The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Olive Oil for Drinking

Welcome to the Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Olive Oil for Drinking. With all the different options available, it can be daunting to know which olive oil is best suited for your taste buds and health needs. But fear not, we're here to help you navigate the world of olive oil and make an informed decision.

Whether you are a connoisseur or just starting your olive oil journey, this guide will provide you with all the essential information you need. We will delve into the different types of olive oil, their health benefits, and tips on how to choose a high-quality product.

From extra virgin to cold-pressed, we will explore the various production methods and explain what sets them apart. You'll also learn how to identify the freshness and quality of olive oil, so you can ensure you're getting the best flavour and nutritional value.

So, if you're ready to elevate your drinking experience and explore the wonderful world of olive oil, let's dive in and discover the perfect choice for you.


Health benefits of drinking olive oil

Olive oil has been a staple in Mediterranean cuisine for centuries, and for good reason. It not only adds a rich and flavourful touch to dishes but also offers numerous health benefits. Drinking olive oil, in particular, can be a great way to incorporate this liquid gold into your daily routine.

One of the main health benefits of drinking olive oil is its high concentration of monounsaturated fats, specifically oleic acid. These healthy fats have been shown to reduce inflammation, improve heart health, and lower the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and certain types of cancer. Additionally, olive oil is rich in antioxidants, which can help protect your body from oxidative stress and promote overall well-being.

When consumed in moderation, drinking olive oil can also aid in digestion. It stimulates the production of bile, which helps break down fats and improves the absorption of nutrients. This can be especially beneficial for individuals with digestive issues or those looking to support their gut health.

To reap the most benefits, it's important to choose a high-quality olive oil that is rich in nutrients and free from additives. Let's explore the different types of olive oil to help you make an informed decision.


Different types of olive oil

Not all olive oils are created equal. There are several different types available, each with its own unique characteristics and production methods. Understanding these differences can help you choose the best olive oil for drinking.

  1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil is the highest quality and most flavourful olive oil available. It is made from the first pressing of the olives, without any heat or chemicals involved. This minimal processing helps retain the natural flavours, antioxidants, and nutrients present in the olives. Extra virgin olive oil has a low acidity level (less than 0.8%) and a distinct fruity taste. It is best enjoyed as a finishing oil or for drizzling over salads and vegetables. Premium olive oils are the highest quality extra virgin olive oils and would typically display significantly lower acidity levels and higher amount of polyphenols than common extra virgin olive oils.
  1. Virgin Olive Oil: Virgin olive oil is also derived from the first pressing of the olives, but it has a slightly higher acidity level (up to 2%). While it may not have the same intense flavour profile as extra virgin olive oil, it is still a good choice for drinking due to its high nutritional value.
  1. Pomace oil: is produced from the leftovers of the olive oil extraction and can be only be consumed after it is treated with heat and various refining methods. An oil to be avoided if you are looking for any health benefits. 

Now that you have a better understanding of the different types of olive oil, let's explore how to decipher olive oil labels and ensure you're choosing a high-quality product.

Understanding olive oil labels

When shopping for olive oil, you may come across various terms and labels that can be confusing. Understanding what these labels mean can help you make an informed decision and choose the best olive oil for drinking.

  1. Extra Virgin: As mentioned earlier, extra virgin olive oil is the highest quality and most flavourful olive oil. Look for this label to ensure you're getting a premium product.
  1. Cold-pressed vs cold extracted: Cold-pressed olive oil means that no heat was used during the extraction process, which helps retain the natural flavours and nutrients of the olives. The word pressing no longer applies in reality since very few mills use pressing. Cold extracted is a better qualification of the current production methods for higher quality extra virgin olive oils. 
  1. Organic: Organic olive oil is produced without the use of synthetic chemicals or pesticides. It is a good option for those who prioritise environmental sustainability and want to avoid exposure to potentially harmful substances.
  1. Single-origin or single-varietal: This label indicates that the olive oil comes from a specific region or type of olive. Single-origin olive oils can offer unique flavours and characteristics, similar to wines from different vineyards or grape varieties. Similarly to fine wines, olive oil can result from blending various olive varieties to create a particular profile, for instance to add spiciness to a mild fruity oil. 
  1. Harvest date: A harvest date on the bottle indicates the freshness of the olive oil. Fresher olive oil is generally more flavourful and higher in nutrients. Look for bottles with recent harvest dates to ensure optimal quality.

By paying attention to these labels, you can make a more informed decision when choosing an olive oil for drinking. But there are other factors to consider as well.


Recommended Brands and Varieties of Olive Oil for Drinking

Now that you understand the key factors to consider, let's explore some recommended brands and varieties of olive oil that are well-suited for drinking purposes. These brands have gained popularity for their exceptional quality and flavour profiles:

1. Nobleza del Sur organic early harvest olive oils

Based in Andalusia, Nobleza del Sur, is one the world's most awarded organic olive oil producers. We are huge fans of their limited edition oils: Day Picual and Night Coupage with a very low acidity and a high polyphenols level. 

2. Le Ferre from Apulia

Apulia is home to the Coratina olive which offers a particularly high polyphenols level. We stock a delicious Coratina from our partner Le Ferre

3. Moulins Mahjoub early harvest chetoui 

Last but not least, we would recommend the early harvest single variety Chetoui extra virgin olive oil produced by the Mahjoub family from a typical variety from the North of Tunisia, which is particularly rich on polyphenols.  


How to Store Olive Oil for Drinking

Proper storage is essential to maintain the freshness and quality of your olive oil. Here are some tips to ensure your oil stays in optimal condition:

1. Keep it Away from Light and Heat

Exposure to light and heat can accelerate the oxidation process, leading to a decrease in the quality of your olive oil. Store it in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight and heat sources like stovetops or ovens. Consider using dark glass bottles or opaque containers to further protect the oil from light.

2. Seal it Tightly

To prevent air from entering the bottle and causing oxidation, make sure to seal your olive oil tightly after each use. Oxygen can degrade the quality of the oil over time, so minimizing its exposure is crucial. Consider transferring smaller amounts of olive oil into a separate bottle for daily use, keeping the bulk of the oil stored in a tightly sealed container.

3. Use it Within the Best Before Date

Like any food product, olive oil has a shelf life. Check the best before date on the bottle and try to consume the oil within that timeframe to ensure optimal flavor and quality. While olive oil doesn't spoil in the same way as perishable foods, it can become rancid over time, leading to an unpleasant taste.

By following these storage tips, you can prolong the shelf life of your olive oil and ensure that it retains its freshness and flavours for an extended period.


In conclusion, choosing the best olive oil for drinking involves considering factors such as extra virgin vs. virgin, taste profile, source, production methods, certification, and price. By understanding these factors and exploring recommended brands and varieties, you can find an olive oil that suits your preferences and meets your quality standards. Remember to store your olive oil properly and experiment with different recipes to fully enjoy the flavours and health benefits it offers. So, embark on your olive oil journey and elevate your drinking experience with a bottle of high-quality olive oil. Cheers to good health and great taste!