It's worth making the switch for this wellness trend - Juice Daily
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It’s worth making the switch for this wellness trend

Any aspiring hippie (or hipster – there’s a fine, but expensive line that divides the two) will have tried, or tried to make their own, kombucha.

But, making your own kombucha is a seven-to-30-day process laden with the guilt of keeping your mother (mother culture – or scoby as it is also called) alive.

You can throw the babies out with the fermented tea water though because there’s a new hipster drink doing the rounds and it’s insanely easy to make.

Switchel – otherwise known as switchy, swizzle or haymaker’s punch – is a kind of a cross between Beyonce’s spicy lemonade (cayenne pepper, lemon juice and maple syrup) and the drink your mother (real mother, not scoby) used to make you when you had a sore throat (ginger, lemon, honey).

Plus, switchel has the ingredient that will light up the heart of any real hipster or wellness blogger; Apple cider vinegar.

Apple cider vinegar – the miracle elixir that can cure thrush and stinky feet, prevent diabetes and clean your windows, remove warts and fix fatness, whiten your teeth and basically do everything. None of this is proven of course, although there is some decent research suggesting it can, at least, help insulin function and blood sugar levels. It also contains beneficial bacteria, so a tablespoon or two in water each day won’t hurt.

But, back to switchy. It was the drink du jour in 17th century America, before mason jars and the mandatory stripey straw were invented and people could sip in ironic, post-hipster peace.

As one of its aliases suggests, it was also the traditional drink given to hydrate farmers during harvest time.

Now, switchy is making a come back and popping up on supermarket shelves around the world, threatening to nudge kombucha off top spot.

And, of course it’s far easier to make. Just combine water, ginger, apple cider vinegar, and a natural sweetener – often maple syrup – and you’re off, no mothers or babies to worry about.

Even the ‘snobs’ are sold on it.

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“It looked like a urine sample, yellow, cloudy and with – yuck – sediment settling at the bottom,” writes ‘Food Snob’ Dave Bry.

Yet, in a moment of “weakness” he tried it out and was hooked.

“Here’s a confession even more embarrassing than living in Brooklyn: I loved it,” Bry admits. “It is absolutely delicious. It is a dream come true. Tart, effervescent, not overly sweet, switchel is pretty much everything I’m looking for in a flavor profile. It might be the most refreshing drink I have ever drank. It’s like it was invented just for me.”

He went on to buy another 10 bottles and discovered it is not only delicious on its own, it makes a good mixer with spirits.

“I’m beside myself,” Bry says.

I’ll bet, especially given some claim switchy will prevent a hangover “thus ensuring you make it to your hot yoga class the next morning”.

The trend, which of course already has marketing claims attached, has not yet taken off in Australia, commercially at least.

But, that, I’ll venture, makes it more attractive to the true, avant garde hipster, to whom kombucha in all its commerciality is surely dead?

Besides, we can all – hippies and hipsters included – make the switch ourselves for free, with no mothers lost and the added benefit of fresher smelling feet*. Mason jars and stripey straws optional.

*Unlikely, but let me know how you go.

Sarah Berry

About the person who wrote this

Sarah Berry

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With more than a decade of experience as a health and fitness journalist, Sarah Berry is also a qualified yoga teacher, unqualified wine snob, professional guinea pig and unprofessional runner.

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