Adriana, Food, Home School

Switchel- An 18th Century Energy Drink!

Switchel, it’s easier to make than it is to pronounce! Although, my kids really get a kick out of saying it, especially Leo now that he’s missing his two front teeth! First time I ever had this old-fashioned energy concoction was years ago on my father-in-law’s farm. After a long day working in his garden, he had mixed up his own switchel and offered me a taste. It definitely packs a punch, but as I’ve learned through experimentation, there are so many ways to mix it up so that it’s pleasurable to most tastebuds.

Switchel is an 18th century energy drink that restores the bodies electrolytes while also boosting the immune system. It is easy to make and allows for some creativity. Your standard Switchel is a 1/2 gallon water, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup molasses (not black strap), maple syrup or honey and a tablespoon ground ginger or minced ginger (first steep minced ginger in water and then add just the liquid to the drink filtering out the ginger pieces). This really is a much healthier version of the energy drinks you buy today and cheaper to make! It is an excellent summertime drink that helps rehydrate your body and build your immunity for the fall cold season to come. In the cooler weather I like to add 1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar, 1 teaspoon honey and a pinch of ginger to a favorite hot herbal tea like green tea or echinacea.

Even Vivienne at 20 months enjoys a little Switchel!

We have played around with our Switchel concoction at our house and have come up with some great recipes!

Our Favorite Switchel Recipe:


  • 1/2 Gallon Seltzer Water or Sparkling Water (You could even use a favorite flavored sparkling water)
  • 1 Tablespoon local raw honey and 1 Tablespoon Molases – heated in a little water so they dissolve before adding to the drink
  • 1 Pinch Sea Salt or Hawaiian Pink Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup lemonade, orange juice or cranberry juice
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, minced and steamed in some water (only add the flavored water – filter out the ginger pieces)
  • 4 drops Elderberry Syrup
  • 1 Teaspoon Egyptian Black Seed Oil (This is excellent in building your immune system, calming inflammation and aiding in healthy gut flora and digestion – you may want to leave this out initially for the kids because it has a very strong taste).
This is the Elderberry Syrup and Egyptian Black Seed Oil that we use

Mix it all together and Enjoy!

Here’s a Great Educational video from the Townsends on making Switchel!

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