18th Century Energy Drink – Switchel 18th Century Cooking S6E1


Have you ever found yourself on a hot
summer day, you’ve worked hard, you played really hard, and you’re rung out. You really need something to drink, well
today, we’re going to be making a thousand-year-old energy drink that was
popular in the 18th century. Thanks for joining us today on 18th century
cooking with Jas Townsend & Son. So, you know, we really don’t do drinks
very frequently here on the show but we do plan on doing a series on drinks here
in the future. Today the drink we will be making is
called switchel. According to the oxford companion for american food and
drink, switchel is a new england invention;
but others say that switchel actually came from the Caribbean to North
America. Well, it probably more likely, it turns
out, that switchel’s just related to a number of very similar drinks that have
been used or made for a thousand years in various cultures around the
globe. Switchel also goes by the name of
Sitchel, aqua forte, ginger punch, Yankee beverage, and swizzle. This drink is high in potassium, that’s
an electrolyte the body needs especially when you’ve perspired a lot, and this drink
was used for exhausted field hands and sailors alike. Most recipes for switchel are found in
mid 19th century cookbooks, but it’s firmly rooted in eighteenth-century
references also. You can even find very similar drinks used by Roman soldiers to
refresh themselves and the ancient Greeks had a very similar drink that was
called oxemel. This invigorating tonic can be made in several different ways and
it’s very easy to put together. The recipe we’re using today is from a mid
19th century cookbook called “The Skillful Housewife”. I’ll start with a half a gallon of clean
drinking water, to this I’ll add a half a cup of unsulphured molasses, a quarter cup
of apple cider vinegar and a heaping tablespoon full of powdered ginger. Now stir this really well, be sure to use barbados molasses or
light molasses and definitely not a blackstrap molasses that will be much too bitter. Some
of the recipes actually call for the use of maple sugar or maple syrup instead and some of those references to molasses
actually mean maple syrup. Honey makes another great
alternative. That Roman drink, that was
made with honey instead of molasses. Instead of or in addition to the vinegar,
you could use lemon juice or lime juice and that will make a very interesting
variation. Instead of the powdered ginger you could
use a fresh ginger that’s finely minced, but powdered ginger
was a much more common way to find ginger in the 18th century. Ginger was
one of the most common and one of the most inexpensive spices available at the
time. Another great variation to this, would be
to add your daily rum ration right to this drink, that would make a great
version of this! A closely related drink is a popular concoction called shrub,was
various fruit juices, something like that of raspberries or blackberries. sweetened
how you pleased and added to vinegar. We offer a book at Jas Townsend and
son called “Libations of the 18th century”. This does have recipes for switchel, as
well as many other popular drinks at the time. You’ll find a link to this book in
the description below. So many times this drink was placed in a jug and
suspended down into a well or placed in a running stream of water to cool it off
but we’ve all found that when we drink cool things on a hot day can upset our
stomachs, that’s one of the reasons why we believe
that they had added ginger to this drink. Let’s give this a try. Looks good… …you know, it still has the smell of
vinegar, but not very strongly, you know, vinegar’s about the last thing I
ever want to eat or drink but this actually it reminds me a lot of a good
apple cider! It’s very good. I can see why this would
be a very very popular drink especially in hot weather. If you’re new to our youtube channel I
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also have related video links right down here just click on them it’ll take you
right to the video. Thank you so much for watching!

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100 thoughts on “18th Century Energy Drink – Switchel 18th Century Cooking S6E1”

  1. Madeleine Grayson says:

    Very similar to the master cleanser lemonade recipe, actually but I prefer this as it uses ginger and acv.

  2. Madeleine Grayson says:

    Every single one of those drink nicknames sound like rappers, lol.

  3. Dave Cruickshank says:

    With the apple cider vinegar and cinnamon, it almost sounds like a kombucha (of course, the switchel isn't fermented).

    I've only ever had it once (kombucha), but it wasn't bad… But it had a very apple cider vinegar flavour to it.

    Would be interesting to try.

  4. Dhias Kusuma says:

    it was lot healthier than every energy drinks available on market now

  5. Miles C says:

    "It's got electrolytes!" -18th century American

  6. Jorge Noel says:

    the vinegar in this case is the "mother" to which you ferment the entire drink. This recipe is for what we would call "kombucha" today. It would be carbonated aswell.

  7. legofanguyvid says:

    Say, do you have a link to the glass shown?

  8. Jeffman12 says:

    Very unfortunate thumbnail.

  9. Albert De Castro says:

    It can also be called swizzle!

    Snoop dog enters chat

  10. purplecx cx says:

    you forgot the coca extract

  11. Ames Adamson says:

    oh sounds so nice

  12. Ectra Lardge says:

    Gettin fukin turnt on dis SWIZZLEEEEE

  13. the walkin dude says:

    Water, honey, ginger, cider vinegar and lemon juice is something we had on the ranch when I was a kid. We just called it porch punch.

