Switchel and shrub were popular vinegar-based soft drinks in the days before soda fountains and canned pop. If you don’t manage to produce vinegar accidentally, you can do it on purpose by covering your wine at any point after Step 4 with cheesecloth instead of a lid or cork. Wait a few weeks or months and — voila!
• 2 parts vinegar
• 2 parts molasses or sorghum
• 4 parts raw sugar or maple syrup
• 1 part grated gingerroot (Zingiber officinale)
1. Put vinegar and molasses in a stainless steel or other nonreactive pot.
2. Add grated ginger.
3. Simmer slowly, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes.
4. Strain, add sugar and let cool.
5. Store in the refrigerator to mix up switchel as needed; 1 part syrup to 8 parts water is a good guideline.
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How to Make Herbal Wine.