The OG Gatorade

Switchel, switzel, swizzle, ginger-water, haymaker's punch, switchy. This drink is known by a number of names, but what's really important is this drink's reputation: it was Gatorade before Gatorade existed. Switchel was first drunk in America by colonists in New England. In the early 17th century, these early Americans sipped on this treat during the hot summer months. Eventually, though, it grew to its peak popularity in the 19th century as a drink to help farmers refuel after a long day in the field. There are a number of variations, but I based my recipe off of the ingredients for "Harvest Drink" from Practical American Cookery and Domestic Economy by Elizabeth Hall (Miller, Orton & Co: New York, 1853). Here is my version of the drink:

- 4 tbsp fresh ginger, ground in a food processor
- 4 c water
- 1/4 c raw organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 c maple syrup (you can also use honey or molasses)


Steep the ground ginger in 4 c of boiling water (I put the ginger in something like this to steep) for 15 minutes. Remove the ginger and add the ACV and maple syrup. Stir to combine. Allow to cool completely. Store in the refrigerator.