Switchel is the perfect refreshment for the hotter weather. The apple cider vinegar in Switchel boosts immunity and helps your digestive health. It restores electrolytes and helps ease pain and inflammation.
The Lemon Switchel is made from Nelson's very own Goulters Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Golden Bay lemons and Nelson Honey's Manuka honey - keeping it very local indeed!
I always assumed that ginger was a compulsory component of a switchel, but apparently I was wrong. When I checked the list of ingredients on the side of the Lemon Manuka switchel bottle, I was so surprised to find that there was no ginger included that I checked online and found that, although it is commonly included, it is by no means essential. So I have learned something! And the omission of ginger does not really matter as there are lots of other tasty ingredients, notably cider vinegar and manuka honey!
Interestingly, my first impression on taking a sip was that it was a real old-fashioned lemon and honey drink just like those my aunt used to make when I had a sore throat. That brought back memories of growing up in the Waikato where winters were damp and old houses were breeding places for colds and runny noses. Everyone had a lemon tree and children were given hot home-made lemon-and-honey drinks with an added pinch of ground ginger to soothe them when they arrived home from school. Later, cider vinegar grew in popularity so that was added too. Pete's Natural has absolutely created nostalgia in a bottle!
I had a small amount first, increasingly becoming more convinced that this was indeed the drink of my childhood. We did not use the term switchel then; it is a recent import from overseas. My father, being a sailor, enjoyed a glass of rum and he would often tip a little into my lemon-and-honey to give it extra zing. Interestingly, rum is also listed online as an optional additive along with ginger! Having finished a small glass, I poured a second - again a small amount - and added a couple of drops of rum essence. I did not have a bottle of real rum in the house, but I thought that might give a similar effect. It was not really the same, but was quite pleasant nevertheless and I am now inspired to purchase a small bottle of rum just to have with my Pete's Natural!
The last third I heated gently in the microwave. In doing this I would be sacrificing the bubbles, but I wanted to see whether it would work. When I was small and we had no lemons available, my aunt would sometimes heat some bottled lemonade and give that to me as a sore throat remedy instead. It seemed to work almost as well as the real thing; the heat, of course, was soothing for inflamed tissues, and the brand of lemonade she used was made with real lemons. The Pete's Natural tasted just like her brew, although a little more acidic. I did not have a sore throat to test its efficacy, but it was very nice.
The medicinal virtues of cider vinegar and honey are well known; there is a useful summary on the label, although this is information I already knew. I would probably make my own brew when at home, but I travel a lot so a couple of bottles like this would be useful to take on journeys with me. Those are the times when coughs and chills often strike, and it is neither easy nor sensible to take along all the raw ingredients just in case. And this product would be perfect to pack, being compact and light.
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