I’m just back from New York City for the kids’ spring break, and it was like gulping at the spring of life for a few glorious days – food food and food, miles of walking, brisk clear springtime and long-missed friends. My soul is refilled.
I don’t know if it’s the travel home or just the allergy season, but we’re a little sniffly-sneezy this week. At the end our trip I had a spicy, steaming cup of ginger, lemon, honey and mint tea (really a tisane if you want to get technical, since there was no actual tea in it), and after a week of NY pizza, bagels and pastrami sandwiches, the fresh citrus and ginger rushed in like a tingly immune boost.
I’ve made many fresh herbal tisanes with mint, lemongrass or lemon verbena when I’ve grown them. Fresh ginger tea has always been a favorite of mine, and I often make a hot lemon-honey drink for sore throats. But I love the idea of putting lemon, ginger, mint and honey all together in a warm wellness cocktail.
Fresh lemon juice has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits, as well as a load of vitamin C. Ginger and mint are excellent for digestion, and ginger has additional anti-inflammatory agents. Even honey is more than empty sweetener – it brings a wealth of antioxidant, antibacterial and probiotic properties as well.
This ain’t no powdered vitamin drink. Absorption is always better from real food, and nature’s food has compounds that are not quantified by percentage numbers on a nutrition label.
Plus it’s a treat to drink. And a toasty beverage always mellows me out.
I like to brew up a bigger batch of gingery water so that I can make a cup of this tea anytime. I used slices of ginger here, which I had stashed in the freezer, but it’s more effective to chop up the ginger or grate it. (And apparently you can grate frozen ginger! I’ll try that next time.)
The ginger needs a good 15 minutes of simmering or steeping to get the full transfer of flavor. It also helps to use a spoon to press out the juices from the ginger. Well-infused ginger water should be a little cloudy and yellow.
When I’m ready for a cup, I put a spoonful of honey in.
Some fresh lemon juice over.
And add the warmed ginger water and some mint leaves.
Stir it up, breathe it in, and enjoy. And let the drink do its good work.
Ginger Lemon Honey Mint Tea
This warm drink is full of health benefits (antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, probiotic, pro-digestive), combining several favorite fresh herbal tisanes into one warm, tingly drink. A power boost for when you’re under the weather. Or just breathe it in and relax.
- 1 inch piece chopped or grated fresh ginger (about 1 tablespoon)
- 2 cups water
- 1 medium lemon, juiced (about 3 tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoons honey (or to taste)
- Fresh mint leaves (as much or as little as you like/have)
- Heat water to boiling in a kettle or saucepan. Add ginger and steep/simmer for 10-15 minutes. Use a spoon to press juice from any larger pieces of ginger.
- In two mugs, add a tablespoon of honey, followed by 1/2 the lemon juice. Using a strainer to catch stray pieces, pour in hot ginger water and add mint leaves. Serve hot.
Makes 2 large mugs.
- You can certainly make a larger batch of tea at once, but the lemon juice is best fresh, so I wouldn’t make more than you can drink in a day.
- To make ahead: I like to make several cups of ginger infusion and store it in a jar. Then I can heat up a cup at a time as needed and add the lemon, honey and mint fresh.
- Store excess ginger in the freezer to keep it from drying out: cut in slices and freeze, or freeze whole and grate as needed (yes, you can grate frozen ginger!).
Here’s the link to a printable version.