spices.
I didn't try this, but I'll hunt it down the next time I'm out shopping.

What of the health benefits then? Amongst many other claims, apple cider vinegar is mean to:

  • Reduce appetite
  • Encourage weight loss by way of black magic
  • Help your digestion
  • Help you poop better

The last of those items being something I was keen to test out. After three weeks and 4 bottles of delicously fruity aple cider vinegar shrubs did I shit any better? During the highly non scientific testing period, I think I did shit better, but perhaps it was just all in my head. But then I ran out five days ago and I can semi confidently and unashamedly say that I've my sewage pipes just haven't been working as well. So maybe there is some truth to it after all!

I think these girls are onto something great here. The stuff actually tastes great, is probably healthy good for you and I'm all for supporting local business. Go get some - the list of suppliers is on their website. Speaking of which, I need to top up my supply - bye!