A switchel is an old drink that is made up of ginger, apple cider vinegar and a sweetener, traditionally molasses. Sometimes you may hear this drink called the haymaker drink because it is what people working out in the fields would drink to quench their thirst. This easy to make old Southern drink is the perfect drink to quench your thirst in those hot summer months.
What is a switchel
A switchel is a classic Southern drink that the folks who worked in the fields all day would make for themselves to stay hydrated. It was referred to as the haymakers drink because the people working out in the hay fields would drink this on hot days.
It in a sense was one of the original hydration drinks.
Switchels are loaded with lots of great nutrients because off the apple cider vinegar, ginger and molasses that are added. It is a great healthy alternative to store bought hydration drinks and so easy to make.
What type of sweetener is in a switchel
Switchel drink recipes use molasses as the sweetener. The molasses used in this drink is very high in minerals and nutrients as well as the vinegar making it an almost pre-cursor to gatorade!
If you do not have molasses, you can use honey or another sweetener. The molasses almost gives it the look of iced tea and I like it it for it's added nutrients. I also like using molasses for the health benefits.
To make this switchel (haymaker drink) you will need:
- Apple cider vinegar good quality like Braggs
- Molasses. Unsulphured if possible
- Fresh ginger
Not many ingredients at all. So much better than store bought hydration drinks!
How to make a switchel
Here is what the steps look like:
- Add all of your ingredients into a large pitcher
- Let mixture steep for at least 24 hours
- When ready, pour into an 8 oz glass with ice.
- Add any extras like lemon, herbs, or soda water and enjoy!
When making this switchel drink recipe, you will need to plan ahead a bit since it needs time to steep. A couple of days in the refrigerator is best before drinking it to allow the flavors to come together.
How to serve
When serving this switchel drink, I love pouring it over crushed ice and adding a little fresh squeezed lemon and a little soda water for fizz. It just really lightens it up for me.
You can drink it as is of course or jazz it up a little to suit your taste.
Kombucha is a fermented drink where a switchel is a drink with ingredients that are mixed together to provide hydration and is not ferrmented.
A switchel will provide your body with a boost of energy because of the molasses, ginger and apple cider vinegar. It is best consumed when your body has lost water through sweating or from being in the sun. It acts similar to hydration drinks.
For more drink recipe inspiration
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- 6 cups water
- 6 tablespoon apple cider vinegar good quality like Braggs
- 3.5 tablespoon molasses unsulphured if possible
- 2 teaspoon fresh ginger finely grated
- Add all of your ingredients into a large pitcher or mason jar and mix well6 cups water, 6 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 3.5 tablespoon molasses, 2 teaspoon fresh ginger
- Let the switchel mixture steep for at least 24 hours
- When ready, pour into an 8 oz glass with ice. Add any extras like lemon, herbs, or soda water and enjoy!
Nutrition Values are estimates only.See full nutrition disclaimer here