Switchel is my latest 'thing'. This is the perfect refreshing summer drink, especially when strawberries are in season. Good for you and soooooo easy !
I had never heard of switchel until I was telling a friend about my Kombucha 'science experiment'. She said 'It sounds a lot like switchel.' Switchel?
So... Switchel is a centuries old drink that apparently was the original 'Gatorade'. It was served to the farmers working in the fields in the summer heat to rehydrate them. It was often called 'Haymaker's Punch'.
The beauty of Switchel is it only takes about 10 minutes to make, it sits out at room temperature for for 24 hours and a night in the fridge. Way easier than Kombucha. ( I will let you know how my Kombucha 'science experiment' goes).
Actually - you could blend it and serve it right away but letting it sit out increases the probiotics.
The fundament of switchel is that you use unfiltered apple cider with 'the mother' so this is a fermented drink, full of oh-so-good-for-you probiotics. The vinegar helps support digestion so it is great to have before or with meals.
The berries add their own minerals and sweetness. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties.
Besides that - it is lively, refreshing, not overly sweet. In fact it is sort of tart and that makes it refreshing.
Strawberries apparently tend to make for a higher level of fizziness than many other fruits or flavourings. So beware. I filtered my batch and funneled it into swing top lid bottles. The last bottle stayed in my fridge for about two weeks. When I opened it I had quite a sustained 'PSSSSTTT'. It didn't explode or fizz over though. Batches may vary though so I would recommend opening over the sink just to be safe.
This is so simple to make and delicious to drink I am starting to question the extra time and effort it takes for Kombucha. I will hold off on final judgement just in case my next batch of Kombucha blows my socks off... but it will have to be pretty darn good to beat this.......
- 6 cups filtered water divided 4 + 2
- 2 cups fresh strawberries (can substitute frozen)
- 1 cup basil loosely packed
- ¼ cup maple syrup (or raw honey)
- 2 Tbsps fresh ginger minced
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar must say with the mother
- Clean and hull the strawberries. Add 4 cups water, strawberries, ginger and maple syrup to the blender. Blend about 25 seconds, going from low to high speed.
- Pour into a ½ gallon container. Add the remaining water, vinegar and basil. Stir.
- Cover with a lid and a tea towel. Leave it at room temperature for 24 hours, then refrigerate overnight. The mix will get stronger in the fridge.
- Strain and pour into glass bottles. Keep refrigerated up to two weeks.
- Serve over ice.