Move over coconut water, switchel is here! This refreshing vinegar-y beverage is making it’s way into craft cocktail bars and artisan grocers as an alternative to sweeter, higher calorie beverages like soda.
Switchel is made with apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, water/seltzer water, and ginger, and often flavored with fruit. It has a tangy, slightly sweet taste making it perfect for a warm day.
Switchel may offer a few benefits too. Preliminary evidence suggests that apple cider vinegar may help lower cholesterol levels, although the research to date has mostly been conducted on animal models [1, 2] . Ginger is a natural antiemetic often used to calm the stomach, and ease motion sickness. Consuming too much apple cider vinegar can be harmful to dental health, and the esophagus.
Switchel is slightly higher in Calories than plain coconut water with 60-70kcal per cup (coconut water contains 45 kcal/cup). It provides approximately 16g of carbohydrate per cup or the equivalent of 1 serving for all those that are carb-sensitive. Around 80% of this carbohydrate can be attributed to sugar. Similar to other sweetened bevvies, moderation is key to avoid overdoing it on the Calories and sugar.
Unlike coconut water, which is loaded with potassium, switchel is light on electrolytes unless a substantial amount of fruit juice is added to the mix.
Where to buy it?
For now, switchel can mostly be found in smaller gourmet grocery stores, although it’s recently been spotted in Trader Joe’s. You can also make your own relatively easily, with just a handful of ingredients. Check out these recipes from Food 52, The Kitchn, and Bon Appetit.
 Apple cider vinegar attenuates lipid profile in normal and diabetic rats. Shishehbor F, Mansoori A, Sarkaki AR, Jalali MT, Latifi SM.Pak J Biol Sci. 2008 Dec 1;11(23):2634-8.
 Effect of honey vinegar syrup on blood sugar and lipid profile in healthy subjects. Derakhshandeh-Rishehri SM, Heidari-Beni M, Feizi A, Askari GR, Entezari MH. Int J Prev Med. 2014 Dec;5(12):1608-15.