Lemon Ginger Soother

March 5, 2014    BY Jennifer Ecclestone

This cold-weather beverage will comfort you from the inside out—and it’s packed with vitamin C and throat soothers. Ginger’s spicy heat gives this drink a gentle kick, while the tart lemon is balanced with just enough sweetness from the sugar and honey.

In a large pot, combine 5 cups of filtered water, 2⁄3 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 4 lemons), 3 tablespoons of sugar, a 2-inch piece of ginger—peeled, sliced, and smashed—and 8 whole green cardamom pods, crushed. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve and portion into 4 mugs. Add honey to taste and garnish each with a lemon slice.

Prep Tips: Use the handle of a good knife, or any blunt kitchen tool, to smash the ginger slices. They will release more flavor this way. For those avoiding refined sugar, use agave nectar instead. Steep ingredients longer for a more intense ginger flavor.

Variations: Try substituting peach or pear nectar for lemon juice. Try a chilled version during warm weather. In India, salt is added to replenish important electrolytes during intense heat.