Sugarmaking Makes Thirst Take a Hike

Homemade Maple SyrupWho would have thought that making maple syrup could quench your thirst? And I’m not just talking about your thirst to learn something new, or your thirst to do a Grisly Adams sort of thing. No, I’m talking about literally quenching your thirst folks, with two drinks that are nutritious as well as delicious.

When we have sap collected, we love to take a few quarts into the kitchen, substitute it for the water in the recipe below, and whip up some delicious probiotic, homemade-gatorade-ish Maple Switchel.

Maple Switchel

  • 8 cups of water
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp grated ginger
  1. Heat 2 cups of water in a small saucepan.
  2. Remove from heat and steep the ginger for 20 minutes.
  3. Strain out the ginger and mix in remaining sap (or water) and the apple cider vinegar.
  4. Enjoy at room temperature or chilled.

Folks say it can last for weeks in the fridge, but I wouldn’t know. I mean how could someone let this yumminess just sit for weeks? I can only testify that it lasts very well for a whole day in the fridge. Once. Between myself and my gingerale-loving daughters, this stuff is usually gone as quickly as we make it.

Maple Kombucha

Kombucha is a fermented drink, so it’s not quite as easy to whip up as a few quarts of switchel, but the rewards are amazing. If you want to brew some maple kombucha, you will need a maple SCOBY.

Basically, to make a few quarts of maple kombucha, you just need 7 cups of black, white, or green tea, sweetened with 1/3 cup of maple syrup. Let that ferment (with a fabric cover on your jar) with 1 cup of starter tea and a SCOBY. When the taste is just the way you like it, you can enjoy it immediately or add more syrup and frozen fruits for a second ferment. Try combination you’d like, or see the recipes below for inspiration.

Blueberry Ginger
Add 1/4 cup frozen blueberries and roughly 1 tablespoon finely diced fresh ginger to 32 oz bottle of kombucha.

Strawberry Pineapple
Add 1/4 cup frozen, diced strawberries and about 1/4 cup of scrap pieces of fresh pineapple to 32 oz bottle of kombucha. (Feel free to even use the pineapple core, which would typically just get thrown way or composted.)

So not only is the product simply delicious, but making maple syrup is all about making
memories, taking baking to a whole new level, and truly quenching your thirst. Who knew? Definitely not me when my favorite sugarmaker drilled that first, simple tap.

*****

Michelle VisserAuthor of Sweet Maple (available Fall 2019) and Simple DIY Kombucha, and the owner of SoulyRested.com, Michelle homesteads in New Hampshire’s lake district with her husband, daughters, labradoodle, chicken, ducks, cows, rabbits, bees, barn cats, and a whole lot of maple trees.