  14. linda chandler says:

    I'm a big shrub fan.

  15. spamviking says:

    So even in the 18th century, Kyles still had access to Monster.

  16. Greg Brightwell says:

    Im getting up to make some right now. Love this channel!

  17. Brentan Llewellyn says:

    Im going to have to make this.

  18. Thomas Prislac says:

    Gimme my swizzle, wait just one minizzle…

  19. Ben Finny says:

    Add the rum! Enough rum and you wont care what it tastes like

  20. Kyle Fitzsimmons says:

    Swizzle my nizzle dawg.
    snoop dogg

  21. Naomi Naomi says:

    Great recipe,but I don't like a ginger.😖

  22. Alexander Supertramp says:

    Lmao Yankee Beverage is the best name

  23. BENNY RASHASHA says:


  24. LuxzarTheGlourious says:

    At 2:26 where'd you get that honey, I have the same bottle

  25. C. Kennedy says:

    Sippin on some swizzleeee sip sippin on some sip sippin on some swizzleeee

  26. Neil Davidson says:

    Is this where the rum swizzle came from?

  27. Gunjiro X says:

    I love this drink, its so refreshing in summer, also lovely if you add some rum or wiskey.

  28. tiefensucht says:

    Why not just call it what it is: a plain simple lemonade.

  29. Jack Chase says:

    I started drinking a very similar drink at the advice of some health sites. It tastes great, but I wanna give this stuff a shot.

  30. I'm The Best says:

    And son? Where?

  31. Wolf Mountain HEMA says:

    It's a Ye Olde Monster Zero Ultra.

    cracks open switchel
    Joseph Haydn. Now THAT was a good composer. They don't make 'em like they used to.

  32. RaggedPants Xbox Live says:

    My family called it "switzel" and used honey and cider vinegar in water. Nothing else.

  33. Daniel Wilson says:

    How did I get here, and why do I enjoy watching this so much 😂

  34. Ayan B says:

    Water, molasses/maple syrup/honey, vinegar/lemon juice, ginger

  35. stopglobalswarming says:

    It sounds like those malt drinks like Goya

  36. Jesse O says:

    Definitely not a blackstrap molasses, that would be much too B I T T E R

  37. X. Y. says:

    Get up on that swizzle dawg

  38. Joe Garcia says:

    Always enjoy your channel.

  39. Ace Gaming LPs says:

    Just so happened to have the blackstrap molasses from my brewing days, and powdered ginger and apple cider vinegar. Made a fresh jug of Switchel! Thanks a bunch for the recipe, Townsends. You NEVER disappoint.

  40. Matthew Schardt II says:

    Is this drink how Ginger Ale originated?

  41. Sheila Mayer says:

    Wow, this switchel drink was probably made and consumed in some form during the Middle Ages and Renaissance periods. If the Greeks and Romans had it, then it was possibly handed down as a necessary part of life survival.

  42. Sir Underbridge says:

    daily rum ration = 1 shot???

  43. Sir Underbridge says:

    But does it have Super Creatine? I only drink energy drinks that have Super Creatine.

  44. Yiğit Alp Alakoç says:

    Just drink rum

  45. Mark Smith says:

    By the way, word is, Francis Marion actually LIKED vinegar. Maybe it helped repel mosquitos?

  46. cnnrmcllstrnovowels says:


  47. Christina Fernandez says:

    Where does the pottasium come from ?

  48. Tierah Jacobs says:

    I love this guy, he has very good presence.

  49. pickutina says:

    We drink spricer, 1/4-1/2 vine and the rest spring water.

  50. John Hartin says:

    Maple syrup…. Sirop d'Erable …. The only word I know in French. Thanks Canada…

  51. Sebastian Bach says:

    "You rock a piss; I'll rock some switchel"

  52. crissyisajojofan says:

    Pass Dat switch 🤣

  53. addy bee says:

    This fine concoction was invented by a gentleman that went by the name of James Swizzle.

  54. Wayne Farrell Media says:

    Apple cider vinegar is proven to be very beneficial to health. I drink it with honey, diluted in hot water.

  55. Arthur Ragan says:

    Sippin on some swizzle

  56. Louie Merced says:

    Swizzle for shizzle

  57. denbronco44 says:

    And nobody cares

  58. Josue Guillermo Martinez Torres says:

    The nsme of the romam drink refers to mead

  59. sonidanis says:

    "idk its probably just going to be a bunch of honey and syrup mixed together" hahahahahahahahhaahaa

  60. youngsamuel1 says:

    Gimme sum swizzle on my switchel

  61. Dee Marty says:

    This looks and sounds YUM

  62. Mike Phillips says:

    This is what the Roman's gave Jesus to drink on the sponge. The bible says they gave him vinegar.

