Prep 15 mins
Cook 2 hrs 15 mins
Ginger switchel or Haymaker's Punch is a traditional nonalcoholic vinegar-based drink whose sourness was offset by a hefty dose of ginger and spices; it was named for the eighteenth-century farmers who drank it — literal haymakers. This ginger punch is flavored with lemon juice and sweetened with honey and molasses for a refreshing drink that quenches even the fiercest summer thirst. Includes chilling time. From Eating Well, July/August 2008.
- 9 cups water, divided
- 1⁄4 cup minced fresh ginger
- 1⁄4 cup honey or 1⁄4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1⁄4 cup molasses
- 3⁄4 cup lemon juice
- 1⁄4 cup apple cider vinegar
- fresh berries, mint sprigs (to garnish) or lemon slice (to garnish)
- Combine 3 cups water with ginger in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and let infuse for 15 minutes.
- Strain the ginger-infused water into a pitcher, pressing on the ginger solids to extract all the liquid. Add honey (or maple syrup) and molasses; stir until dissolved. Stir in lemon juice, vinegar and the remaining 6 cups water. Chill until very cold, at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Stir the punch and serve in tall glasses over ice cubes. Garnish with berries, mint sprigs or lemon slices, if desired.
- Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
I will be the first to admit that when I saw apple cider vinegar in the list of ingredients, I was a little skeptical (and I LIKE apple cider vinegar). That and the thought of the strong personality that molasses had... (and I LIKE blackstrap molasses) ... well, let's just say I knew this was going to be a love or hate result. While putting it together, it wasn't a smell that I would say I was falling in love with (it wasn't bad either (!!) just not as enticing as say... sugar cookies or spiced rum. LOL).
So I put some in a glass while hot (you're supposed to wait until it cooled and set) and it was actually amazingly good. Sweet, slightly tangy and soothing is the only way I can describe it. All the ingredients are exceptionally good for you and liver health and I highly recommend this drink. Will make it regularly and often now.