Ginger Citrus Tea Concentrate

It's that time of year again. Sniffly, sneezy, coughing, cold and flu season. I don't know about you, but with all the craziness of the holiday season it seems like I have to fight off illness at every turn. And when I feel anything coming on, I make a batch of my ginger citrus concentrate.

What makes this gingery, citrusy concoction so wonderful is that it serves so many purposes. Ginger is great for you after all, not only your immune system but your digestive system, and the citrus adds punch and a ton of vitamin C. Served hot, the spiciness of the ginger is extremely soothing on your throat and nasal passages. Served cold, it feels like a health kick tonic.

It all starts, as you would expect, with ginger. Lots of it.

I start with 2 big hands of ginger, organic, but that's just my preference. No need to peel. Just grab your food processor, pull out the grating attachment and off you go.

Shredded ginger in all it's glory. Feeling healthy yet?
Put all that goodness in the cooking vessel of your choice. Make sure you get every last bit. Since you'll be adding water to the mix, I like to add water to the processor bowl to make sure I get it all in the pot. From here, you want citrus. I like 3 lemons and  2 oranges, but limes and grapefruit work too. Use what you like. Since we're using the peel and the juice. I go organic here too.

You want to use a vegetable peeler and get just the peel off that citrus, leaving the white pithy part behind. Add the peels to your pot with the ginger. Don't juice that citrus yet, I like to add it at the end.

From here, I add 6 or so cups of water to the pot and a good squeeze of honey, probably a few tablespoons. You want to make sure all the ginger and citrus peels are covered in water. Bring it just to a boil, then let it barely simmer for at least 30 minutes.

Once it's done steeping, take it off the heat and strain out the solids. Now it is time to juice your citrus and add it to the still hot concentrate. Give it a good stir and transfer it to a jar for storage in the fridge. I love ginger and I drink it pretty quickly, I think two weeks is about as long as it's lasted in my house, not because it ever went bad, but because I drank it all.

When I'm feeling any kind of cold coming on, I like to add hot water and more honey for a soothing warm drink. It's also quite good cold, although I find I need less honey when I drink it iced. The spiciness of the ginger does wonders for sinuses. Another bonus, after a night (or two) over over-indulgence, whether from heavy holiday food or one-too-many alcoholic beverages, a glass of my ginger citrus tea seems to calm my digestive system and bring me closer to my usual self. And honestly, right now, I drink a glass of this stuff just about every morning. It's that good.

Warning - this makes a very potent concentrate. I water it down on a 1:1 ratio, but my husband won't touch it unless I water it down at the very least 3 parts water to 1 part concentrate. I'd suggest you start 3:1 or 4:1 then up the concentrate as you see fit.

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