  63. King Tut says:

    Please, where is the “rich potassium” coming from? The water,, ginger, apple cider or maple syrup/honey ? 2 tablespoons of ginger contains about 17 mg of potassium or about 1/300 of your daily requirement. Perhaps it is a very bioavailable kind — but that’s not rich, because you will never consume two tablespoons of ginger in any drink, at one time. Apple cider on the other hand actually demineralizes potassium in the body. Honey is almost negligible. Molasses; the Romans did not have that. And, it’s potassium can never be described as “rich.”. Ditto maple syrup. Watch your tongue.

  64. Non Mirage Truth Vision says:

    I know it hasn't changed much throughout the years but could you please do one of these informative videos on trapping in the 18th century. Thanks.

  65. Non Mirage Truth Vision says:

    3:11 my favorite part

  66. Jerome Jerry Jay says:

    Came here from candied lime peels. Nice videos 👌

  67. Diana Garcia says:

    I love watching you,I learn so much.Thank you

  68. new wine says:

    Wow, Red Bull has been around since 19th century.

  69. Rippy 888 says:

    Anyone else want to play runescape after watching this

  70. Matt Wolf says:

    So this is what the Kyles used to drink?

  71. Spiral Python says:

    Switchel still a fab drink!

  72. Robert Hurley says:

    If Townsend has thought me anything, it’s that Blackstrap Molasses is disgusting and to throw it out

  73. Parthenes says:

    And then, Kyle was born

  74. Use This says:

    This sounds very good. I'll try this one. I keep the organic apple cider vinegar most of the time. Sometimes I'll cut ginger root and slices of lemon and put in honey in the fridge for when I'm not feeling well to make a tea.

  75. Green Lantern says:

    So gatorade has been around for 1000 years?

    Thanks for this awesome video!

  76. Twabbles says:

    paintings at 1:19? Anybody???

  77. Joe Smith says:

    You pretty much just made a red bull. 😂😂😂

  78. TPotShax says:

    This honestly isn't too far off from a good lemonade. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a small bit of shared history there.

  79. Xalgucennia says:

    It even sounds like an energy drink

  80. Vada Minot says:

    This actually sounds very good😋 I cannot stand Gatorade or anything like it and I dehydrate so easy. My daughter tries to for Pedialyte down me🙄😝🙄 I could drink this! Add some teas bags😉

  81. Doris White says:

    I love the introduction, hearing the history about some drinks.
    I like this one. It's a nice, refreshing drink.

  82. Fernandez 谭Ryan 小王 says:

    *snoop dogg wants to know your location

  83. Jeanette Nejadi says:

    That is similar to a very old Persian drink named: "Sekanjebin"

  84. All The Colors Contracting says:

    "gimme that Yankee punch!"

  85. Mr. Foxo says:

    The music is way too loud.

  86. Taylor Kerrin O'Dell says:

    Firstly, this is a wonderful recipe! It’s been delightful throughout the summer. Today i tried something crazy and used blue agave syrup in place of the molasses, as well as adding about a tablespoon of lime juice. Very tasty and worth trying!

  87. mistereli4GOD says:

    Don’t ever come at this guy with blackstrap molasses

  88. george janes says:

    "Yankee beverage"

  89. ThePolarBearProductions says:

    I made some. I used honey and ground Ginger since that’s all I had. It’s not my favorite but I’m sure on a hot humid day after doing a lot of activity, I’d love it. I wanna try the variant with Lemon juice and rum.

  90. Lawrence McLane says:

    This gave me insane heartburn

  91. Freedom Fighter says:

    The Roman version is called posca I believe.

  92. A. V. F. says:

    lol. Pass the swizzle, my kind sir.

  93. Angel Humphrey says:

    My grandma made that up until 10 years ago when she passed. She added other things to it, not sure what, and called it something else. But same other ingredients you used and honey instead

  94. Kristina W says:

    In the bahamas I realize that I inadvertently made this drink with sour orange as the acid. I added my rum to it and it was extremely refreshing

  95. Poth94 says:

    Rum Energy in the 1700s
    Those people were living in 1830

  96. Elon Phelps says:

    Don't worry I'll add nutmeg. 🙂

  97. Rhona Williams says:

    I love this. It reminds me of the hot toddies my Mom and Grandma would make when we had an illness. Lemon, honey and brandy. I always knew it was handed down I just didn't know for how long. Thank you.

  98. wrichard11 says:

    Sounds a bit like (non alcoholic) ginger wine drunk in England at Christmas.

  99. Athanasius Contra Marxism says:

    Switchel is phenomenal. Quite refreshing and delicious. I like to let the ginger chunks ferment for a bit longer. Honey, lime, acv and chopped ginger.

  100. Giulio Morleo says:

    Wow. I did it with fresh ginger, turbid apple vinegar and maple syrup 💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻

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