Swigging on switchels
Made with apple cider vinegar, ginger and a sweetener, “switchels” are seeing a revival with several startup brands bottling the colonial-era beverage.
“Along with kombuchas and shrubs in cocktails or sodas, this is a next generation beverage that’s going to offer both hydration and refreshment as well as that good-for-you benefit you get from the apple cider vinegar,” said Kara Nielsen, culinary director and trendologist at Sterling-Rice Group. “The sweetener is typically maple syrup or honey, so I think that also is very much in line with people’s efforts to reduce sugar in the beverages they’re drinking. Having a natural sweetener is appealing to a lot of consumers.”
A Vermont company called Up Mountain Switchel describes its drink as an “American heritage beverage” made with roots, fruits and sap. CideRoad Organic Switchel, Mendham, N.J., makes a line of U.S.D.A.-approved organic, maple syrup-sweetened drinks in original, blueberry, and cherry flavors. Another brand called Fire Cider, billed as a holistic health tonic, contains organic raw honey, produce and vinegar.
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