Switchel: properties and recipe

Switchel is a drink made with apple cider vinegar, ginger, lemon, and honey. Besides being refreshing and delicious, it has some properties.

Last update: September 10, 2021

Have you heard about the switchel? This drink, which it is made with apple cider vinegar, ginger, lemon and honey, it became popular in the 17th century. Today it is re-emerging. It is believed to have originated in the Caribbean, but later became popular in the American colonies. In addition, New England appears to have some credit as to its origin as well.

In theory, it was created so that farmers had a good level of hydration during the summer months, since water was scarce and used to be polluted. It is also known by other names such as Switzel, Swizzle», Switchy or "Ginger-water". Unlike other fermented beverages, its fermentation process is not long. Keep reading to know more.

Common ingredients for making Switchel

Of course, the recipes to prepare Switchel they can have different variants. Nevertheless, the traditional form of this drink includes the following ingredients:

  • Grated ginger root.
  • Apple vinager.
  • Honey bee.
  • Lemon juice.
  • Water with or without gas.

How do you prepare?

The amounts used of each ingredient to make this homemade drink are the following:

  • A 2 to 3-inch piece of fresh ginger.
  • 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar.
  • Juice of 1 lemon.
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons of honey.
  • 2 and 1/4 cups of water with or without gas.
Due to its combination of ingredients, this drink is used to rehydrate the body.

Step by Step

  • To make this recipe, the first thing you need to do is prepare the ginger, that is, scrape the peel with a knife and then cut it into slices.
  • After this, place it in a saucepan with the water and let it boil for 5 minutes. After this time, remove from the heat and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  • Next, do the combination of the ingredients. In a glass container with a lid, mix the honey together with the vinegar. Now, add the water with the ginger and lemon juice.
  • Cover the container and shake for a few minutes to allow the ingredients to finish mixing.
  • Finally, when the drink is at room temperature, put the jar in the fridge and let it cool. At this point, it is ready to drink.
  • Consider that the longer the switchel, the stronger the ginger flavor; Therefore, if you like to feel this drink more spicy, you simply have to let it sit for several days. Otherwise, remove the slices whenever you want.
  • You can keep the switchel up to 7 days in the fridge, and drink it whenever you want.

What are the possible benefits of the Switchel?

The switchel It is a drink that is marketed as an energy option, that is, as an alternative to coffee or sports drinks. Now, it is offered as a source of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and digestive enzymes for the components it has.

Beyond this, it is said that its consumption can have a number of possible health benefits. Among them, the following can be mentioned.

Pain and swelling

Ginger contains compounds with anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, it is believed that this drink contributes to the control of inflammation and its complications. Likewise, studies suggest that this spice is a stimulant in gastrointestinal disorders, rheumatism and osteoarthritis.

Immune system

On the other hand, lemon juice, which contains vitamin C, helps to strengthen the immune system. Thus, it helps prevent common problems such as colds. It seems to be that it increases the defenses and the energy level.

Glucose levels

In relation to this issue, in the scientific article "Diabetes: Nutritional treatment" it is stated that the intake of 30 milliliters of vinegar allows a decrease in postprandial glucose. In other words, this study explains that vinegar lowers blood sugar after meals and, in turn, causes a feeling of satiety.

Anyway, it should be clear that vinegar alone cannot achieve a glucose lowering, nor does it have magical properties.

Drinking this drink is believed to help regulate blood glucose levels. However, more research is required.

Helps replenish electrolytes

Lemon juice and ginger, in addition to giving a refreshing taste to the drink, have sodium and potassium. These minerals serve to replenish electrolytes that are lost on a hot day or after a training session.



Possible variations of the recipe

Fortunately, this recipe can be adapted to other ingredients. For example, replacing honey with another sweetener such as brown sugar, maple syrup, molasses, among others. You can also add other refreshing vegetables, such as cucumber or orange juice.

Another alternative is to use the same ingredients and add items such as a sprig of mint or fresh berries. Too Powdered spices such as black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, or turmeric can be added.

Go ahead and prepare this refreshing drink at home. In addition to having few ingredients, it is easy to make and inexpensive. In the same way, it is a good option to avoid juices and industrial soft drinks.