When the summer heat is on, I like to keep my refrigerator stocked with homemade switchel. This old-fashioned refreshing tonic is perfect for keeping you hydrated on hot sunny days.
Blackberry ginger switchel with rich blackberry flavor and smooth hints of spicy ginger that tickles your tongue is the perfect hydrating beverage. This cooling drink is full of potassium and naturally occurring electrolytes, making it the perfect natural Gatorade.
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Switchel is a Natural Electrolyte Drink
This naturally sweetened electrolyte drink is a very simple beverage. It's commonly made with water, apple cider vinegar, a natural sweetener like honey, maple syrup or molasses and ginger.
Switchel, also known as switzel, swizzle, ginger-water, haymaker's punch or switchy, originated in the Caribbean and later became popular in American Colonies in the late 17th century (source). By the 19th century, it was often served to thirsty farmers during the summertime when they were working in the hot fields during hay harvest time (source).
Why You Should Be Making Your Own Switchel
Switchel is not only thirst-quenching and deliciously refreshing, but it's also inexpensive and does not contain any refined sugars or artificial flavors and colors like most commercial electrolyte drinks.
It's incredibly easy to double batch or tripe batch, making it wonderful for storing in the fridge to sip throughout the day or to serve to guests.
How to Make Your Own Switchel
You might already have most of the ingredients in your pantry. Apple cider vinegar, raw honey or maple syrup and filtered water are three of the five ingredients. You'll just need to head to the farmers market or your local grocery store to get some blackberries and ginger. Maybe you're lucky enough to be able to forage for some blackberries or have blackberries growing on your property? It's important to use fresh blackberries and ginger, although you could substitute frozen blackberries if needed.
Switchel comes together so quickly, it's as simple as combining all ingredients in a jar, giving it a good shake and refrigerating for later.
Once you have the main technique down, you can switch up the flavors by alternating the unrefined sweetener, using different seasonal fruit, or adding citrus like lemon or lime juice.
Homemade Probiotic Switchel Supports Digestion
One of switchel's most important ingredients is apple cider vinegar. This popular vinegar is known for being one of those old fashioned home remedies, an elixir of sorts. Apple cider vinegar is rich in potassium which is vital to our body and is loaded with enzymes, minerals, and probiotics. It's known to help support digestion and the immune system (source).
Ginger is the other star ingredient of switchel. This delicious rhizome is known for being a wonderful, supportive digestive aid (source). It adds a lovely spicy, yet sweet, flavor to the switchel.
Blackberry Ginger Switchel Recipe
- Add all ingredients to a half-gallon (2 quart) mason jar or large pitcher. Cover with lid and shake to combine. Place in the refrigerator at least 12 hours. Strain and serve cold or over ice.