Vinegar-Based Fruit Juices Ben Franklin Drank As Medicine On Hot Summer Days
Vinegar-Based Fruit Juices Ben Franklin Drank As Medicine On Hot Summer Days by: Nicole K – Off the Grid News
I want to tell you the fascinating story about the history of vinegar-based fruit juices. It seems like food and drink trends always bring us back to the phrase… “everything old is new again.” Beekeeping, backyard chickens, whole foods, and local foods have become downright fashionable, and for good reason.
Of course, those who are homesteaders and “do-it-yourselfers” know that many of the old ways are the best ways.
Vinegar-based fruit juices are no exception. Today, you’ll find some of these refreshing drinks referenced in gourmet magazines and food websites. Moreover, they were alluded to in the Bible and have roots in many places around the world. Interestingly, these drinks were also very commonly found in American homes during the colonial times. They were also a common method of preserving foods prior to refrigeration, thereby making them a typical and popular choice of drink in early America.
Switchels, as people call them, are vinegar-based fruit juices. Very simply, they consist of a mixture of fruit, vinegar, and sugar that is consumed both alone and is sometimes used as a base for a cocktail. From China to England, they have an amazing history in many cultures spanning the globe.
Switchels, which are sometimes called “shrubs,” truly came into their own in America with the early colonists. Moreover, there are some very interesting places where switchels show up in American history. A recipe for switchels is chronicled in Founding Father Benjamin Franklin’s papers according to the American Philosophical Society. Later, during the War of 1812, Captain James Dacres, an English Naval captain, battled the American ship USS Constitution. Historians discovered that as the battle raged on, Captain Dacres fantasized about serving Americans this drink when they surrendered. Like a Coke or a Pepsi today, switchels were seen as the epitome of American drinks. Captain Dacres apparently dreamed about rubbing the Americans’ noses in their favorite drink so to speak, as they lost the battle to Britain. However, as history played out, the American Navy sank his ship and he received his own “drink” of a different sort.