Monday, December 17, 2012

Honey-Ginger Lemonade Elixir

Gwen's Honey-Ginger Lemonade Elixir
Not only incredible lemonade, but a great cold remedy. Try adding 1/4 tsp grated fresh turmeric per glass for that, and breathe in steam as you drink if you're congested.
SERVING SIZE: 1/2 cup 
Serves 8-12 (2.5 quarts lemonade (once you add lemon juice and sparkling water)/ 1 quart syrup concentrate)
multiply recipe by 10 to serve 200 (6.25 gallons lemonade)

This brings back happy memories of annual lilac garden parties in my Orem backyard. 
I invite friends from my former neighborhood in Park City, who have another month or two to wait before spring arrives.
This drink is intensely flavored. Children might think it’s too strong, but adults love it.
Serve it in a pretty beverage dispenser with small cups.
Also serve plain water alongside in another dispenser or pitcher as a sort of chaser (this drink is more of a treat).

2 C honey [20 C = approx 5 lb of honey] don't heat if using raw honey
2 C water [20 C]
8 oz fresh ginger root, grated [5 lb]
2 C fresh-squeezed lemon juice, strained (about 8 large lemons) [20 C]
6 C water, flat or sparkling [60 C= 3.75 Gallons]
Ice, optional
Mint and lemon slices for garnish

1.     Scrub the ginger clean. No need to peel. Using a sharp knife, chop into 1-inch chunks on a cutting board. Coarsely chop with a food processor with the chopping blade.
2.     To make the honey-ginger simple syrup: SAVE GINGER until later. Place honey and water in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil and then remove from heat. Note: save honey until last without heating it, to preserve healthy enzymes of raw honey. Simply boil water, steep ginger in water, and stir in honey after ginger has steeped in boiled water and cooled a bit. (If you make 10x the recipe, use three large pans on stove. In each of the three pans place 6 1/2 C each of water and honey. Bring to boil. Add 1 1/2 POUNDS grated ginger to steep).
3.     Add the freshly grated ginger and any juices to the honey and water. Cover the pan and steep for 15 to 30 minutes.
4.     Line a fine mesh sieve with cheesecloth. Strain syrup through the sieve into a large bowl.  Once it has cooled a bit, bring all four corners of the cheesecloth together and hold them in one hand. With the other hand, twist the ginger solids tightly to extract more syrup into the bowl. Discard the solids, OR spread out on dehydrator trays and dry.
5.     Place quart jars around perimeter of large bowl, right next to the rim (to avoid drips when filling), then, using funnel and 2-cup glass measuring cup pour hot syrup into jars. Seal with lids, and place hot jars upside down on folded towel for a few minutes. After about 5 minutes, invert right-side-up and lids should seal with a pop eventually. If they don't, store syrup in the fridge. Let cool completely and then chill until cold, about 1 hour. Once opened (if they are sealed) the syrup will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

1.     Add the freshly squeezed lemon juice and the honey-ginger syrup into a large pitcher or pretty beverage dispenser.
2.     Add 6 cups cold water (more or less to taste). If you are using sparkling water add just before serving.
3.     Serve with a slice of lemon and garnish with a sprig of mint.

·       Steep the honey-ginger syrup with mint or basil for a different twist.
·       Keep the honey-ginger syrup on hand for sweetening herbal tea and other drinks.


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