Learn how to make ‘haymakers punch’

MIDDLEBURY — Learn how to make switchel on Saturday, Aug. 27, at 2 p.m. at The National Museum of the Morgan Horse. Museum director Amy Mincher will teach a class on the history of switchel, sometimes called “haymakers’ punch.” Participants will leave with a jar of switchel and a copy of the recipe.
Switchel has made a comeback in recent years with several new producers in Vermont. It was a popular drink in the nineteenth century, made of water mixed with vinegar, often seasoned with ginger, and sweetened with honey, maple syrup or molasses. Sometimes, oatmeal and lemon juice were added. People drank the beverage to replace electrolytes during the summer months, especially during haying.
The National Museum of the Morgan Horse shares the history of the Morgan horse with the public. Throughout the nineteenth century, New Englanders used their Morgan horses for a variety of farm work. Morgan horse owners valued the horses for being able to get around tight corners on side-hills during haying. Vermont farmers drank switchel out in the fields while giving their horses a break from the hard work of haying and harvesting. Come to the museum to learn about this unique part of Vermont agricultural history.
For more information or to RSVP for this event, email Amy Mincher at [email protected] or call 802-388-1639. There is a $5 fee to help offset the costs of ingredients and materials. The National Museum of the Morgan Horse is open from 1-5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday. Visit the museum at 34 Main Street in Middlebury.

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