We’ve tasted so many American alimentary reinventions and rescue-cases over the last few years, it’s hard to believe there are any old-time drinks and foodstuffs to rediscover, but the US is a big place with a complex history, so perhaps we shouldn’t have been surprised when hipster hangouts started offering a new old drink called switchel. A bit like British barley water, it’s a refreshingly sharp mix of water, cider vinegar and ginger, sweetened with sugar syrup, honey or maple syrup. Like so many traditional recipes, its origins are as cloudy as the sediment at the bottom of the bottle, but switchel seems to have been popular with the pioneers who settled the forests and mountains of New England in the 17th and 18th centuries. Though hailed by some as a high-health alternative to kombucha, luckily it tastes delicious. We’re switching our allegiance as of now.
As originally featured in the March issue of Wallpaper* (W*216)