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  • Writer's pictureLea

Ma's Ginger Water

Ma's ginger water is a take on a popular 1800's drink also known in various places as "haymaker's punch" or "switchel". The exact origins of this drink are debated, but we know that it was a long time favorite of the pioneers and farmers of the 19th century. Ingredients would vary slightly depending on the area one was living and the ingredients that were readily available to them at the time. Unlike today, where we can go to the store in all seasons of the year and find whatever ingredients we have our hearts set on, the people of days gone by were bound (or perhaps quite free) to their creativity and resources.

The ingredients that generally stayed the same were clean fresh water, homemade apple cider vinegar, and ground dried ginger. The ingredient that varied based on available resources was the sweetener. Ideally, and in many areas, they would use molasses or raw honey. The molasses was stocked with electrolytes such as potassium and the raw honey was known for its anti-bacterial properties and the ability to soothe the throat and stomach. In cases where these items were not available, one might use maple syrup or brown sugar, as we see in the ingredients from the Laura Ingalls inspired cookbook. In the recipe I stirred up in the recent video, I used raw honey, as the molasses of today tends to be much different in flavor than the molasses they had in the 19th century. Many times, they would make a large batch in the early mornings, and then leave the jar in the creek during the day to keep it cool. The farmers were able to drink the ginger water until their thirst was quenched and their body replenished, without the ill affects of drinking large amounts of plain cold water on a very hot day.

Recipe for 1 quart "Haymakers Punch"

Serves 3

1/4-1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (depending on how used to ACV you are)

1/4-1/2 cup raw honey (depending on how sweet you prefer)

1 heaping teaspoon dried ground ginger (you can certainly add more If you so prefer

Simply dissolve your honey and ginger into the ACV by stirring or shaking your jar (with the lid on :) ). Fill your jar to the top with clean fresh water, stir again, and serve.

Simply Organics Dried Ground Ginger:

Raw Unfiltered Honey:

1 Gallon Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar:

16 oz 2 pack Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar:

Set of 3 Regular Mouth Glass Quart Mason Jars:

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Can it be made with fresh ginger?


And it is yummy! A few sips a day is a good way to help get away from a bad soda-pop habit too.

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