Switchels are a easy, non-alcoholic drink with an previous historical past. Yow will discover literary and historic references to this straightforward, zippy elixir — quenching the thirst of British sailors, Harvard college students, and farmers — as early because the 17th century.
As of late, switchel has seen a little bit of a revival!
WHAT IS A SWITCHEL?
Switchel is a Colonial-era drink comprised of ginger, vinegar, water, and molasses—elements from totally different Caribbean islands introduced collectively as American imports. Over time, dwelling cooks changed the molasses with different sweeteners resembling honey, maple syrup, or sorghum relying upon the place they lived.
Switchels are sometimes called Haymakers Punch as a result of it was made in massive batches and used to replenish parched farmers after working within the scorching solar all day. Consider it as the unique Gatorade, solely with a refreshing pucker from the vinegar, a spicy kick from the ginger, and a little bit of sweetness to steadiness all of it out.
SWITCHELS VS. SHRUBS
Shrubs, one other historic vinegar-based drink that seems all through the world, are much like a switchel, however not an identical. Shrubs are made with fruit; switchel is made with ginger.
That’s the one actual distinction, however as a result of the drinks are almost an identical, generally you will notice shrub and switchel used interchangeably.
HOW TO MAKE A GINGER SWITCHEL
My most popular recipe for ginger switchel has a robust ginger aspect, a bitter pucker from the apple cider vinegar, and a delicate sweetness from honey. Simply combine with scorching water, refrigerate, and it’s prepared!
Use recent ginger, peeled and sliced. I don’t advocate utilizing floor ginger—it received’t dissolve, and it’ll go away a gritty really feel in your mouth.
HOW TO SERVE SWITCHEL
I prefer to drink this switchel by itself, however generally soften it with carbonated or nonetheless water. You may as well use it so as to add curiosity to cocktails, lemonade, or iced tea.
Make a batch and consider it as a focus—use it as a mixer for limitless taste mixtures.
MAKE THIS RECIPE YOUR OWN
The most effective a part of switchel is that it’s straightforward to adapt to your preferences. If you need extra of a ginger kick, then boil the ginger in water or vinegar, as I do on this recipe. If you need extra of a delicate ginger taste, then don’t hassle boiling water and let it infuse gently on the counter. If you need extra of a bitter style, add extra vinegar. Up the sweetness? Enhance the honey.