The Kitchen Prescription. This tea has been my “go-to” for years when I’m under the weather. Lemon, mint, ginger and honey tea soothes your throat and warms you up to get you get through even the worst colds. Winter in most of the northern states is serious. Temperatures hovering in the single digits for weeks on end, plummeting to -20 at night, leaving you so cold that you simply can not shake the chill no matter how many layers you pile on.
I hate winter, let me rephrase: I loathe winter. I loathe the snow and ice, the freezing temperatures, the slipping and sliding down sidewalks that haven’t been cleaned, chipping an inch of ice from the windshield, car doors that are frozen shut… You get the picture.
And then you get sick. Watery eyes, stuffy nose, scratchy throat and a cough that rattles your insides like gunfire. You have been taken down by the common cold. Once it gets you, it takes weeks until you start to feel human again.
PUT THE TEA KETTLE ON
I have worked in my fair share of professional kitchens and in most of them, there was a pot of something like this brewing all winter long. At the start of every shift, a cauldron of this brew was set on a flame and throughout the day, we restored it’s ingredients as we passed by. A few quarts of water, pieces of ginger, a handful of herbs, a scoop of peppercorns, chunks of lemons… This is the basic formula. An occasional cinnamon stick, a few star anise or pieces of lemongrass have all found their way into the pot, it’s not an exact science. It’s not a cure-all, it won’t make your cold disappear any faster, but it will make the suffering a little more manageable.
What? You’re NOT sick? Do you ever feel like you just need a little warming up? Are you feeling a little run-down/exhausted/stressed out or just in need of something warm and soothing? Let me introduce you to this beverage. Do you have some loose tea or tea bags hanging around in the cupboard? This tastes great with a bit of green tea tossed in to the pot, it makes the tea a bit “zingy”.
The next time you’re hit with the scourge, put a big pot of this on the stove. Inhale (as well as you can through your stuffy nose) the delicious aroma of this tea and hopefully you’ll be on the mend soon.
- 2 -3 quarts water
- 1 lemon, cut in slices
- 5 sprigs mint
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled & cut into coins
- Honey to taste
- Lemon slices to garnish
- Mint to garnish
- In a medium-sized pot add water, lemon slices, mint, peppercorns and ginger.
- Bring to a simmer. Let it simmer for 20 minutes, remove from heat.
- Strain and add honey to taste.
- Garnish with mint leaves and lemon if desired.
Optional add ins:
- cinnamon stick
- star anise