The Switchel is a drink that came about hundreds of years ago and has long since been forgotten. Originally brewed for farmers and laborers to quench their thirst, this old school beverage has gone through a recent revitalization. Two weeks ago at The Pioneer Pop Up, guests got to try a modern rendition of this old favorite with a local twist. The four main components are water, vinegar, a sweetener (usually molasses) and ginger. This recipe calls for local honey, sparkling water and homemade huckleberry vinegar. The vinegar is made the same way you would make kombucha at home; with a scoby (you can purchase a scoby online or can ask around to any friends who make Kombucha at home), sugar, water, and in this case, fresh or frozen huckleberries. Left for a couple weeks, the mixture increases in acidity to a level more than you would want to drink on its own but well below the percentage of the commercial counterparts. The subtle bitterness and huckleberry notes are perfect to cut the sweetness of the honey and rum.
Stay tuned to Dishingjh.com for upcoming Pioneer Pop Up Events and more inventive summertime libations.