Chinese herbalists and Ayurvedic practitioners have for centuries been prescribing ginger as a cure-it-all and digestive aid for a variety of illnesses – nausea, motion sickness, and even coughs and colds. Chinese ships used to carry ginger to treat scurvy on long voyages, and during cholera epidemics in the 19th C, it was believed to ward off the disease. Another plus – it was also thought to be an aphrodisiac!
Today a pregnant woman is encouraged to lessen her early morning sickness by nibbling on a ginger biscuit and motion sickness may be averted if ginger tea is sipped. However, the benefits of this fiery spice shouldn’t always be treated as a remedy. There is nothing better on a cold winter’s day than drinking down one of these gingery delights.
Fresh Lemon and Ginger Tea
a chunk of fresh ginger
The ratio of ginger to lemon will entirely depend on your taste, i.e. which do you prefer, the taste of lemon or ginger?
Take a small chunk of fresh ginger, remove the outer skin and grate the rest into a heatproof glass or cup – be careful here, fresh ginger can be overpowering and you can always add more later. Add the juice of a whole lemon and then top up with boiling water. You can add a squirt of runny honey if you like or even a sugar-based sweetener if you are counting calories, but actually it’s fine without either and full of vitamin C.
If you have flu and feel shivery and headachey, make up a thermos flask with the tea and keep sipping. I’m not sure you will get better any quicker but at least the spicy warmness of the tea will soothe the digestive system and according to Ayurvedic healing it will soothe joint pains too. A double whammy.
This is a tipple for those nights that have that bitter edge of bone-biting cold in them. You’ve walked home from the station after a long day at work and your shoulders are hunched up against the cold, your toes gripping together for warmth in your boots, and your fingers are white. You’re the first home, the house is in darkness, you put on the lights, then the heating, take off your hat, scarf, coat, gloves and boots – and then pour yourself one of these. At the first sip, your shoulders unclench as you feel the thaw setting in. Works every time and you only need one!
You will need Stones Original Green Ginger Wine, ( I will stand by the brand). The wine is made from ground ginger root and raisins and fortified, some say with brandy. Then you will need the whisky. I use Jameson’s because that was what my mother used, but any medium quality whisky will do. Certainly, don’t waste any malt on this, the ginger will overpower the flavour. I go for one part whisky to three parts ginger wine. A pub will normally do half and half, but I like a longer drink. Ice or no ice it’s entirely up to you.
“If it’s Irish whiskey (which Jameson’s is) then it’s ‘whiskey’ with an ‘e’. Scottish whisky is spelt without the ‘e’. With my half-Scottish roots, I always feel a little guilty at my preference for Irish blended whiskeys over the Scottish versions – but when it comes to single malts, then it’s a return to roots.” Fiona