Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A beverage of molasses and water, seasoned with vinegar and ginger.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A beverage of molasses and water, seasoned with vinegar and ginger.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A drink made of molasses and water, and sometimes a little vinegar and ginger; also, rum and water sweetened with molasses, formerly a common beverage among American sailors; hence, in sailors' use, any strong drink, sweetened and flavored.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Related to sweet.

Examples

  • Water, thickened with oatmeal, or made spicy with vinegar and ginger, "switchel," as it is called, served to quench the thirst.

    Cowboy Dave

  • I think I'll grab a cold glass of switchel after one last chapter revision, and veg out in front of the World Cup.

    jhetley: Return of the Couch Potato

  • The breakfast was eaten, the luncheon was packed in a large basket, with bottles of root beer and a jug of switchel, which packing I superintended with the greatest interest; and then the cattle were to be collected for the march, and the horses hitched up.

    Being a Boy

  • I will give a traveler a cup of switchel, if he want it; but am I bound to supply him with a sweet taste?

    I and My Chimney

  • This fall, Peels, just across the Bowery from Saxon & Parole, will introduce a switchel.

    NYT > Home Page

  • The old Yankee haymaker’s drink, switchel, was, essentially, vinegar water with molasses and ginger.

    My Cider Vinegar Experiment: The Remarkable Final Report

  • “Come, Molly, pretty dear;” set in her father, “no blackstrap to night; no switchel, or ginger-pop.

    Margaret

Comments

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  • This sounds yummy

    March 4, 2014

  • 'What care I, if, unaware that my chimney, as a free citizen of this free land, stands upon an independent basis of its own, people passing it wonder how such a brick-kiln, as they call it, is supported upon mere joists and rafters? What care I? I will give a traveller a cup of switchel, if he want it; but am I bound to supply him with a sweet taste? Men of cultivated minds see, in my old house and chimney, a goodly old elephant-and-castle.'

    - Melville, I and My Chimney

    (A must read for all fans of things Freudian)

    April 3, 2010