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- 15 October, 2019

Switchels, Shrubs & Tonics: A RAW guide to vinegar drinks

If you’ve been knocking back a shot of ACV (apple cider vinegar) on the daily, congrats! You are officially a vinegar drinker and you’re probably boosting your immune system and your gut health as a result.

But there are even more ways to enjoy the benefits of vinegar (aside from on your chips or from a pickled onion). Vinegar is a sort of wonder liquid – anti-inflammatory and full of digestive properties and drinking it regularly can help with all sorts of ailments and conditions. We’ve written before about ACV and its many properties but here we quench your thirst for vinegar usage a little more thoroughly! In this blog we’ll be looking at the most refreshing, delicious ways to consume this energy-boosting, gut loving ingredient and put a little pep in your step.


Switchels, switzel, swizzle, switchy, ginger-water or haymaker’s punch have been around, like vinegar, for ever. Providing refreshment to parched farmers and used as a medicinal beverage in the 19th century, this zingy, thirst-quencher is vinegar mixed traditionally with water, molasses and ginger and is the perfect summer sip. Here’s how you can switch up your drinks offering:

RAW Strawberry and Ginger Switchel


1 tbsp RAW Apple Cider Vinegar

1 tbsp RAW Honey

A small chunk of fresh ginger

3 or 4 strawberries

A squeeze of lemon juice

500ml of filtered water


  1. Add all ingredients to a large mason jar. Cover with the lid and shake to combine. Place in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. Strain and serve cold or with ice.


The word ‘shrub’ in this context is from the Arabic ‘sharāb’ meaning ‘to drink’ and refers to the American drink made by pouring vinegar over fruits as a way of preserving them. The syrupy infusion resulting from this process could then be used in cocktails or poured over soda as a soft drink.

The Shrubarb Cocktail (adapted from Epicurious)

Makes 1 tasty cocktail


For the ginger-rhubarb shrub:

  • 900g rhubarb (approx 6 cups), cut into 2cm pieces
  • 1 (7 inch) piece ginger, unpeeled, sliced
  • 175ml Raw Organic ACV
  • 250g sugar

For each cocktail:

  • Gin (the measure is up to you!)
  • Juice of half a fresh lime
  • Sparkling water


For the ginger-rhubarb shrub:

  1. Combine rhubarb, ginger, vinegar, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until rhubarb is completely broken down and strands are visible, about 10–15 minutes.
  2. Using a fine-mesh sieve or a colander lined with cheesecloth, strain mixture into a glass container. Let cool to room temperature, then chill.

For each cocktail:

Combine gin, lime juice, and 50ml of your ginger-rhubarb shrub in a cocktail shaker. Fill your shaker with ice and give it a good old shake until the outside of your shaker is frosty, about 30 seconds. Strain into an ice-filled Collins-style glass, filling three-quarters full. Top off with club soda and enjoy!

The RAW Shrub

We’ve been cheffing up our own vinegary concoctions here at RAW! See how to make this super simple apple shrub here.


Vinegar started life as a happy accident. Wine left too long becomes bitter and soured (the word ‘vinegar’ is in fact from the French ‘sour wine’). However, not ones to waste a barrel of booze, us ingenious humans found this new form of wine could preserve and disinfect and, when blended with fruit syrups, be used as a revitalising pick-me-up.

Traditionally a tonic would be medicinal, a drink to put a pep in your step and invigorate your senses and that’s no different today – try our ACV, Turmeric, Ginger & Honey Tonic, or Lemon, Ginger and ACV Tonic as a yummy, cleansing and restorative thirst quencher.

How are you using your vinegar? As a household cleaning product? As a delicious gulp of goodness? Let us know! Tweet or tag us on social and share your pics of your fave vinegar uses #rawvinegar #rawvibrantliving #rawfoodlove.

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