Huffpost Taste

Switchel: It's Strong Enough For A Farmer, But pH Balanced For A Hipster

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Hipsters, meet Switchel. It's an American heritage beverage made of apple cider vinegar, ginger and sweetener. It has long been drunk by farmers during haying season, but can now be bought at your local food shop. No longer do you need to be working on a farm to be rewarded with this strong, witchy brew. Now, you can head down to your local bodega (or Whole Foods) and get yourself a mason jar -- yes, mason jar -- full of the restorative stuff thanks to Up Mountain Switchel, a born in Vermont but based in New York company that brews and bottles their recipe in Brooklyn.

Up Mountain Switchel is one of the handful of companies that's selling this working-man's drink. And you know what? We're glad about it, because switchel is awesome. It's refreshingly bold and downright intense. Taking a sip is like jumping into water that's about 10 degrees colder than you expected -- it hurts, but in one of those hurt-so-good ways.

Switchel is a simple beverage, and while it can be sweetened with sugar, honey or molasses (which is the most traditional), the sample we tried, from Up Mountain Switchel, used maple syrup. (Because Vermont, duh.) You could probably make this beverage at home -- the Kitchn has a good recipe -- but not everyone is into that type of thing. In which case, these Vermonters have got you covered.

Homemade or store-bought, we're partial to elevating this beverage with a little gin. Or, using it as a hangover helper. (The intense vinegar would be enough to scare any headache away.) Up Mountain also suggests trying it in salad dressings, in stocks or marinades. And if you're feeling under the weather, you can also heat it up and drink it warm. Three simple ingredients, and yet so many possibilities.

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