Switchel Recipe

This drink is a healthier alternative to sugary sports drinks for a day of hard work or exercising.

From “The Fresh Honey Cookbook”
January 2018

  • This beverage is also known as Haymaker’s Punch.
    Photo by AdobeStock/Goodween123
  • “The Fresh Honey Cookbook” by Laurey Masterton is filled with bits of honey lore and beekeeping history to sweeten your exploration of the varied and delicious ways you can use honey every day.
    Cover courtesy Storey Publishing

Yield: 8-10 servings

Whether you keep bees yourself, support local beekeepers, or just love honey, The Fresh Honey Cookbook by Laurey Masterton (Storey Publishing, 2013) presents recipes for every time of year featuring different honey varietals and seasonal ingredients. This simple drink calls for apple cider vinegar, honey, and gingerroot.

Buy this book from our store: The Fresh Honey Cookbook

Switchel is a curious beverage that is also known as Haymaker’s Punch. Back when haying was a very energetic occupation, farm wives would bring gallons of Switchel to the men working in the fields. Popularized by Vermont doctor D. C. Jarvis in his best-selling 1958 book Folk Medicine: A Vermont Doctor’s Guide to Good Health, this honey and apple cider vinegar drink became a must-have beverage.

This is a great thirst quencher and is very simple to make. Much healthier and more effective than sugary sports drinks and easy enough to regularly keep on the top shelf of your refrigerator, Switchel might just become your favorite go-to summer or post-exercise drink. The spiciness of the sourwood honey makes it extra special.


• 1/2 cup honey, preferably sourwood honey
• 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
• 1 tablespoon sliced fresh gingerroot (optional)


1. Pour 2 quarts of water into a large pitcher. Combine the honey and apple cider vinegar in a bowl and stir well to combine. If either ingredient is cold, you might need to warm them slightly or the honey will not mix well. Add the mixture to the water. If you like a sweeter drink, add more honey. If you prefer a less sweet version, add a bit more vinegar.

2. If you’re a ginger fancier, add the gingerroot slices. Keep the pitcher in your refrigerator for a hot day.

More from The Fresh Honey Cookbook:

Coconut Macaroons with Dried Cherries
Broiled Peaches
Chunky Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho with Lemon Crème Fraîche
Creamy Chicken and Coconut Curry
Southern-Style Iced Tea
Fresh-From-The-Garden Beets with Oranges and Blue Cheese

Excerpted from The Fresh Honey Cookbook, © by Laurey Masterton, photography by © Johnny Autry, used with permission from Storey Publishing. Buy this book from our store: The Fresh Honey Cookbook

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