This bright new riff on the classic switchel features turmeric, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antiviral agent. I love sipping turmeric switchel after a workout, or using it as a cocktail mixer with fresh sugarcane spirits like cachaça and rhum agricole.
I highly recommend using fresh turmeric, which has a livelier flavor than the dried version. Look for the fresh rhizomes, which resemble orange knobs of ginger root, at health food stores or at well-stocked grocery stores and Asian and Indian markets.
For an extra-spicy kick, add a tiny pinch of black pepper to the turmeric switchel — it’ll increase the bioavailability of curcumin, an anti-inflammatory compound found in turmeric.
Tip: Fresh turmeric can stain clothes and other items, so be careful if you’re grating it on or around porous kitchen surfaces and tools. Wear an apron, too!
Serves 1 or 2
1 tablespoon (20 grams) honey, or more to taste
1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon grated fresh turmeric or 1/3 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
Tiny pinch of freshly ground black pepper (optional)
1 cup (235 milliliters) water
Combine the honey, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, turmeric, ginger, and black pepper in a jar or glass and stir to dilute the honey. Add the water and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to a day. The longer it steeps, the stronger the turmeric and ginger flavors will be.
Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer; discard the solids. Taste and sweeten with additional honey, if desired. Serve over ice.
Reprinted with permission from Wild Drinks & Cocktails: Handcrafted Squashes, Shrubs, Switchels, Tonics, and Infusions to Mix at Home by Emily Han, copyright (c) 2015. Published by Fair Winds Press.
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(Image credits: Emily Han)