Gatorade Thirst Quencher, Pepsico Inc.’s highly sugared sports drink purported to rehydrate and refuel athletes, contains water, sucrose (table sugar), dextrose, citric acid, natural flavor, sodium chloride (table salt), sodium citrate, monopotassium phosphate, and flavoring/coloring ingredients; brominated vegetable oil, used as a stabilizer, was removed in 2013 when studies suggested it caused possible side effects, such as neurological disorders.
Who needs all that when you can rehydrate and tonify your body with a refreshing drink made with just a few unquestionably healthy ingredients? Switchel was a popular summer drink in the American colonies in the late 17th century and became a traditional thirst quencher for farmers during harvest time by the 19th century. Today, several companies are producing it as interest grows in “new” traditional foods, but it’s easy to make you own:
- 2 quarts pure water (preferably distilled)
- 1/2 cup raw apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup raw honey (orange blossom or tupelo go particular well with this recipe) or pure maple syrup
- 2 tsp. organic ginger powder or 2 1/2tablespoons fresh grated ginger
- Optional: 1 tsp. turmeric powder, pinch of cardamom
- Put all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Let set a few minutes, then you can add ice and drink immediately. If you use fresh ginger, strain as you pour the switchel into your glass.
- For a fizzier feel with probiotic benefits, carefully pour the mixture into large glass bottles, preferably the ones with wire and ball stoppers. Fasten lids and leave the bottles on the counter for at least 2-3 days (up to a week or 2 in cooler weather). Refrigerate. When serving, open slowly in the sink in case the switchel “pops” out of the bottle. Again, strain if fresh ginger was used. Cheers!