Switchel: The original Colonial era sports drink
June 8, 2011 5:04 AM Subscribe
posted by usonian (62 comments total)
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It's going to be a hot one today in the northeast. Why not make some switchel
to stay cool?
Also known as haymakers punch, switchel was consumed by field workers during the hay harvest in the days before commercial sports drinks. Recipes
vary, but the basic ingredients are the same: Apple cider vinegar, molasses, sugar, ginger and water. With the exception of water, all of the ingredients are natural sources of potassium
, an electrolyte. Some recipes
also call for oatmeal, presumably for added body and flavor.
As mentioned in the Smithsonian Magazine blog post above, its possible that switchel evolved from an older honey and vinegar concoction called Oxymel
. If these folk recipes all sound rather vile, you might try a modern switchel-inspired cocktail instead: The Oxymelon
(Previously on Ask MeFi