Saturday, July 1, 2017

Ginger Herb Tonic

This Sunday at the Fairmount Farmers Market you can find all your fixings for a Fourth of July feast, with pastured meat and eggs from Fair Valley Farm, fresh produce from Camas Swale Farm, and beautiful flowers from Tiger Lily Art Company.

For a refreshing beverage to sip, cold or hot, at a picnic or while tending the grill, here is a ginger and herb tonic I concocted. It's inspiration is both exotic (a ginger, lemongrass, and honey drink sipped on a recent trip to Bali), local (herbs from our garden and alley way), and practical (an antidote to travel-induced tummy travails). What started as a medicinal brew has turned into a culinary craze in the house with infinite possible variations incorporating other herbs, dandelion and other greens, and citrus. I've even been eying our newly planted lemongrass plant, but resolved to let it recover its strength first before harvesting its stalks for any restorative tonics. 

Ginger Herb Tonic
for one pot of tea
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup fresh fennel fronds
1 inch ginger root
honey to taste

Boil water for a pot of tea. Once it boils, let it sit for five minutes to cool slightly. Rinse the herbs and put them in a teapot. Coarsely chop the ginger root (no need to peel) and place in the pot. Fill the pot with the boiled water, cover the teapot, and allow to steep for at least 20 minutes or longer for a more intense flavor. You can add honey now or keep it out and let people sweeten each cup to their liking. Serve warm or chilled.

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