So you can’t find the time to keep a kombucha grooving along but you are still really keen to improve your gut health?

Well my friends a simple honey ginger Switchel could be the answer for you!

What is a Switchel?

It is a simple fermented beverage that everyone can make at home.  It relies on pre-fermented apple cider vinegar, preferably organic, and does not have a long fermentation process.  This makes it a great first drink if you are new to fermenting. It is also very different to kombucha for kombucha has a scoby and is an ongoing process to look after and turn over every 10 or so days. I suspect and hope that very soon it will be a very popular drink.

Now Switchels have been around for a long time and has a few cute nicknames like Haymaker’s Punch, Ginger-Water, and Swizzy. I especially like Swizzy. According to my research, a switchel is a fermented drink originating in the Caribbean. Normally it contains apple cider vinegar, water, a natural sweetener, and a flavoring, like ginger root.

Benefits of Switchel?

Here are just some of the benefits of a Switchel – a fresh fermented drink. There are many ways to make this delicious drink and all of the ingredients offer their own benefits. This is my favorite recipe and here are the ingredients.

  • Apple cider vinegar: A great natural source of minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium. A fabulous additional to your diet as filled with beneficial bacteria and acids.  Apple cider vinegar and indeed honey are often recommended for improving your digestive health. Many people don’t love the strong flavour of vinegar when it is just by itself, however, when you balance it with ginger, honey and lemon it is truly delightful and delicious.
  • Honey: How can you go wrong with honey? Honey is a versatile healthy natural product that has so many uses. Raw honey is a filled with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and enzymes. Further, honey is nutrient powerhouse of antiviral and antibacterial properties. 
  • Ginger: Wonderful ginger is a powerful natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant because it contains an oil called gingerol. Ginger has a long history as being used as a remedy for digestive problems, nausea, and illness. In this recipe, ginger adds flavor, a spicy kick and balances the sweetness of the honey. Plus ginger root is found at the supermarket or organic ginger if possible can be found at your wholefood store. A little tip, from my brother, the skin can be peeled off easily with the back or with the of a spoon.
  • Lemon: I like to add some fresh lemon juice because I like the flavour and also because it creates a nice balance with its slight sour sharpness. And of course, lemon is also a good source of vitamin C.

Variations to Try

  • Black strap molasses: Blackstrap molasses  is a great natural source of iron, B6, potassium, selenium, and copper. This can make it helpful for people who suffer from anemia and would like more iron in their system.  Iron is great for your skin and hair. Maple syrup is a substitute for honey
  • Maple syrup: Natural sweetener from a tree, I know right! Crazy! Maple syrup is a good source of antioxidants, manganese, and zinc. Maple syrup is a substitute for honey
  • Lime or herbs: For flavor, you can use lime or orange or grapefruit. I also love to add herbs I have so far tried basil, lemon thyme, lemongrass and rosemary.  
  • Water: I like to use rain water or if that is not possible for you then filter or spring water. Because the switchel is ‘aged’ in the refrigerator for 4 days I use rain water but only use half as much, and then add soda or sparkling mineral water when I drink it.
  • Cinnamon: If you prefer more of an apple-cider flavor, I like to add a few cinnamon sticks to my 4 day soak instead of the ginger.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of honey
  • 10cm piece of fresh ginger root peeled and grated
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 of a fresh lemon juiced and zested

Method

  • Mix all ingredients in a large jar, cover, and shake well.
  • Let it sit in the refrigerator for 4 days.
  • Strain and transfer to another clean bottle
  • Feel free to dilute or drink it on it’s own.
  • Enjoy!