All Tarted Up
Back when I was living in DC, there was a local radio station that would play what they called, “The Wrong Song” – a seemingly inappropriate tune based on the goings on. My favorite was when they’d crank up the Sly and the Family Stone’s “Hot Fun in the Summertime” when there’d be inches of snow on the ground. This recipe, my dears (and yeah, I’m talking to you Virginians buried in 30+ inches of unplowed powder) is the culinary equivalent of the wrong song. It’s cold and slushy here in Gotham, and all I can do is pray for summer and sip on a refreshing glass of ginger limeade. I feel a few degrees warmer already…
This recipe has got a bit of a kick, so treat the ginger according to how much spice you’d like. The trick isn’t using less ginger so much as not letting it steep for as long. Try it full-strength the first time, though, as it’s really a great treat. I should also mention that this recipe is a natural diuretic, so if you are looking for that fresh-from-the-spa tummy-feel, this will do it. I don’t drink it for the therapeutic value, but it’s nice to get a little bonus once in a while. If you are looking to go SUPER healthy, skip the frozen limeade and use freshly-squeezed lime juice and splenda instead. It’s more expensive (and more work squeezing all those limes), but a delicious alternative to sugary soda. And yes, now I sound like a Sunny D commercial.
4-5 in. knob of fresh ginger, peeled
1 can of frozen limeade (concentrated)
1 lime, thinly sliced (optional)
honey or splenda (optional)
Put a kettle on with about 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. While you wait for the water to hear up, peel your ginger and chop into small chunks – the smaller that you chop the pieces, the spicier the drink will be when you’re finished. Dump the pieces into a pitcher and once the water is boiling, pour over the ginger. Let the mixture steep for at least an hour – again, the longer that you wait, the spicier the final drink will be.
After the liquid has sat for a while, remove the ginger with a slotted spoon – it’s okay if some little bits of ginger remain. They’ll continue to spice up the drink. If you are a heat hound, you can even leave the ginger in (I usually do – so deliciously hot!). Add the can of limeade to the pitcher and stir to dissolve. Top off the mix with cold water to make 2 quarts. Taste for sweetness, adding honey or splenda to your liking. Garnish with lime slices and serve over ice.