Review: Turkey Hill Haymakers Original Cider & I USED To Drink Kombucha…

JFG Nation, sometime last year the JFGal and I were on a big health kick, and part of that process was we drank a LOT of Kombucha. Recommended by a fitness trainer friend of ours, Kombucha provided everything we needed – good stomach karma, felt like soda, low cal, decent flavor. Some kombuchas taste legitimately like vomit, but we found some varieties we rather enjoyed. And again, most importantly, low cal! 1/3 and sometimes 1/4 the calories of soda.

The problem? It was DAMN EXPENSIVE. Each bottle of fermented tea and vinegar drink we’d buy ran us $3.50-$4.00! Ridiculous. Who am I, Mark Zuckerberg? I couldn’t continue to pour this liquid money down my throat while at the same time bitching that my cable bill was too high. WHICH IT STILL IS, COMCAST.

So we stopped. Recently, we heard of another low cal drink that seemed similar – switchel. Simply put, switchel is water plus vinegar plus ginger…a lot of the same ingredients as kombucha. Sure it sounded a little weird, but Wiki says it was often flavored with molasses and lemon. I wanted to try it!

But alas, bottled switchel was nowhere to be found. Then I went to the Summer Fancy Good show, where drinkable vinegars were ALL THE RAGE this year. What?? Is this happening?

I came home from NYC, still uncertain about the staying power of switchel or any drinkable ginger-vinegar water.

What should arrive in the mail the very next day? Turkey Hill Haymakers Original Cider.

Turkey Hill Haymakers Original Cider: The Money Shot

Turkey Hill Haymakers Original Cider: The Money Shot

Turkey Hill Haymakers Original Cider is just one of Turkey Hill’s new beverage line called Haymakers, which was a nickname of switchel drinks back in the day. Back in the day, according to Wiki, is the late 17th century. Whoa.


Turkey Hill Haymakers Original Cider basically combines switchel ingredients with, in this case, apple cider. Hey, I can be a thirsty farmer if you want me to be.


Turkey Hill Haymakers Original Cider still has a decent amount of sugar, so it’s not the low cal beverage that switchel is, which is a bit of a downer.


Still, this Turkey Hill Haymakers Original Cider was pretty good! Opening the bottle, here was no vinegar smell, only apple and ginger. The opaque liquid was light, not syrupy, and tasted like a sweet cider without being cloying.

The backend flavor was the primary difference with typical apple cider – While the initial flavor was all Apple, halfway throw the swallow I could already get hints of ginger and molasses which were really interesting. Once I swallowed and smacked my lips, hints of honey emerged that were surprising…I liked it! Didn’t taste any vinegar, though the whole thing was more crisp than other ciders I’d had.

Except for the sugar content, I really liked this. It was more complex that other cider drinks for sure. Thumbs up to TH for trying to bring switchel mainstream.

Purchased at: Sent to me! Find out more here.

Price: Find out more here.



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Discuss - 9 Comments

  1. Alley says:

    I bought the lightly sweetened iced tea version of this stuff. It’s almost… herbal? Kinda weird and not my favorite thing but hey, it’s something different, at least.

  2. Emma M. says:

    What kind of diet/healthy eating regime did you adopt when you went through your health kick?

  3. Valerie Lona says:

    Sounds good but too bad it doesn’t have the probiotics that Kombucha does…

  4. Alek says:

    Trader Joe’s sell kombucha for $2.79 (capitol kombuncha) and $2.99 for GTS brand. It tastes funky but good

  5. Merissa says:

    Williams-Sonoma sells a kombucha machine and, I believe, kombucha starter.

    I had a professor in college who drank water, apple cider vinegar, and some kind of algae mixed together. Eugh.

  6. Kate says:

    Visiting my sister in Denver his past weekend, we stopped into The Lobby for a happy hour bev. We ordered kombucha mimosas. Oh, my word. SOO GOOD! A great way to cut your kombucha to make it last longer 😉

  7. Surfer Sandman says:

    JFG, I’m an avid reader of your blog. If you want to review some bottled Switchel, there’s a place here in VT that makes it. Worth checking out.

    I like kombucha but I prefer to drink homemade. I have a friend that makes her own and I get to sample it when I visit.

  8. Lee says:

    Did not taste apples. Not like cider. The first taste was water and then some kind of sweet berry. True cider is pure apples.

    You are buying mainly sugar and water.

  9. Al Rag says:

    I had the cider because apple cider is one of my favourite beverages. This was terrible. Did not taste any apple. All I tasted was the molasses. Way too sweet and overall an unpleasant beverage.

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