Make your own refreshingly healthy ginger-cinnamon iced tea
The cure for what ails you
This knotty root (also called rhizome) of the Zingiber plant has its origins in southern China after which it spread to Asia, Africa, India, and then Europe. Many cultures continue to use ginger as a traditional home remedy and in the practice of folk medicine, besides using it in soups, stews, and sauces for an exotic complex taste. Among its medicinal uses:
- Nausea and other gastric upsets
- Flu-like symptoms
- Heart conditions (lowers cholesterol and helps prevent blood clotting)
Medicinal and a versatile flavor enhancer
Ginger is one of those miracle spices that seems to be the cure for just about whatever ails the body. Matching its medicinal qualities is its culinary versatility. Sauté it in a skillet dish, toss it in a salad, marinate with it, pickle it, or—one of my favorites—steep it in hot water for tea. It’s spicy and pungent and fragrant. Its strong flavor permeates whatever you decide to pare with it.
Make ginger the main attraction on a hot summer day by infusing it for an iced tea. Add a stick of cinnamon to cut down the sharpness. It’s an irresistible combination with a little sweetener and served on the rocks.
Can you improve on this?
I rediscovered this distinguished drink recently at a farmer’s market, where it was sold by the glass with lots of ice. Prepared to pucker up for the hit of ginger, the spice was perfectly blended with cinnamon and sugar to please my palate. I went home and worked to replicate the delicate blend. I hope you find this as refreshing and surprising as I did. There’s only three ingredients. Experiment yourself and let me know how you might improve on it.
- 1 tblsp ginger, sliced thin or chopped
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- 1 tblsp sugar, Turbinado
- 1 quart water
- Simmer a quart of water
- Thinly slice or chop ginger
- Add cinnamon stick (about 3") and ginger to water. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Let sit for about 20 minutes covered.
- Strain out ginger and remove cinnamon stick. Cool and serve on ice.