An old-school drink made with vinegar and once favored by farmers on hot days is making a comeback at bars in the U.S.
Switchel, as the drink is called, is being used in cocktails by growing numbers of barkeepers in New York. However, switchel, which is quickly developing a reputation as the trend drink of the year, at least in the U.S., doesn’t need to be mixed with alcohol to be enjoyed.
According to Donna, a German magazine, switchel is a mix of cold water, apple vinegar, ginger and lemon that can be flavored with honey or maple syrup. However, people often put their own spin on it, according to The Washington Post, including preserved blueberries or guajillo peppers. One bartender described switchel’s taste as jarring at first, but something that people could easily get used to.
Despite being only recently discovered by hipsters, switchel has been around for a long time. Back in the 17th century, farmers drank it on hot days to restore their electrolytes. The refreshing drink is also known as haymaker’s punch, Switchy or Swizzle in the U.S.
Here’s a video of authentic 18th-century switchel being made: