Lovers of ginger, assemble! This simple switchel recipe (AKA Nature’s Gatorade) is healthy, hydrating, and quick to make. Drink it warm or cold, and ensure you thrive this winter.

switchel recipe

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Lemon and ginger are a match made in heaven! They both have immune-supporting properties, as well as helping your digestion. Add apple cider vinegar and you have a trifecta of wellness.
  • This switchel recipe is ready in less than half an hour. Even if you drink the entire batch on the same day, you can make more just as easily.
  • This drink is delicious! The sweetness of maple syrup is balanced by the zingy ginger flavor and the acidity of lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. Refreshing when cold and soothing when warm.
  • This switchel recipe is a great alternative to alcoholic drinks this holiday season. It’s exotic, indulgent, and can be served in a fun way at a party.

What is Switchel?

Switchel is a traditional, non-alcoholic beverage that has its roots in American and Caribbean history. It typically consists of four main ingredients: water, apple cider vinegar, ginger, and a sweetener (often molasses, maple syrup, or honey). Some variations may include additional ingredients such as lemon juice or cinnamon.

Switchel is sometimes referred to by different names, such as “haymaker’s punch”. It has seen a bit of a revival in recent years as people explore traditional beverage options for their well-being properties. It’s a simple and customizable beverage with a unique taste.

The flavor of switchel is a refreshing combination of sweet, tart, and gingery, making it a popular choice for quenching thirst (which is why it’s often known as Nature’s Gatorade). Historically, switchel was consumed by farmers and laborers during hot summer days as a natural and hydrating drink.

Alternatively, it makes an amazing hot beverage. Not only does it warm you up from the inside, it can certainly clear your sinuses.

switchel recipe ingredients laid out on light background and striped towel

Key Ingredients

I kept this recipe simple and as close as possible to the traditional drink. The proportions may vary by preference, but the essence stays the same.

  • Ginger is the star of the show. It has anti-inflammatory properties, aids digestion and reduces nausea. It brings a spicy, flavorful kick to any dish.
  • Water is the base of this recipe. Infused with flavors and nutrients, it supports hydration function in the body.
  • Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which has antimicrobial properties. It is known to support digestion and help regulate blood sugar levels.
  • Maple syrup acts as a natural sweetener. It contains small amounts of minerals such as manganese, zinc, and potassium. It also contains antioxidants, which may help combat oxidative stress in the body.
  • Lemon juice provides a hefty dose of vitamin C and a refreshing citrus flavor.

Kitchenware and Equipment

You only need a simple set of items to enable you to make this switchel recipe. I would wager that you already have most or all of them in your kitchen.

How to Make This Recipe

Start by chopping the ginger. You only need to cut it into rough chunks, leaving the skin on. Place the ginger in a medium pot, and pour 6 cups of water over it.

Bring the contents to a boil, and let it vigorously boil for 2-3 minutes. Then, removethe mixture from the stove, allowing it to steep and cool down for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix maple syrup, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar in a 2-quart jar. Pour the ginger-infused water through a sieve and stir everything together. 

Now for the most exciting part… Taste test! You can dilute the drink with more water if it’s too sweet or add extra maple syrup if the opposite is true. Enjoy!

Hack It!

  • Traditionally, this drink offered a refreshing respite for laborers on a hot day. You can serve it over ice with extra slices of lemon. I promise you won’t regret this.
  • Personally, I love making this switchel recipe and drinking it while it is still warm. It tastes like potent ginger and lemon tea, with all the benefits that brings.
  • Some traditional recipes include spices like cinnamon. Try adding warm spices to this switchel recipe if you enjoy drinks like mulled cider or pineapple skin tea.
  • This recipe yields about 7 cups of liquid, which makes it great for meal prep. Alternatively, if you’re hosting a party, you can easily double or even triple the recipe for a big crowd.
  • Don’t discard the ginger! You can mince it and use it in curries, stir fry dishes, soups, and more.

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switchel recipe

The Recipe: Switchel Recipe (Nature’s Gatorade)

A delicious and pungent drink with roots in the Caribbean region.
5 from 27 ratings


  • 1 cup ginger, with skin, roughly chopped
  • 6 cups water
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 lemons, juiced



  • Roughly chop the ginger, leaving the skin on. Add it to a pot, with approximately 6 cups of water.
  • Bring the water to a boil, and allow to boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, and allow the ginger to steep for approximately 20 minutes. 
  • In a large jar, add the maple syrup, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. Strain the ginger liquid into the jar, and mix well. 
  • Taste, adding more water as needed to dilute. Enjoy!
Calories: 103.3kcal, Carbohydrates: 25.7g, Protein: 1.3g, Fat: 0.4g, Saturated Fat: 0.1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.05g, Sodium: 25.8mg, Potassium: 278.5mg, Fiber: 2.7g, Sugar: 14.6g, Vitamin A: 17.8IU, Vitamin C: 44.1mg, Calcium: 59.6mg, Iron: 0.7mg