What is Switchel?
Men and women worked hard outside during this time period. They faced the heat and humidity just as we do, but they didn't have sports drinks like we do today to rehydrate them, or did they? In fact they did! Switchel, or also known as Hay Time Switchel, was the Gatorade, if you will, of the day. The women would mix up batches and take it to the men while they worked in the hot fields. There are many recipes that can be found online. Try different recipes. If you are anything like me reading the ingredients may turn you off, but you may be pleasantly surprised. You could enjoy a very old summer beverage with your family this summer.
Switchel has been consumed in America since the 1600's. Hay Time Switchel became the name in about the 1800's because the men were harvesting the hay and they would consume it then. They may take a concentrate with them and add cool spring waters while working.
Hope you enjoy this little piece of history this summer.