Finally, summer’s here! Have some Switchel.

You may be wanting to know exactly what switchel is.   Basically, it’s a mix of water, ginger, vinegar, and sugar.  Sometimes fruit juice is added.

When I first encountered this beverage, I thought it tasted strange. However, the more I drank it, the better I liked it. I learned that it was a common hot weather beverage in Early America, and that intrigued me. I’ll write more about its history later but first, here’s how to make it.

Switchel is simple to make. You start with cold water and add apple cider vinegar, sweetener of some kind, and fresh ginger. It’s refreshing, replenishes your potassium, and helps your digestion. It’s a great recovery drink for after a work out. Though the spicy, sweet and sour flavor may be a bit odd at first, it’s certainly well worth getting used to!

Here’s a good recipe to start with.

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, two tablespoons brown sugar, 10 ounces cold water, and minced fresh ginger to taste.  

Variations:

Make ginger tea and add the vinegar and sugar.

Use honey.

Use maple syrup.

Add a splash of fruit juice, such as blueberry or cherry.

Sometimes I will make a strong ginger tea and chill that to make my base with. Other times I’ll simply add chopped ginger to my vinegar-sugar-water mix. Or, as mentioned in the recipe, I might add some fruit juice for variety. I’ve even drunk it warm! Your choice of sweeteners affects the taste. So far I like pure maple syrup or plain white sugar the best. You could also use honey, molasses, or stevia. You may want to limit your sweetener, though I wouldn’t recommend eliminating it at first. Personally, I plan to keep a big jug of it in the fridge this summer, especially during the hot, sticky monsoon months.

Personal experiences:

I have found it to have an energizing effect, somewhat like a mild energy drink. I usually digest things better after I’ve had some, too. I have some digestive issues and the ginger helps the muscles in my stomach and gut move a bit more slowly (link) so I digest things more thoroughly. Plain ginger tea does the same, particularly when I eat the chopped ginger as well as drinking the liquid. My body seems to crave the vitamins that are found in the apple cider vinegar. I tend to like {this brand}, though you can buy it at your local grocery store. If possible, buy it organic with the “mother” still included, though I’ve had great results even with the purified, pasteurized variety.

The history of Swtichel:

As mentioned before, this was a farmer’s drink in early America, but many people liked it. It was believed that the ginger had a warming effect that would lessen the shocking effect of cold water on the stomach, while the sugar and vinegar were there for flavor. It was basically an early sports drink.

Since it’s so easy to make, why not try some today?

If something more traditional is more to your liking, here is how to make a simple ginger beer.

First, start with ginger tea. That’s easy to make – steep chopped ginger in hot water for five minutes or so. Make it nice and strong.

Mix the tea with sugar to taste. Perhaps a cup of sugar for a gallon of ginger beer.

Once it’s cooled to body temperature, add a half teaspoon of yeast. Simple baking yeast is fine.

Evenly divide the mixture into two clean 2 liter soda bottles. Put a slice or two of ginger in each one to strengthen the flavor. Fill the rest of the way with plain water. Leave an inch or so of space at the top of the bottle for “head room.” Cap the bottles tightly.

Leave the ginger beer in the fridge overnight, or until the bottles feel hard. The yeast will carbonate the sweet ginger tea and make it into a simple ginger ale, without building up enough to form alcohol. This makes a great cold drink for a hot day!

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Final

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/final/