The benefits of apple cider vinegar for one’s health have been discussed for years. It can help stabilize glucose levels in diabetics, it helps with weight loss and weight management, increases energy levels, and treats heartburn. Despite all this, I have never been inclined to try adding it to a glass of water and taking it down daily – drinking plain vinegar in water just sounded disgusting to me.Until, that is, I found Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar Ginger Spice drink at the local Yes! Organic Market. I would never have guessed that adding a little ginger and a touch of sweetener could turn vinegar and water into a truly tasty and refreshing treat!
After that first taste, I picked up a bottle whenever I was near the market – about once a week, but the over $2.50 price tag kept if from being anything more that an occasional treat, that is until I asked Tom to pick me up a bottle one day, and he accidentally brought home Bragg’s Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV). This accident became a challenge to make my own apple cider vinegar and ginger beverage and I began doing my research. The Bragg drink has a very simple ingredient list- water, apple cider vinegar, organic ginger, and stevia extract – but that did not tell me much about the proportions for making the drink and, while I could certainly mess with the amounts myself, sometimes recreating the wheel just isn’t worth it, so I turned to the Kitchn, my stand by cooking resource, and they came through with a recipe for a ginger switchel. The switchel is a colonial era drink favored by farmers, especially during the hay harvest, giving it its other name- haymaker’s punch.
Starting with the Kitchn’s basic recipe and tips, I have come up with my ideal combination of ingredients (which doesn’t differ much from the Kitchn’s own recipe) and I definitely encourage you to adjust to your own tastes – with some strong suggestions along the way. First, don’t use just any apple cider vinegar. Stick with a high quality organic raw apple cider vinegar, such as the well-known Bragg’s brand. Unlike the pasteurized version of ACV, this will be cloudy and less refined. It is believed that the health benefits of apple cider vinegar come from this cloudy sediment, making the raw vinegar the key to the health benefits of apple cider vinegar. Just as important as the potential health benefits is the taste, so I took the extra step of making the drink with the Bragg’s organic vinegar and the store brand pasteurized vinegar and the flavor of the store brand vinegar was flatter and not as pleasant as the raw vinegar version.
Second, go ahead and use honey. Sure the Bragg’s version of the drink is calorie free because they use Stevia, but when I tried splenda and stevia, it just wasn’t nearly as good as honey. The honey provides a richer more complex flavor and to me, that is worth 30 or so calories per serving. Plus, when it comes to sweeteners, natural honey is really the best option.
makes 2 servings
½ hot water
4 teaspoons honey (or other sweetener)
½ teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 ½ cup cold water
1) In a container with a tight fitting, leak proof lid (I like large mason jars), dissolve the honey in the hot water and whisk in the ground ginger. Add the water and apple cider vinegar. Cover with leak proof lid and shake vigorously.
2) Place drink in fridge and chill for several hours, or over night for best flavor.
3) Shake vigorously before serving. Serve over ice, adding regular water or seltzer water if you want to dilute it slightly.