Usually when we talk about “doing a shot” it’s with tequila or some other strong spirit that gives us a quick buzz (and takes away our good judgment.) It starts with fun intentions and ends with a bad headache.
Fresh juiced ginger can give you a buzz without the headache or the regrets. It’s an all over body buzz, generated by ginger’s intense heat. On the other side of the sharp swallow, warmth spreads throughout the body quickly, a burst of energy follows. The mind is cleared. Juice bars everywhere serve little shots of ginger + lemon + honey, a triple threat against inflammation.
The day we first introduced our own version to our bar menu, I asked a few servers if they wanted to do a ginger shot with me. Their response was immediate and enthusiastic: “Yes!”
I laughed, and then told them there’s no alcohol in a ginger shot. They did the shot anyway, with puckered faces and dramatic groans. Ginger is spicy. But I watched as they sang the praises of the after-effect to customers. Sales grew.
Drinking ginger juice becomes a daily addiction. This is the kind of buzz we should crave. It’s a powerful anti-inflammatory food and is also said to be good for digestion. (research here.) A cousin to turmeric, ginger is a bona fide member of the super food family.
Most juice bars sell ginger juice by the ounce, and when I am lazy, I will get mine this way. But juicing ginger in big batches and freezing it in ice cube trays is a cheaper way to make sure you always have a supply. I make a batch every few weeks; no daily juicer clean up required.
Here is a place where I really insist on buying organic, as I do for other root vegetables. Growing in the soil means extra exposure to the chemicals of non-organic farming.
Buying organic means I leave the skins on when I juice ginger. A good wash in the sink and then straight into the juicer. Peeling ginger is an exercise in dexterity, navigating little nooks and crannies. If you can’t find organic and want to peel the skin, here’s a little tip: break the roots down into smaller nubs for easier navigation.
Juicing with the skins on also means about a 30 percent greater yield of the juice, I have found. Here a few other tips for successful ginger juicing:
These recipes are, as always, just a guideline. Experiment with the quantities of ginger juice, lemon and honey to arrive at your perfect edge. Adapting to the lovable burn of ginger can happen at your own pace. Feel free to use less than suggested here.
Ten ounces of fresh ginger will yield about 4 ounces of juice.
For an all over body buzz:
Ginger shot or base for the recipes below.
In a glass, stir together:
4 ounces ginger juice
Juice of 1 lemon
3 teaspoons honey or to taste
Each serving will be a little over 1 ounce. Drink quickly or use this as a base for the drinks below.
For a refreshing alternative to soda:
Mix 1 ounce of the Ginger Shot/Base recipe in an 8 to 12 ounce glass. Fill with ice. Top with sparkling mineral water. Stir.
For a winter day or to scare away a cold:
Mix 1 ounce of the Ginger Shot/Base recipe in an 8 ounce coffee mug. Top with hot water and stir.
P.S. Much thanks to my friend's mom who graciously hosted me in her Atlanta home last week and let me have fun in her poolside kitchen. Her name, ironically: Jinger. With a J.
Click the link below to print the recipe:
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