My favorite winter-time health supporting drink is by far “golden tea” or even “golden milk” (especially the latter for my kiddos). The last flu season was brutal for us and I kept those roots simmering on my stove top as a lifeline. Summer is a great relief from colds and flu and yet I still find myself dragging. Being a mom of young boys is never easy. Being a mom of young boys who is herself of “advanced maternal age” (*cough*) adds another layer of challenge and so I find myself dragging around, wanting to get out and live a whole lot more, trekking here in the Sequoia National Forest and playing in seasonal creeks like Huckleberry Finn. The creek play will have to wait until both California’s epic drought has turned and until I’ve had a lot more of the beverage at hand.
And so I am here in the summer dragging in the swelter and it occurs to me that my go-to winter drink needs only a tweak to help me out and so the “golden spice” sits in my refrigerator in a jar, ready for the day.
This is a tea, just like the wintertime version, except that it is cold (at the risk of being overly obvious…). I make a very strong tea base to use as a concentrate and then add carbonated water because I love the fizz. The fizz part is obviously optional.
You can also make this tea with fresh root or powder. I provide a starting place below for each.
I do admit that I gush over turmeric on this website and, really, in this instance, ginger should get its cred too for adding exceptional health-building properties and great flavor at the same time. I have written an epic review of turmeric with research citations (here) that you can explore as you have time. As a recap, turmeric has centuries of use in the Ayurveda and Unani systems of medicines in India and that strong tradition seems to be vindicated weekly as published research appears in western academic journals extolling its health benefits. Some of the highlights are these:
Read more about it and follow up on the research citations (here).
As for a summertime beverage, I was inspired to try this otherwise-very-wintery beverage as I sat in the swelter feeling that “summer puffiness” — that water retention from the heat. As I sit I can nearly feel that mild inflammation in my cells. Ugh. Drag.
Before diving into this recipe, you should know that turmeric has a strong flavor on its own and it not particularly pleasing on its own. The ginger and honey make all of the difference in the world. In fact, if you’ve had a turmeric beverage and nearly gagged, you will want to give this version a try. If you are hesitant, double the ginger portion to cover the turmeric flavor more. Ginger is wildly healthy too. You cannot lose.
You may also choose to add more sweetener. The flavor of the honey is a great complement to the turmeric and ginger flavors in the tea but you could also use stevia or a regular sugar. A whole, unrefined sugar like sucanat may play pretty well too, adding some musky depth. (Note to self to try this combination.)
If you find the drink to be bitter, you might not be heating it enough. My picky-eating sons love this drink and actually discuss this key point in a little video below.
In any case, use these recipes as a starting point and make adjustments to make this your own. You may want to dilute it quite a bit just using the concentrate as a bit of flavor to your water.
My basic ratio for tea is one teaspoon each of dried turmeric and dried ginger per two cups of water. The recipe below makes about eight cups and fills a nice half gallon canning jar that fits well in my refrigerator. You can also just refrigerate the base concentrate and add water as you drink your tea. The black pepper in the recipe simply helps your body absorb the curcumin in the turmeric. It doesn’t take a lot and you can certainly add more if you wish.
With either dried or fresh root, your process is basically the same:
I also want to point out something epic about this iced tea. My boys drink it. I didn’t have to beg them or pay them to do that. They saw the tea and wanted to try it. I pretended like it was any other beverage. They drank it and wanted more.
I died a small death.
The drink the winter version and so I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised and yet I always am.
Find more of our turmeric-intensive recipes:
Turmeric tea in many new flavor combinations
Turmeric for black eyes, bruising, and swelling
Key tip for eating (and drinking) turmeric (aka “You’re eating your turmeric *all wrong*!!!”) plus recipes
A super-simple turmeric smoothie to cool you off in the swelter
Turmeric powder – How to make your own turmeric powder using a traditional approach from India (and a quality test for the turmeric powder in your cupboard)
A turmeric smoothie with a flavor-enhancing pro tip ;)
Ras el hanout, a Moroccan spice mix that you will treasure in your spice cabinet
An anti-inflammatory golden tea, ready for your office, ready for the road