Switchel is a refreshing combination of water, apple cider vinegar, ginger and sweetener. There are a few brands on the market today; one of the largest is Up Mountain Switchel — a Brooklyn-based company founded in 2012.
Despite Switchel's recent resurgence, the brew is actually a few centuries old, with humble beginnings as a popular summer drink among colonial farmers. These days, it's marketed as a functional beverage with plenty of antioxidants to balance pH, aid in digestion and boost immune system health.
We sampled two Mason jars of the stuff (that's right, it's often packaged in Mason jars) during a recent editorial meeting to see what the fuss was about. As soon as the first lid was unscrewed, a heavy ginger scent filled the room.
"It's got a lot of ginger, but there's no such thing as too ginger-y in my book," declared one editor. A few of us were put off by its aggressive ginger root flavor and thick, syrupy quality.
The Bottom Line
The drink is pretty good and it gets better as you go. With some carbonation, it had the makings of the next great warm-weather cocktail mixer.
Is it the next kombucha? Probably not. Is it a refreshing summer drink that packs a punch? Sure thing.
Photo courtesy MBG creative