What is it, you ask? This can give you some more info. It’s an old drink, great for quenching thirst. I learned of it at the Urban Homestead’s blog a few weeks ago and noted it. This Sunday afternoon, I finally took the time to try it. I’d been a bit hesitant, since there were no clear and full ratios to use. I took what the Urban Homestead mentioned, being equal parts molasses (black strap this time), honey, and cider vinegar. I used 1/2 cup each, adding it to a pitcher that held approximately two quarts and adding 2 teaspoons of powdered ginger. Mixed the concoction thoroughly and let it set. The initial tastes were a bit overly molasses based, but as of Monday night, they had mitigated a bit. There was an interesting wash of flavor over the tongue, starting with the sharpness of the vinegar, the sweetness of the honey, followed by the molasses and a final bite of ginger. The kids weren’t too pleased; #3 liked it until the ginger bite came in.

I’m thinking about either switching out the black strap molasses for another type, or else dropping the molasses content. That might make it a bit more palatable. But, all in all, it’s not bad for a first try.

Solo Deo Gloria,


About javajeb

Full time dad and IT guy. Part-time preacher/teacher. Full-time follower of Christ.
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3 Responses to Switchel

  1. Gerald says:

    This sounds like an interesting drink! I found quite a few different recipes for it on the internet. Some specified “light” molasses which would help with the taste quite a bit. I think the recipes I found also said to use less molasses than the vinegar and the water (by the way, your recipe didn’t include water?)

    Some of the things I read said that farmers would drink it during haymaking because cold water would hurt the stomach. 🙂 Or that nothing quenched one’s thirst like Switchel.

    I think it was more likely used as a pick-me-up than a thirst-quencher. All that sugar would give someone an instant burst of energy!

  2. javajeb says:

    Water was approximately 2 quarts. And there would be a surge of energy, but wouldn’t likely be followed by the crash associated with white sugar. I tried mine last night after coming in quite hot, but the taste wasn’t terribly palatable. Too much vinegar. I diluted it further this morning to see what difference that makes. If none, it’ll be back to the drawing board, most likely changing the molasses for lighter and dropping the vinegar concentration.

  3. Gerald says:

    There are other recipes you could try, too. But the blackstrap molasses would be the first thing for me to change. I bought some of that several years back because I had read it was so much better for you than other types. Taste was difficult to adjust to, though. MUCH stronger tasting than unsulfured molasses.

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