I've been reading about the health benefits of drinking hot water with lemon for years. Truthfully it never had any appeal to me and still doesn't. I love my early morning coffee. It's become a ritual that is so important in how I start my day. I have a lovely espresso machine and every morning before the sun and the children are up I craft myself a cup of cappuccino. I drink it in the living room, in the dark with the news quietly humming in the background before the sky brightens. These are the most precious 20 minutes I have each day. I drink another cup or two in the morning - Caffeine, they say, when consumed before a workout increases your energy and maximizes your results. But by midmorning I'm still wanting something warm and soothing to sip on, and often, when I'm home writing I'm wanting something throughout the day and while I drink my fair share of water, both flat and Pellegrino (which I prefer over other seltzers because the bubbles are softer and smaller) I sometimes need something else.
There's a tea that I adore and order every time I go to this one restaurant I adore in Greenwich, Connecticut called Meli-Melo Creperie. (In fact everything is fabulous there, from the salads, the soups, the sandwiches to the crepes) There's something soothing and calming about the tea and it doesn't weigh you down or cause you to be jittery all day long. While it's not tea per se, as it contains no tea (therefore no caffeine) it is soul warming and delicious and the perfect beverage to sip on during those long cold winter days. I've decided to have my hand at trying to create this divine drink at home and after a few tries I think I've come awfully close. This won't stop me from ordering the tea when I return, but I can now enjoy it in the comfort of my own home. I make a big batch and sip on it throughout the day. Not only is this tea delicious to drink but it offers numerous the health benefits as well. Ginger is a natural anti-inflamatory. It also reduces muscle pain and soreness, lowers blood sugar, aids digestion and is high in antioxidants. Lemon is rich in vitamin C, B6, A, E, folate, calcium, and magnesium to name a few. It's an antioxidant and has healing properties. While honey has more calories than sugar, when consumed with warm water, it helps in digesting the fat stored in your body. Similarly, honey and lemon juice as well as honey and cinnamon help in reducing weight. For more read here. So isn't this all reason enough to give this a try?
6 cups of water
1 3 - 4 inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
Juice of 2 large lemons, plus lemon slices for garnish if desired
3 tablespoons of local honey (or more or less to taste)
Mint leaves, for color and garnish, optional
Measure water using a large Pyrex or glass measuring cup and pour into a large pot, adding the lemon, ginger and honey. Bring water to a rolling boil for a few minutes and turn off heat. Let steep 20-30 minutes in the pot with the lid on to keep the liquid contained. The longer you steep, the stronger the flavors will be. Of course you can add more or less of any of the ingredients. When ready, after 30 minutes or so you can transfer the warm liquid to a pitcher. When ready to drink using a sieve to filter out the pieces of ginger, pour desired amount into cup. Reheat on stove or in microwave until desired temperature is reached. Add lemon and or mint leaves for garnish. The tea will keep out on the counter for the day or in the fridge for 2 to 3 days - but you'll find you won't be able to keep it around that long. If the liquid becomes too strong simply dilute with water to achieve desired taste.
Bring some in a thermos to enjoy all day at work.
Pour over ice in a pretty glass. This is delicious cold as well!
Pour into your water bottle bottle with ice and bring it with you wherever you go!