Gardener’s Gatorade aka Switchel


A healthy way to hydrate

I’ve been working outside in all weather conditions for over a decade, and I can tell you with certainty that this drink is the absolute best way to stay hydrated in the summer. Share this switchel recipe with your favorite farmer or gardener.

When I was farming in million degree heat, this was the only drink that brought me back to life. Sometimes plain water just won’t do the trick on really hot days. Instead of reaching for sugary electrolyte waters, make this healthy version instead.

chilled switchel in clear glass with ice cubes

What is switchel?

Switchel is a farmer’s secret weapon to staying hydrated on hot summer days. Just a few simple ingredients come together and act as nature’s Gatorade. Switchel on it’s own is not alcoholic, not kombucha and not fermented. Just 3 ingredients (or 4 if you’re fancy) mixed together have magic hydrating powers. My switchel recipe version takes just a minute to make.

The truth is you don’t need to be a farmer or gardener to enjoy this beverage. Make an extra big batch for the fridge to sip on all day.

chilled switchel with lilac flowers

Switchel recipe ingredients:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar: I know, this might seem like a weird ingredient in a beverage, but diluted with water it provides acidity like lemons in lemonade would.
  • Maple Syrup: A little sweetness helps balance the apple cider vinegar, while giving your blood sugar a boost if you’re dehydrated.
  • Water: This recipe will call for regular water but if you’re not chugging it, use sparkling water instead.
  • (Optional) Ginger: This is optional and I’ll be honest and say I usually skip it. If you like a little extra kick, adding freshly sliced ginger is the traditional way to make switchel.

Switchel it up

Oh no what a terrible pun! But here are some fun tips from someone who chugs switchel all summer long:

Try it with sparkling water. This is best for sipping and a really nice way to enjoy this drink in a different way. Just sub the same amount of regular water in this recipe for sparkling water.

Make it a mocktail: The perfect non-alcoholic drink for your abstaining friend. It looks like a cocktail so they won’t get questioned all night with “oh you’re not drinking?!”.

Make it a cocktail: OK fine you could also totally make a cocktail out of this recipe. Even though this drink is here to hydrate, a splash of your favorite spirit would work great in this switchel recipe.

Make double: You can easily double this batch and keep a large pitcher in the fridge. A nice thing to make ahead for a potluck or just for the week ahead.

Share this secret switchel recipe with your friends

I’m telling you, this drink will change your life! Spread this post far and wide to every hard-working person who could use a healthy hydrating drink. And maybe make a batch for your local small farmer who could use some love this summer.


Servings 2
Prep Time 2 minutes
Total Time 2 minutes


  • 4 cups water
  • 4 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • sliced fresh ginger (optional)


  • Mix all ingredients together in a pitcher.
  • Serve over ice or chill in the fridge.
Course: Drinks

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and tag @growingwithgertie on Instagram.

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