Switchel, also known as Haymaker’s Punch is a thirst quenching, electrolyte filled energy drink (think natural gatorade) made of ginger, molasses, and vinegar. First brought to New England from the Caribbean in the late 17th century, it was adopted by early American farmers who relied on the healing tonic to sustain them throughout the long hot workday.
14 cups of water
3/4 cup Blackstrap Molasses
3/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
2 inch block of ginger – thinly sliced
In a gallon jug, combine ingredients, top off jug with water, cap and let sit in a cool place for 24 hours before serving.
Many modern recipes swap ingredients or proportions. Remember that the point of Switchel is to sustain one through a long day of work or fun, and the ingredients were selected to do just that.
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV): contains potassium, amino acids, and antioxidents. Taking ACV daily for digestion and general health is recommended.
Ginger: Reduces inflammation, helping muscles to recover after a long day of work.
Blackstrap Molasses: Packed with sugar which your body needs for quick energy, B6 which helps convert food to energy and produces Serotonin (a powerful mood enhancing hormone), molasses also contains high amounts of potassium (electrolytes), and magnesium which helps to repair connective tissues, bones, and aids in metabolizing fat and carbohydrates which in turn create more energy.
Blackstrap molasses contains higher concentrated amounts of iron, magnesium phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, cooper, manganese, selenium, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid and choline than regular molasses, and and so it is the best choice. As it is used for it’s nutritional content, honey and sugar are not an equal substitute.
Variation: to my own Switchel I add a few pieces of fresh Turmeric, sliced thin. Turmeric has (among other health benefits) powerful anti inflammatory properties, and the taste compliments the ginger nicely.
So, next time you have a long day ahead of you, skip the gatorade and try a homemade batch of Switchel for yourself.