What's Switchel?

What is switchel? Crafted in Vermont using authentic ingredients, this one-of-a-kind beverage combines the natural sweetness of maple syrup with the tanginess of organic apple cider vinegar–with added hints of lemon, ginger and molasses. Switchel was traditionally used by Vermont farmers to slake their thirst and provide natural energy while haying.  As a modern day alternative to conventional sports drinks, Switchel provides hydration therapy and restores depleted minerals in the body.  It has a crisp, clean flavor with a long, smooth finish. 

Like most dairy farmers at the time, our ancestors would mix up a jug of Switchel in the morning and put it in a nearby brook while they were haying. This beverage would keep them satiated until they made it back to the farmhouse in the evening.  

So Switchel is delicious, good for you, and an icon of our agrarian heritage.  Slake and Enjoy!

Discover a Classic American Beverage

What is Switchel? A Vermont Switchel FAQ

What is switchel?


Switchel is a traditional drink made from maple syrup, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, ginger root, blackstrap molasses, and water. Switchel dates back to 17th century, where it was popular thrist-quencher with colonial farmers who called it "haymaker's punch".




What does switchel taste like?


Switchel is sweet and tangy, with a crisp, clean flavor that goes down smooth--just what you'd expect from a simple recipe of maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, ginger, and bootstrap molasses!




What are the benefits of switchel?


Switchel's natural ingredients provide healthy vitamins and minerals without the unnatural flavors and additives found in sugary sports drinks and sodas. Switchel is made with apple cider vinegar and ginger, which are known for their healthful properties. Switchel is high in potassium and other electrolytes, which speed re-hydration. Learn more about switchel's nutrition.




Is switchel probiotic?


Switchel does not contain probiotic bacteria, but it is made with apple cider vinegar, which is considered good for digestion.




What's the difference between switchel and kombucha?


Switchel and kombucha are both natural drinks with many health benefits, but the process of making them and the resulting tastes are very different. Kombucha is made by fermenting yeast and bacteria (SCOBY) in tea with sugar, which results in a slightly alcoholic and caffeinated beverage. While switchel uses apple cider vinegar, which is a byproduct of fermentation, switchel is brewed by simmer over low heat and is not fermented. Switchel does not contain alcohol or caffeine. As for taste, switchel has a refreshing "zing" and crispness, whereas kombucha is usually tart and fizzy. Kombucha comes in a wide variety fruity and botanical flavors; switchel has a classic flavor that has been savored for generations. Since both drinks have a vinegary taste, fans of kombucha usually enjoy switchel, too.




Is switchel alcoholic?


No, switchel does not contain alcohol. Switchel can be used in mixed drinks and cocktails though! Here are some of our favorite recipes.




Is switchel fizzy?


No, switchel is not fizzy or carbonated.





©2020 by Vermont Switchel Company LLP