Monday, July 8, 2013

Olde Tyme Switchel

Dave ran across an old recipe the other day for something called Switchel, or Haymakers Punch.  Apparently it was the Gatorade of its day, back in the late 1800's and early 20th century.  I asked my mom, who grew up on a working midwestern farm in the 30's-40's and while she thought she had heard of it, she had never given it out to the workers in their fields.  Her job as a kid during harvest, was to ride her horse out to the fields with ice water for the men.  They kept a lemon in a pocket if they liked lemon-water, and bit it before each drink.

I decided to make some Switchel today.  Here it the recipe I used, garnered from the net.  It sounds awful, but it actually tastes pretty good!  I expect after it ages in the fridge a bit, it will be better.

6 C water
3/4 C cider apple vinegar
1 1/2 t powdered ginger (Penzeys)
1/3-1/2 C honey
1/8 C Brer Rabbit Molasses

Mix it all up in a large pitcher until all the honey is dissolved. Store in the fridge for at least 2 hrs before drinking.  Add more sweetener if needed.  Serve over ice.


  1. From the list of ingredients, it does sound awful! But, then again, I'm a water drinker...:)JP

  2. Oh I remember when we first moved to this farm I got to know the local mature farmers and they would talk about how good this was for you. It worked well on those long long hot days of haying or putting up grain, and since all those mature farmers that told me that are now well into there nineties I do believe they were right. I have never tried it. B

  3. I take a teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar in hot water with honey every morning and evening. My Dad does so and was cycling and doing nautelis until he was 88 and had to slow down to walking 9 holes of golf and swimming. I'm not sure if it helps but on the "bacon diet" my total cholesterol is less than 150, the bad cholesteral around 30 and my bp 105 over 58.

    I will try that, all of the ingredients are ones I use regularly in cooking and marinades.


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