Yesterday, the Internet was treated to the knowledge that Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO, possible printer-outer of Tweets, and fasting enthusiast, starts off each morning with a glass of what he calls Salt Juice. Salt Juice is a beverage made up of water that’s been mixed with Himalayan salt and lemon juice, which sounds like precisely what it would taste like if oysters could cry.
While I could certainly evaluate the drink from a culinary perspective, I wanted to get the point of view of someone who sits at the precise nexus of the tech community and bad taste in food. Enter VICE’s Jason Koebler, editor-in-chief of Motherboard and regular deliverer of terrible food takes, who frequently evangelizes his invention of “Water Smoothies” (water and ice, blended on smoothie mode) as a hangover cure. He took time from his busy schedule of breaking scoops and making the rest of us look bad to sit down with me over a nice, fresh glass of Salt Juice. —Rupa Bhattacharya, Editor-in-Chief, MUNCHIES
Rupa: Hi, Jason. I was interested in interviewing you about Salt Juice because of your general tendency to drink things that are bad. How do you feel about Salt Juice?
Jason: So the name sounds really gross, I would say, but once I learned that it’s pink Himalayan salt and lime—
It’s not lime? Okay. Hmm. I thought it was lime. But it doesn’t sound gross at all to me. It sounds like it would be good. It sounds like would be especially good for if you’re sick. You have a cold, you gargle with salt water.
Sure. So I got this particular Salt Juice recipe from Medium, based off some shots that were served at a Twitter function at some point.
Shots as in alcoholic shots?
No, Salt Juice shots. Come on, Jason.
So the recipe on Medium appears to be an approximation; it suggested ½ teaspoon of Himalayan salt, the juice of half a lemon, and 12 ounces of water, which is what this is. You're supposed to drink it first thing in the morning. I'm assuming you're not fasted, given that it’s noon.
I haven't fasted. I had a bagel and cream cheese and I had cake yesterday.
I think yesterday’s cake should be irrelevant. Even Jack Dorsey must eat cake sometimes. Do you think Jack Dorsey eats cake?
No? Can you get a leak? Can you get someone at Twitter to SecureDrop you intel about whether he eats cake?
I will ask. I really have no idea what he eats, although I think he says he has a big dinner, but I imagine that’s probably vegan. Or he eats only meat. He’s been on a Jordan Peterson type kick. So should I try this?
I mean, yes. I initially thought it would make sense to make a salt slurry with warm water and then cool it, so the salt actually dissolves, but I imagine that kills the Himalayan salt effect, which I am also fairly certain does not exist.
Have you tried it?
I have not tried it.
I’m going to try it. [drinks]
It’s really salty. [ponders]
Actually, I really like it.
How do you feel? Do you feel, like, empowered to enable a bunch of Nazis?
Um, I don't think my brain works in the same way Jack Dorsey’s does, but I do feel like it's a powerful drink. Like I feel pretty powerful drinking it.
I was expecting it to be thicker. I don’t know why, it’s just water and salt, but it’s called 'juice.' I expected it to be, like, a blended juice.
Like, did you want kale in there?
Or like, pulp or something. I mean, I guess there’s the lemon juice in there. No, it's good. It's just, it's not what I was expecting. It's, it's more flavorful than I would have guessed.
Is that flavor salt?
So let me tell you a thing I know about food: I don’t know a lot about food. But I do know that salt brings out the flavors in acids. Of which lemon is one. So I’m thinking it both neutralizes and enhances the lemon.
So does it taste especially lemony to you?
You know what it tastes like? Lemonade, but not sweet at all. It’s an adult drink. If I had a nonalcoholic bar, I would sell it there.
For how much?
[Without hesitation] $5.
Wow, that’s it? The nonalcoholic bars are like, super expensive.
But it’s a very simple drink. I like it! I’m going to make this at the office. Can you do it with seltzer? Is that cheating?
I mean I don’t have a problem with that, but I suspect Jack Dorsey might.
Wait, you were saying that in India there’s a drink similar to this?
Yeah, it’s lime juice, salt, sugar, and water. It’s essentially proto-Gatorade.
Should I drink the whole thing?
No, please don’t, you’ll probably barf.
Hey, I love it. You have it.
You like it, right?
It tastes like if you were pushed under the ocean while drinking lemonade. It’s unpleasant in a way that I could see as bracing if you were starved of other life challenges.
I can see waking up and drinking this and being ready to face the day. It attacks your tastebuds in a way that water doesn’t.
Here’s what I’ll say. I don’t agree with basically anything Jack Dorsey says or does. This is the most normal thing about him. This is a good drink.