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Rye-Whiskey Switchels

The sweet-and-sour soft drink known as switchel, made with fresh ginger and a dash of cider vinegar, was a popular thirst-quencher among harvest field workers in 19th-century New England. We're spinning our homemade switchel in a resolutely grown-up direction by adding in rye whiskey.

  • Yield: Makes 16 cocktails

Photography: Mike Krautter

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 2015


  • 1/2 cup apple-cider vinegar, preferably unfiltered
  • 1/3 cup sorghum syrup (available at natural-food stores)
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger (from a 2-inch piece)
  • 24 ounces rye whiskey


  1. Stir together vinegar, sorghum syrup, ginger, and 2 cups water in a nonreactive container. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to 1 day. Strain; return to container and refrigerate, covered, up to 1 week.

  2. For each drink, fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour in 1 1/2 ounces each vinegar mixture and whiskey. Shake well. Strain into a chilled coupe glass; serve.

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