Every batch of Up Mountain Switchel is made with fresh ginger, raw and organic New York apple cider vinegar, Vermont maple syrup and New York City tap water. Ginger straight from Hawai'i is preferred, though when it's sourced from elsewhere, they like to use ginger from Hawaiian seed. Some of the peel is left on for fiber and flavor.
The mixture brews for a few hours under careful supervision and occasional stirring to fully incorporate the syrup, while the ginger is steeped in cheesecloth. They know the brew is close to done when the room smells of fresh ginger with wafts of maple syrup. The final result has a little more spicy ginger punch than ginger beer.
Garrett & Ely chose Mason jars because they're the best way to handle steaming hot switchel.
The vacuum seal
After capping, each bottle gets a quick dunk for the vacuum seal. It's an old-fashioned method: farm wives used to dip buckets full of finished jars into the well to keep their switchel cool during hay making season.
The labels aren't hand-drawn anymore, but they're still added to each jar one by one.