I used to help in our family restaurant. I love good food and enjoy thinking up creative ways to cook and use leftovers to avoid food waste.
Hot in Winter, Cold in Summer
What could be more comforting on a cold winter's day than curling up in the warmth of your home with a delicious drink which you know is also doing you good? Picture the scene: you've been out in the snow, and now you're indoors, with your boots off, snuggling into your favorite chair, sipping a steaming mug of lemon juice, ginger and honey which you prepared earlier.
This drink converts effortlessly into a great summertime beverage, as well. I've become fed up with overly-sweet commercially bottled drinks whenever I need a cool summer drink to sip outside in the shade whilst the sun beats down. Apart from the too-sweet taste, knocking back drinks that I know don't contain a shred of nourishment makes me feel a bit guilty.
So I've taken to making this tasty lemon, honey and ginger drink, which has a bit of a bite from the ginger. Drunk hot it's just right for a chilly day, and drunk cold, it's just right for a hot summer's day.
- Lemon squeezer
- Potato peeler
- Kitchen knife
- Chopping board
- Small saucepan
|Prep time||Ready in||Yields|
12 to 14 servings
- 5 lemons
- Large piece of ginger
- Honey, to taste
Adjust to Taste
This will make a concentrated lemon and ginger juice, to which you will add hot water. Some people like it strong, and some like it a little weaker, so just experiment until your lemon and ginger drink tastes just right. You can then drink it hot, lukewarm, or cold.
- Peel the ginger; then grate it, using a blender or cheese grater. You can use the grating device on a food processor, but ginger is a bit stringy and clogs up the holes, so you might need to clean the grating plate midway, in order to complete the job.
- Squeeze the lemons. Scrape the lemons with a spoon or knife to get all the juicy bits. Remove the pips. Pour the juice into a saucepan. Add about six teaspoonfuls of honey for a fairly sour drink, or more honey for a sweeter drink. You can also sweeten the drink with sugar, or artificial sweetener such as Hermesetas or Stevia.
- Simmer the mixture for 3 or 4 minutes. Allow it to cool. Then pour it into containers. You will then have a concentrated mixture which should be stored in the fridge or freezer until required.
- Stir the lemon and ginger concentrate before using, and then put a small amount into a mug (about 1 to 2 tablespoons) and add hot or boiling water. Add more sweetening to taste if desired.
Make It in Bulk to Save Time
The beauty of this drink is that you can make it in bulk, and store some of the concentrated mixture in the fridge, just pouring a little into a mug when you need it and adding boiling water. It keeps well.
If you make enough, you can also freeze some of it, to use in the following weeks - that's what I do, storing it in small pots. Better than buying fruit drinks from the shops, and at least you know where it's been.
Read More From Delishably
Health Benefits of Ginger, Honey and Lemon
I am not a herbalist or a doctor, but the health properties of these three ingredients are widely accepted.
- Hot lemon, ginger and honey is a very good cold remedy. These ingredients have been used in many countries over the centuries as natural herbal remedies
- Lemon is high in vitamin C
- Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties
- Honey has healing properties
As well as prescribing a linctus, my own doctor suggested I should take these three products when I visited the surgery. I had been suffering from a bad cough, lots of mucous, a sore throat and blocked ears.
My daughter suggested that I keep a flask of the drink to keep it hot—so that I could drink it several times during the day. That was a very sensible idea.
Health Benefits of Echinacea
Echinacea is a herbal remedy derived from the plant Echinacea purpurea. Some say it has no health benefits; others swear by it.
Someone recommended echinacea to me many years ago, and I believe it works. I feel that my colds didn't last so long and the symptoms were relieved by the use of echinacea. It is also supposed to protect against colds, so I take it sometimes when other people close to me have a cold.
Those who are against it say that it is merely a placebo, with no other benefit.
Optional: Add a Splash of Brandy or Whiskey
For medicinal purposes only, you understand!
Just be careful not to overdo it just because it's comforting and tastes good—we don't want it to react badly with any medicines you are taking or make you comatose, do we?
But a little of what you fancy does you good (so I am told!). And, if you have a cold, what nicer way to fall asleep than being tucked up in bed with a steaming mug of lemon, honey, ginger and brandy?
© 2013 Diana Grant