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Long a staple in Northeast hayfields as a thirst quencher and restorative, switchel—alternatively called “haymaker’s punch” —was a colonial era proto-Gatorade, a source of both hydration and electrolyte replenishment.


  • 4 cups cold water
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar


Combine ingredients in a jar and shake to dissolve. Serve very cold. For a purely Vermont version, try substituting maple syrup for the molasses.

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