The Fantastic Mr. Feedbag

A website celebrating and enumerating Juneau, Alaska's food culture

Posts Tagged ‘hot drink

M. Biada’s Lemon Ginger Wonder Drink

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Tiny Kitchen

I was fortunate enough to go to Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon. I spent four years in one of the prettiest towns in the lower-48, and met some of the best people there. One of my friends, Mark, would make this drink often using his french press. I’m not even sure I’d seen a french press before then. I was a 19-year old Alaskan, still learning a lot about the world. Mark would carefully make this drink, pouring it into a water bottle before we’d go sit and watch the afternoon light move across the mountains out on the porch at Evo’s Café. Mark’s ritual and recipe for preparing this drink for himself and loved ones has stayed fresh in my memory.

Ten years later I still remember how to make Mark’s wonder drink. We’re 12 days away from the first day of spring! It might take awhile longer for the flowers to climb out of the ground in Alaska, but it feels like time to start cleansing our bodies and homes. If you live in Southern Oregon, or are just interested in Mark T. Biada’s amazing fashion design, you can see his work here.

This drink is a great way to get the blood flowing, move a cold out of your head and lungs, and purify the blood. This article from the Mayo Clinic suggests that garlic may reduce your cholesterol. Honey is proven to reduce cough symptoms among other things. Here’s an article from the University of Maryland about how great ginger is. I don’t want to leave the trusty cayenne pepper out of the mix, here’s an article about how it can be good for cluster headaches. Lemon is chock full of Vitamin C and can help you quickly cure the common cold. Basically all of the ingredients in this wonder drink are good for you and combined they’re a cup of rad for your body.

A good visual guide to the amount of individual ingredients. The bottom of my knife has a clove of garlic, the top has my chopped ginger. Far right, dash of cayenne sprinkled onto ingredients in the french press.

– Tea kettle full of almost boiling water
– 1 inch cube of ginger, peeled and cut into small pieces
– 1 clove of garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
– 1 tablespoon of honey
– 1 lemon, peel chopped off if not organic, or if organic, washed and cut into wedges that can be squeezed easily.
– 1 pinch of powdered cayenne pepper

– Heat water in tea kettle until almost boiling on the stove
– Cut garlic, ginger, and lemon
– Add garlic, ginger, and lemon to your french press
– If you’re using a lemon that’s not organic, peel the lemon before cutting into a dice, squeeze diced lemons into french press, releasing some of the juice before putting diced lemon in press.
– Add tablespoon of honey and pinch of powdered cayenne pepper
– Add almost boiling water from tea kettle, stirring ingredients in french press with a wooden spoon
– Using the french press, plunge down onto ingredients 3 – 4 times, applying pressure to release flavor.
– Pull press half-way up and let steep for up 3-5 minutes before serving.

Serving Suggestion:

Serve in a coffee mug or tea cup – add Irish whiskey to make a delicious toddy, it’s hard on the body but good for the soul.

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Mid-Winter’s Day Chai

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Winter Day Chai

Chai is one of those beautiful things that hippies have ruined. Store bought Chai is like putting a Phish sticker on a hybrid car, it adds insult to injury. I can’t afford a hybrid car, even though in theory it’s a great idea; even hearing the word “Phish” makes me want to ritually cut off a blonde dreadlock and destroy a Dijembe for the good of the global community.

Chai’s great but I’m not willing to order it at a coffee shop for several reasons. The first being I’d have to pay 5 dollars for some douchebag with a recently pierced nose and a new copy of the Art of War to make me a cup and call me, “Ma’am”.

Secondly, most premade chai that you can buy in stores and in cafés is really loaded with sugar. It’s nice to make things yourself and kinda have some idea of what the ingredients are and where they came from.

Traditionally, really great chai is made by steeping spices and tea for hours. I’ve had the chai of my dreams at my friend Grace Elliott’s house. Grace’s chai is the kind of drink that warms the belly and makes your whole body feel alive. It’s even better if you get to enjoy said of cup of chai while listening to some of Grace’s favorite blues tracks. Originally hailing from Chicago, “Sister Grace the Blues Goddess”, as she’s lovingly referred to locally, has extensive knowledge of the blues and had a public radio show for years.

This recipe takes minutes not hours, but serves as a fix for chai when you want a cup on the quick. I adapted it from this recipe from Gourmet, changing and adding a few things to suit my taste. My recipe isn’t very sweet, which is perfect if you want to serve it to guests, offering them additional sweetener of their choice.

– 2 tablespoons of cardamom seeds
– 1 cinnamon stick
– 5-8 black or white peppercorns
– 1 piece of star anise
– 1/8 tsp salt
– 2 cups milk or your choice
– 1 Tablespoon of honey
– 2/3 pieces of fresh ginger, cut in 1 inch dice
– 2 cups water
– 5 teaspoons loose black tea

– Grind together cardamom, cinnamon stick, peppercorns, with mortar and pestle or coffee/spice grinder.
– Bring milk just to a simmer in a saucepan.
– Stir or whisk in honey, ground spice mixture, star anise, fresh ginger pieces, and 1/8 tsp salt.
– Reduce heat to low and simmer gently, stirring often, 3 minutes to infuse milk with spices & sweetener.
– Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a saucepan, add loose leaf tea, and boil 1 minute.
– Pour tea through a fine-mesh sieve into hot milk mixture, throwing away tea leaves, and cooking over low heat 1 minute.
– Stir, and strain mixture before serving.

Serving suggestion:
– Make your own chai latté, by incorporating a stove top shot of espresso into your freshly brewed chai tea. The coupling of chai with espresso is delicious and sure to wake you up on a busy work day.

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Written by Patrice Helmar

January 28, 2011 at 3:28 pm