Switched on to Switchel!
What is Switchel you may ask? I have to admit that I only discovered this wonderful drink a couple of months ago but it has fast become a favourite. Switchel has quite a few nicknames including Haymaker’s Punch, Ginger-water and Swizzy. One might call it a fermented drink, but it is so simple to make and falls into the “fermented” category only because one of the main ingredients used to make it, is Apple Cider Vinegar (with the Mother), and you do leave it to “brew” for at least 12-24 hours in the fridge. The story goes that it may have originated in the Caribbean, or perhaps from an ancient Greek medicinal elixir, but wherever its origins, by the 18th century, “haymaker’s punch” was guzzled down by American farmers during long work days to keep cool and stay hydrated in the heat. Perhaps the first ever electrolyte sports drink LOL!
The beauty of switchel is that you can make it so many different ways, alter the amount of any of the ingredients to suit your taste, so there is sure to be a recipe that works for you and your family!
The basic ingredients include Apple Cider Vinegar, fresh grated or sliced ginger, a natural sweeter (I use raw honey and a little maple syrup), lime (optional), and filtered water. Apparently in the original recipes from the West Indies they used Molasses to sweeten their brew, so if you like molasses – then go for it! I happen not to like the flavour of molasses so you won’t find it in my elixir!
What a power packed list of ingredredients!
Apple Cider Vinegar (Braggs): A great natural source of minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium, as well as beneficial bacteria and acids. While many people don’t love the strong flavor of vinegar by itself, it is perfect in this recipe when balanced with ginger, honey and lime. ACV balances your body’s pH levels and, as a liver and lymphatic tonic, detoxes your body. Not bad eh? I have written a post just on the benefits of ACV (Braggs) so if you want more info click here. Continue reading