My roommate came home the other day raving about a drink at the “local”-ish coffee place (it’s only “local” because it’s about 500 yards from the anthropology building. It’s not locally-owned). It should be noted that this coffee place in fact serves absolutely disgusting coffee. It is not only weak, it is consistently burned. But, if you bring your own mug, it only costs $1.* So they get a good business (especially from predictably caffeine-addicted anthropologists). It gives me pleasure that they are no longer receiving my dollars now that I am not addicted to caffeine. But I digress.
The drink my roommate had tasted (yes, a mere sip warranted this kind of praise!) is called “Ginger Dragon” and consisted of lemons, ginger, and sugar. I decided I’d give it a try.
When I asked about it, the baristas (if you can call them that) insisted that I would feel “SO healthy” after drinking it. Uh, okay. Sure. I asked three times, three different ways, if there was any caffeine in it. No caffeine. Just health, pure and sparkling.
The drink was, in fact, delicious. It was tart and spicy and sweet, all at the same time. It warmed me from the inside out. I did, in fact, feel marginally healthier after drinking it. And… energized. At $2.50 a pop, however, I ran the risk of quickly finding myself bankrupted by this drink. Well, maybe not bankrupted, but significantly poorer.
So I stopped at the co-op on my way home and bought $3 worth of lemons and ginger. $3 got me three organic lemons and a solid chunk of root-matter. (I also had to buy some honey, because the “raw” stuff I had seems to be a little rancid— or fermented, or something, so that bumped the total up to $12).
After my delicious and nutritious dinner (and a complete protein, no less), I sliced one lemon and peeled and sliced about 2 inches of ginger. I stuck it in my saucepan (recently cleaned from my rice and beans) and filled it with water (about three inches over the lemon and ginger). I let it simmer gently until the lemons were falling apart, and then added 2 teaspoons of honey. To serve (and save) I strained it and poured it through a funnel into (first) a mason jar (to warm up during class tomorrow) and then my mug, which is sitting by my right hand this very moment.
Not bad! Not nearly as sweet as the coffee shop version (just how much sugar did they put *in* that?!), and perhaps a bit more gingery (I can feel the heat on my throat– sinuses are officially cleared!) but very perky and satisfying. And a heckuva lot cheaper than the original.
Yes, I realize that lemon-ginger infusions are really (REALLY) nothing new. I don’t care. This will help me through the 4-hour seminar marathon tomorrow night.
*People don’t realize that, just across the quad, is a locally-owned coffee shop that will fill your mug with *good* coffee for just $0.73. The guy who owns it was in my anthro senior seminar, and is applying to the PhD program this year, too.