Vinegar is acetic acid that you can make from almost any fruit, vegetable, or substance containing sugar. Yet despite all the unusual vinegars possible, worldwide the most common types of vinegar today are wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar and white (grain) vinegar. In the United States, the most popular vinegars are white distilled and apple cider.

Despite the dominance of white and apple cider vinegars, it is helpful to know the other big players. This will let you choose which vinegars are best for your needs and which vinegars will give you the most in terms of cooking versatility, cleaning power, and natural health. Toward that end, in this section you’ll meet the key players in vinegar’s top ranks.