What the Heck is a Switchel?
A switchel is a drink that uses vinegar to help quench your thirst. It’s also known as Haymaker’s punch because farmers drank it in the fields to give them an electrolyte boost.
It always has vinegar in it and originally had molasses and ginger too. I just learned about switchels from a new book I’ve been reading, Wild Drinks and Cocktails. It charts the history (and travels) of the drink from the Caribbean to New England.
I had to experiment with a version of my own. I had some juicy blackberries that I needed use and lots of fresh mint and lemon balm so I wanted to incorporate that too. The apple cider vinegar adds a sour taste, almost like a kombucha, but you can use more mint or sweetener until it’s just the way you like it.
What If I Don’t Want to Use Maple Syrup?
You can also switch out the maple syrup for a sweetener of your choice, but I think you’ll want to add something sweet for sure.
Have you ever had a switchel or heard of them before now? Let me know in the comments.