DRINK OF THE WEEK: Rum switchel

Rum switchel
Rum switchel

If all the partying of the holidays got to you, or you’ve got that head cold everybody’s been hacking about, you may need something healthy to kick off the new year. And so we’ve been looking into cocktails that are heavy on the health, low on the “to your health” alcohol. What we liked the best so far is the switchel. DOTW fans will remember the use of vinegar in drinks by Hungry Cat’s Patrick Reynolds, including pre-made reductions called “shrubs.” A switchel is similar, but uses apple cider vinegar. We’re fans of Bragg, which also happens to be a local company. We set out to make our own switchel, experimenting with different recipes and sharing at our own parties.

A variation we like comes from www.littlemisscruciferous.com, ran by Rebekah Carter, a blogger in the greater Boston area. The switchel takes about 10 minutes to make, contains apple vinegar, honey, and ginger, and makes a refreshing drink by itself once cooled. But mixologists also like to add alcohol. We think adding a dark rum to the proceedings complements all the flavors around it. Will it keep you healthy? Mmm, perhaps. That’s a question better asked at the gym.

1 ounce dark rum (we suggest Whaler’s or Kraken)
3 ounces switchel (recipe follows)
Pour switchel over ice and top with dark rum.

To make switchel:
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (such as Bragg’s)
1/2 cup sugar, honey, or pure maple syrup (or a combo of all three if you choose)
1/2 cup unsulphured molasses
2 inch knob of fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
1 quart distilled water

Combine all ingredients in a stainless steel pot and boil to 10 minutes. Strain out ingredients and then add more water to bring mixture back to two quarts. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to drink.

Yield: 1 drink

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