Wednesday, June 16, 2010


huh???  Exactly what I thought when I first saw it at the Hillbilly Housewife site. I printed out the recipe and vowed I was going to try it. That was a couple of years ago, or longer. I did try it.... and like it!  I was sooooo surprised. Very pleasantly surprised. I will post the recipe as it appears on the Hillbilly Housewife site.

  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (yes vinegar)
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup sugar or honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal (optional)
  • tap water to make 2 quarts
This is a very old recipe, imported from our Yankee neighbors to the north, and before that, from Nova Scotia. Did you ever wonder what folks used to drink in the days before soda pop, and when lemons were out of season? Why Switchel of course. Instead of lemon juice, it uses a tangy combination of flavorful apple cider vinegar, molasses and ginger to make a summertime treat which will whet your whistle better than any modern thirst quencher I’ve ever run across.
First get out a two quart pitcher. Measure the vinegar, molasses, sugar or honey and ginger into it. Add cold tap water to fill. Stir to dissolve everything and serve in tall ice filled cups. Traditionally, oatmeal was also added to the mixture, to give it a little body, and improve the flavor. I am ashamed to say I have never prepared it with the added oatmeal, so if anyone does, please let me know what you think. This beverage takes a little getting used to. It is strongly flavored, nothing bland about it. It tastes best when it has mellowed overnight, blending the ginger with the molasses. It does quench your thirst better than anything else on a hot summer day though, and of course, costs next to nothing to prepare. I have also tried heating it in the winter time and drinking it as a hot toddy, it is actually quite delicious this way.
I didn't use the oatmeal; it just didn't sound like it would be good at all. Course, neither did the Switchel to begin with. LOL  I did read on the site where someone was going to try blending up the dry oatmeal and adding it to the switchel letting it set for 24 hours before drinking it, then it would turn out to be a creamy/milky drink. THAT doesn't sound so bad... but I think I still won't try it. LOL 
You'll find the link to the Hillybilly Housewife site in my Links area. 

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