This classic drink was popular in colonial times and was sometimes referred to “haymaker’s punch” as it was often given to thirsty farmers at haying time. Switchel is chock full of electrolytes and antioxidants, and it is also extremely refreshing. You may never buy sports drinks again.
The base can be made ahead of time. Keep chilled, and stir well before each serving. It’s natural for the ginger to settle to the bottom.
Adapted from Bon Apétit, May 2015
- 1 5″-piece fresh ginger (about 6 ounces)
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar (preferably one with a “mother”)
- 3 tablespoons Coombs Family Farms Grade A Dark Color, Robust Taste Maple Syrup
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime or lemon juice
- 4 cups water or club soda
- Mint sprigs (for garnish)
Finely grate or pass ginger through a juicer (you should have about ⅓ cup). Combine ginger juice, vinegar, maple syrup, and lime juice in a large pitcher and stir until maple syrup is dissolved. Chill until cold.
To serve, dilute with water and pour switchel into ice-filled glasses; garnish with mint.
I will give a traveler a cup of switchel, if he want it; but am I bound to supply him with a sweet taste?—Herman Melville, I And My Chimney