With the arrival of winter and colder temperatures across much of Australia, it’s a good time to give our immune systems a boost of healthy bacteria. Made from fermented apple juice, apple cider vinegar is a popular home remedy, that has been used for centuries in cooking and medicine.

Here are 2 of my favourite winter health drink recipes, using apple cider vinegar as the base ingredient.

Apple cider vinegar – how exactly is it made?

Made by crushing apples, then squeezing out the juice. Bacteria and yeast are then added to the liquid to start the alcoholic fermentation process, which converts the sugars to alcohol. The second stage of fermentation then converts the alcohol into vinegar, with acetic acid and malic acid combining to give the sour taste.

I have used an organic unfiltered version in my recipes, which also contains a substance called mother. This contains strands of protein, enzymes and friendly bacteria, that give the murky appearance.

Benefits of apple cider vinegar
  • Full of friendly bacteria and antioxidants
  • Has antimicrobial properties
  • Contains amino acids and some potassium
  • Great for salad dressings
  • Can be used a natural food preservative and disinfectant

Some studies (see references below) have also shown that apple cider vinegar can help improve insulin sensitivity, help lower blood sugar responses after meals, help the body to feel fuller so consuming less overall calories, and help improve some skin conditions.

Straight shot

  • 15-30 mls apple cider vinegar
  • Small amount of filtered water – adjust as desired.
  • 1 tsp raw honey

Stir together in a glass, ensuring the honey is fully dissolved, and drink straight away.

Ginger Switchel

This vinegar and ginger drink, that became known as haymakers punch, dates back to 19th Century America, and was served to quench the thirst of farmers during harvest time. Its a great and refreshing alternative to many over sweetened drinks available in the shops today.

  • 2 tbsps apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tsps sweetener (honey, molasses, maple syrup or sugar) – I used local raw honey
  • 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 cup water
  • Combine all the ingredients in a glass or jar
  • Cover and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight)
  • Shake or stir before serving
  • If using fresh ginger, strain through a fine sieve or cheesecloth
  • Pour over ice or mix with soda water.


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