Sparkling Ginger Lemonade

I’ve been struggling with whether I should share this drink recipe with you at the start of November.  I mean, what is more befitting than a cup of hot cocoa or apple cider on a chilly, sweater-wearing day, right?  But then I’m thinking, this fizzy concoction really hits the spot as you’re indulging in all of those heavy, meat-centric, butter-laden comfort foods this time of the year.

Once you make a batch of this ginger-infused simple syrup, you can store it in the fridge and make yourself a glass whenever you want something cool and refreshing.  If you’re not in the mood for something icy cold, you can turn this into a hot lemon ginger tea.  Just mix a few spoonfuls of the syrup with hot water and it becomes the perfect remedy if you have a sore throat or are feeling a bit under the weather.  The warming and soothing effects of ginger do wonders for the body and soul.  I’ve also heard that you can whip up a cocktail in no time if you shake it up with some crushed ice, a handful of fresh mint, a splash of bourbon, and club soda to top it all off.  It’s a win-win situation, I promise you.

Sparkling Ginger Lemonade
(yields about one cup of ginger-lemon flavored syrup)

½ cup sugar
½ cup water
2-in piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thinly
½ cup fresh lemon juice
Sparkling water

In a saucepan, combine sugar, water, and ginger.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves.  Remove from heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature.  Stir in lemon juice.  Pour the mixture through a sieve and store in a clean jar with a tight lid.  Store in the fridge for up to one month.

To serve, mix syrup (depends on how tart/strong you like your lemonade) with ice cubes and sparkling water.


Peach and Ginger Iced Green Tea

Lately, I’ve been on an iced tea and lemonade kick.  They’re so refreshing and satisfying for a sweltering summer day.  Oh, and especially after a seven-mile run!  As a previous non-runner, I’m really excited about having reached my first running goal and even more amazed by my will and physical strength!  Running is something I could never imagine myself doing; I remember feeling defeated after experiencing a sharp, intense cramp on the left side of my lower ribcage only few minutes into my runs and thinking, “Why would anyone want to put themselves through something so painful, strenuous, and exhausting?”  After years of telling myself how I’m not a runner and how much I hate it, I want to give it a shot because who knows what I may miss if I don’t try.  It put a lot of things in perspective for me, and for one: you can do anything if you set your mind to it.

I’ll be feeling the soreness in my legs and feet tomorrow. For today, a peach and ginger iced green tea is in the works.

Peach and Ginger Iced Green Tea
(makes about 4 cups)

4 green tea teabags
4 cups boiling water
1 inch piece of ginger, thinly sliced into rounds
2 fresh peaches, sliced
Juice of one lemon
Simple syrup, to taste
Peach slices and mint leaves for garnish

Add tea bags to a glass pitcher with boiling water and let them steep for about five minutes.  Remove the tea bags and let the ginger and peach slices infuse in the tea until it is cooled to room temperature.  Strain out the ginger and peach slices and add simple syrup to taste.  Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.  Serve over ice with peach slices and mint leaves.

Pomegranate Iced Tea

I was really excited when I saw this green tea elixir recipe on TheKitchn from Olive and Gourmando and decided that I had to try it out.  Last year, I visited the bakery when I was in Montreal.  The environment was fun and inviting, with communal tables and potted herb plants growing by the huge, open windows.  We ate some sandwiches and salads- which we struggled to pick from among a tantalizing selection of items on the chalkboard wall- and they were amazing.  I was glad that I had enough room for the pastries, because the apricot, coconut and white chocolate brioche was superbly delicious as well.

Browsing the ingredient list, pomegranate syrup or pomegranate molasses stood out; it was unfamiliar to me but interesting nevertheless.  I couldn’t find it in the stores after looking everywhere, so I made my own following Alton Brown’s recipe.  I realized there was another problem though: I couldn’t find the piece of ginger which I thought, somehow, was sitting in the veggie crisper of my refrigerator.  And somehow, it wasn’t.  I couldn’t possibly wait another day to make and enjoy this drink, though, so I forwent the idea altogether.  I came up with this recipe instead.  I hope you like it!

Pomegranate Iced Tea
(makes about 4 cups)

4 black tea bags
4 cups boiling water
Juice of one lemon
1/4 cup pomegranate syrup or pomegranate molasses
Simple syrup, to taste
Mint leaves for garnish
Lemon slices for garnish

Add tea bags to a glass pitcher with boiling water and let them steep for about five minutes.  Remove the tea bags and let the tea cool to room temperature.  Stir in the lemon juice, pomegranate syrup, and simple syrup to taste.  Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.  Serve over ice with lemon slices and mint leaves.

*To make simple syrup, just bring one part sugar and one part water into a boil and simmer until the sugar is dissolved.