Switchel, a Vermonter’s homemade Gatorade!

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Growing up in Vermont, working on the farm, Summer’s meant one thing and one thing alone: haying season. For those of you who have never experienced haying season, you’re missing out…on some of the hardest, honest work you can do! 

Every Summer my dad, my mom and my brother and I would mow our fields, then rake the cut grass into windrows and then bale the dried grass into hay to feed the animals. Haying the old fashioned way is one of the most labor intensive activities you can imagine; catching bales as they get kicked off the baler and stacking them first onto a wagon and then into massive tetris towers in the barn for storage. A bale green hay could weigh as much as 70 pounds and a week of this work meant exhaustion and THIRST. That’s why Vermonter’s invented the best rehydration beverage: SWITCHEL!

This is a slightly updated version of the classic switchel and is a perfect recovery drink after a long, hard workout. Feel free to omit the magnesium and cut down on the sea salt if you like, but the vinegar and maple syrup are what make it what it is!

Makes 2 Quarts

  • ginger image1 cup ginger, blitzed in blender with a little water
  • ¾ cup untapped Maple syrup
  • ¾ cup Braggs Apple Cider vinegar
  • 1 TBSP Sea salt
  • 1 TBSP Magnesium powder (optional)
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 Quarts of water

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil with ginger, then remove from heat and dissolve sea salt and maple syrup into it. Set aside to steep for 15 to 20 minutes then combine with remaining ingredients and refrigerate until chilled. Stir or shake before serving.