Friday, June 24, 2011

Iced Ginger Tea

I hate moving. I especially hate moving when it's 95 degrees outside with high humidity. Although the calendar says that summer has barely begun, it's here with a vengeance in Durham, NC. Although we're still in the process of moving our operations, I thought I'd take a break from the heat and hard work to post this refreshing recipe for iced ginger tea. This is a make-ahead recipe as you'll need to steep the fresh ginger the night before, but one sip and I think you'll agree that it's a great way to cool down, quench your thirst and re-energize when the weather gets really hot. This recipe makes a one-quart pitcher, and feel free to adjust the ingredient amounts for more or less zestiness, sweetness, or tartness as you may prefer.

1 quart water
2 inches fresh ginger root
1 Lemon
1/4 to 1/3 cup sugar

Bring the water to a boil on your stove top. While the water is heating up, peel and grate the ginger into a large non-metal bowl (preferably glass or ceramic). Finely grate the rind (avoid the white pith) off half of the lemon, and add the grated lemon zest to the bowl with the grated ginger. Reserve the lemon for later use in this recipe. When the water has reached boiling, remove from heat and carefully pour into the bowl with the ginger and lemon zest. Stir and let cool until safe to handle, then cover and place bowl in refrigerator overnight to allow the ginger and lemon zest to steep.

The next day, place a strainer over a pitcher, remove the bowl from the refrigerator and carefully pour the ginger-lemon tea through the strainer into the pitcher (you can also use a ladle, which is slower but less likely to spill). Discard the ginger and lemon zest left in the strainer. Squeeze the juice of half of the reserved lemon into the pitcher, and stir in 1/4 cup sugar. Continue stirring until all the sugar has dissolved. Taste for balance and add more lemon juice or sugar if desired. Pour into ice-filled glasses and garnish with a slice of lemon and a sprig of mint, if desired.

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company

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