Switchel is mentioned as early as 1600s and it has been suggested that it originated in the Caribbean but probably is even older and came from Africa to Europe then to American. Some have written that it came from the Amish but this does not seem likely as references to it are from older sources before the settlement of the Amish in America, although they probably drank it as did most farmers from the Colonial times.
1 gal water
2 c. sugar, light brown is best
1/2 c light molasses optional
1 c apple vinegar
1 tsp ginger (or a ginger root)
Stir and Chill
Either make with cool spring water or after making, wrap in wet clothes or let cool in a creek to get it as cool as possible.