Turmeric Tonic. (the anti-everything).
Mocktails over Margaritas?
As I started to pave the way for 2014, I made a conscious decision to, more often than not, fashion the little slogan "mocktails over margaritas" into more of a ritual. For the past few months I've been passing on the hard stuff in favor of my body. To be honest with you, I've been enjoying the road less traveled (at least by many in this big city). I'm pretty damn keen on the route I not so aimlessly wandered upon and have been joyfully cruising right along. I might pull off to the side, embrace a toast to the bride and groom or a job promotion, but for now, I'm totally digging the wellness babe who's decided to take center stage and, well, shine a little brighter both inside and out.
Then I realized my mocktail repertoire is a bit rusty. Of course, I could whip up a seltzer with lemon, maybe muddle in a sprig of mint. It's sounds refreshing, but I wanted a little jazz, a bit more flavor. And hell, why not spice it up with some body lovin' benefits, too. Move over mocktails, I'm crafting up some tonics!
I'm not talking tonic as in the co-pilot to a gin and tonic, I'm talking about a type of medicinal drink taken to give a feeling of vigor or well-being; something with an invigorating effect.
First came tonic...next came turmeric.
Not so fast. Before you jump into tonic crafting, let me tell you a bit more about turmeric and why it's golden glow and lustrous flesh is infiltrating the masses...and staining hands.
I'm sure you've seen it mingled in with all the other odd ball veggies, probably never so much as gave it that double take the prettier root veggies delight in. It's that knobby looking root fella that resembles ginger (they've both got that segmented bulb look going on). It too has a papery brown skin that's ever so quietly unassuming, until turmeric is sliced open and it's deep orange hue showcases itself.
But, more important than it's vibrancy, is the fact that it is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant POWERHOUSE!
You want some bulleted turmeric fun facts? I've got some...
- It's a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent
- Natural liver detoxifier
- May prevent or slow progression of Alzheimer's disease
- Potent natural anti-inflammatory (works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs, but without the side effects)
- Has long been used in Chinese medicine as a treatment for depression
- Speeds up wound healing and assists in remodeling of damaged skin
- Has been shown to stop the growth of new blood vessels in tumors
Add a touch of ginger, a couple smashed pods of cardamom & a hefty dose of lemon to the mix, and ohhhh baby, do we have ourselves an anti-inflammatory, anti-depressent, detoxifying queen bee tonic on our hands! I don't know about you, but that sounds way more enticing than any ol' run of the mill seltzer and lemon.
1 2-in. knob fresh turmeric, grated on a microplane or 2 tsp. dried turmeric
1 1-in. knob fresh ginger, grated on a microplane or 1 tsp. dried ginger
3 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
4 cups water, separated
¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbsp. local honey
In a small saucepan, combine turmeric, ginger and cardamom with two cups of water and bring to a boil.
Simmer for ten minutes, then remove from heat. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve, and add two more cups water.
Separately, in a small bowl, whisk lemon juice and honey to combine, then add to turmeric mixture.
Chill. Serve over ice.
Need a bit more fancy in your life? Toss a paper umbrella on the rim. Rules are limited.
love + cheers,