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Molasses Switchel


This article is from the Recipes Collection, by numerous authors posting those to Usenet. The recipes cover various cuisines and a wide variety of topics, such as appetisers, breads, desserts, entrees, sauces-toppings, side-dishes, etc.). You don't need any cookbooks anymore, as there are hundreds of recipes to choose from.

Molasses Switchel

While many harvest drinks relied on fruit juices, switchel
was a spicy, vinegary drink without fruit juice. It proved
unusually thirst-quenching, and aided in digestion after the
heavy harvest meals. The switchel served durring the work harvest
was nonalcoholic, meaning that the harvest hands could successfully
negotiate the evening dance that followed the elaborate picnic, or
"supper on the ground." Although this switchel recipe is noncarbonated
as well as nonalcoholic, the recipe may be modified to create a
carbonated drink, or a beer or wine type alcoholic beverage if desired.

3 to 4 quarts water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup light molasses
2 oz fresh grated gingerroot

1. Combine 1 quart water, the vinegar, sugar, molasses, and
gingerroot and simmer for 15 minutes uncovered. Remove from
heat, cover, and allow to cool for 30 minutes.

2. Pour slowly into a glass jug containing 2 1/2 quarts water.
Top off with water to make 1 gallon.

3. * For a traditional noncarbonated switchel
* : Chill immediately
Bottling and capping is optional.

4. * For a carbonated drink

* : Place 1/8 teaspoon granulated ale
yeast into a teacup containing 1/4 cup lukewarm water and allow
to rehydrate a few minutes. After verifying that the temperature
in the jug is not hotter than lukewarm, add yeast water to the
jug, cap, and invert to mix contents. Bottle, then store the
bottles in a dark place.

Check carbonation after 48 hours and again after 72 hours. When
carbonation is right, refrigerate.

5. * for a wine type switchel
* follow the carbonated drink but
ferment instead of bottle.

6. * for a beer type switchel
* ferment then cap after adding more
yeast when the desired fermentation has occured.

From the book: "Homemade Root Beer Soda & Pop"

by Stephen Cresswell

Tried a batch of noncarbonated switchel and loved it! Fast and easy
to make, tastes along the lines of an iced-tea with lemon and sugar.


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