Cheers! Discover the ultimate non-alcoholic drink to help you sleep better

This evening cocktail could help you sleep better (and no hangover as a bonus)

Try this drink if:

  • you enjoy a relaxing glass or two of wine in the evening, but also have trouble sleeping,
  • you're looking for a non alcoholic drink that's not laden with sugar

Let me introduce my new favourite drink - a switchel.

Based on an 18th century recipe a switchel is a deliciously refreshing mix of ginger, lemon, apple cider vinegar and water, sweetened with a dash of honey. It's a little bit sweet, a little bit sour and full of health boosting vitamins, enzymes & gut friendly bacteria.

Try the recipes below along with the ideas to customise your switchel.

But first, why switch to switchel?

Apart from the health benefits in the switchel ingredients, avoiding alcohol in the evening is universally recommended by doctors and scientists if you want the best chance of a good night's sleep.

The Sleep Foundation reports that men who drank two alcoholic drinks and women who drank one alcoholic drink experienced decreased sleep quality by 24%, and drinking more than those amounts decreased sleep quality by an astonishing 39.2%

Matt Walker, the Sleep Diplomat, explains how alcohol is "anything but a sleep aid" here:  

So if you're struggling to get to sleep, or have poor quality of sleep, why not switch your evening drink to a switchel?

College Green basic switchel recipe


  • A thumbnail sized piece of root ginger, peeled
  • A slice or wedge of lemon
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon of honey (depending on how sweet your tooth is)
  • 1-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (use a variety that says `with the mother' on the label if possible for extra gut boosting enzymes. Read why they are so beneficial here.)
  • Water (hot and cold)
  • Ice (optional)
  • Garnish (optional) eg cranberries, juniper berries


  • Cut the root ginger & put in the bottom of a glass
  • Squeeze the juice from the lemon into the glass then add the wedge or slice
  • Put the honey in, then a splash of very hot water from the kettle and muddle them all together, dissolving the honey in the water.
  • Fill the glass up with cold water, adding ice if you like.
  • Add the apple cider vinegar 
  • Top with garnish - I used dried cranberries, juniper berries & cardamom pods from a sachet I found in a supermarket but it's optional and up to you.
  • Stir & enjoy!

Customise your switchel

Switchel is easy to customise to suit your tastes & whatever you have to hand - change the wedge of lemon to lime, add your favourite herbs or edible flowers .. the options are endless...

St Clements switchel

Add several slices of orange and lemon.

Rosemary switchel

Add a sprig of fresh rosemary and muddle together with the lemon to release the herbaceous oil.

Hibiscus switchel

Add a few dried hibiscus petals at the end with the garnish. It will turn your switchel a beautiful pale pink colour.

Winter warmer switchel

For a non-alcoholic hot toddy use warm kettle water for the entire switchel - lovely to sip on during a cold winter's night or at an outdoor drinks party.

Turneric & black pepper switchel

Add 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder (or half a sliced piece of fresh turmeric, available from health food shops, speciality grocers and some supermarkets) and a grind of pepper. 

Tips to help you get a better night's sleep

If you're one of the many people who struggle to get a good night's sleep, you might like these eight tips to help you fall asleep and get a great night's sleep.

They include relaxing routines that everyone will enjoy, such as taking a warm bath with magnesium salts before bed, and using essential oils with relaxing properties, like the College Green Sleep Easy Pillow & Room mist.