The short story is: switchel is an apple cider vinegar, ginger and citrus based drink. It can be used, and has been used for centuries, as a daily electrolyte drink, prebiotic gut friendly drink, a healthy cocktail mixer, or a mocktail.
But switchel is much more complex and storied than that.
It turns out, you can trace the base of switchel all the way back to Ancient Greece, where they drank a concoction of vinegar and honey called oxymel, which literally means “Acid and Honey.” The Greeks used this sweet and tart drink for medicinal purposes, and to administer herbs.
Throughout history, this vinegar drink made its way across the globe. Hundreds of years ago, in England, they used oxymel to “cure” ailments such as congestion, sore throats, coughs, and gout. In Japan, samurais drank a vinegar mixture before battle for energy. Roman armies drank a vinegar drink called posca to rehydrate.
You'll find vinegar based drinks in Iran, Israel, China, Latin America - pretty much anywhere people were making and drinking alcohol, they were also making and drinking vinegar.
Switchel pops up in American history in the 17th century. Farmers sipped on a combination of apple cider vinegar, ginger, citrus, water and a traditional sweetener (honey, maple syrup, molasses) after long days in the hot sun, because water wasn’t always safe to drink, and they liked the burn on the back of their throat.
They called this combination of ingredients switchel, swizzle, or haymaker’s punch. But switchel wasn’t just being used for hydration. It was often spiked with rum and these cocktails were sipped on by farmers, Congress and college students alike.
At sunōmi, we've updated this ancient and historic beverage for the modern palate. We use apple cider vinegar, ginger, and honey as our base, and then we add spices and fruits to zest things up!
You can drink our sparkling switchel post-workout, when you're dehydrated, when you need a pick-me-up, for your gut, in a cocktail, as a mocktail or anytime you're feeling thirsty! Our switchel is 0% alcohol, 0% caffeine and 100% delicious.