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Switchel is the refreshingly tart drink giving kombucha a run for its money

Walk into any health food shop and you'll find fridges brimming with endless flavours of kombucha, the fermented tea celebrated for its probiotic properties. But buried away in the corner, you may spy a competitor that's starting to muscle its way onto kombucha's territory – switchel. Originally from the Caribbean before finding popularity with 18th century American farmers, the combination of apple cider vinegar, ginger and lemon juice sweetened with honey or maple syrup has been nicknamed 'nature's Gatorade'.

"When I decided to embark on Dry January a few weeks ago, I went on the hunt for fizzy drinks that weren't caffeinated or sickly sweet," says Stylist's email content director Gemma Crisp. "After trying the Lemon & Ginger Switchel by New Zealand's Karma Drinks (£2, Waitrose), I became slightly obsessed. The tangy flavour is just tart enough without being sour, but it's also available in apple and blackcurrant or peach and passionfruit for those who prefer fruitier flavours." 

Australian kombucha brand Remedy has also branched out into switchel, with its blood orange and tropical flavours available here (£1.99, Holland & Barrett), while the Lake District's ZingiBear is representing for the UK (£3.75, General Store). Switchel is also easy to make yourself, as wine writer Fiona Beckett details in her new book How to Drink Without Drinking (£15.99, Bookshop) – find the recipe here. Kombucha, you've been warned… 


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What She Loves: Marisa Abela
The star of BBC Two's Industry shares her current favourite things 

The Colour Purple by Alice Walker
"I read nonfiction a lot so I was like, I'm going to read a really great story. It was just amazing. I got through it in two days, and I was so invested. It was brilliant." £8.99, Bookshop

Chanel Hydra Beauty Micro Sérum
"This really changed the game for me. I have quite good skin, but it's quite dry – and anything too heavy-duty gives me spots. This is really hydrating, but super light. It's the best thing I've ever used." £70, John Lewis

Sézane Rita jumper
"To be honest, you can't get me out my dressing gown at the moment. But there's a jumper I just got from Sézane: it's white and cosy but it has these black ruffles, which makes it a bit more special." £105, Sézane

Films To Be Buried With
"The idea for this podcast is that you've died and gone to heaven, and they ask you the history of your life through film. There are so many cool film ideas and [host Brett Goldstein] often gets comedians to do it, so it's really funny. I can't recommend it enough." Listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Acast

Meridian Crunchy Peanut Butter
"I love this peanut butter, which doesn't use palm oil. For breakfast I have porridge with a tablespoon of peanut butter. I mix it while it's warming, and then when you eat it, it's this delicious crunchy peanut butter porridge. I add banana, too. It's SO GOOD." £3.39, Planet Organic

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