We all need a boost at this time of year, something to boost the immune system and help fight illness. If you’re under the weather or just want to be prepared, there’s plenty of goodness to be found in a simple hot drink.
Fresh ingredients are a must at this time of year. We find the clean tastes of ginger and lemon particularly refreshing, and maybe a hit of spice to blow away the cobwebs. Herbs like thyme and basil have a lot of natural goodness too, and contribute subtle flavours and aromas.
Lemon in hot water is a classic, a drink whose taste is deeply associated with good health and cleanliness. We take ours with a pinch of cayenne pepper, some salt and sweetened with good honey, covering the sinuses, metabolism and immune system in one powerful brew.
If your immune system is really in need of a boost, it’s ginger you’ll need. A hot, fiery taste that is tempered slightly when sliced thinly and brewed in hot water, you can almost feel it doing you good. Garlic is another favourite for this, but might be a little less sociable…
A less well-known remedy, thyme is great for relieving coughs as well as being wonderfully fragrant. You can use either fresh or dried thyme — fresh has more flavour, but is perhaps a little less convenient. Brew in boiling water for ten minutes with raw or manuka honey and a pinch of turmeric — a natural anti-inflammatory agent with a mellow, warm flavour.
The best thing about using these natural ingredients is that you can use them in different combinations depending on your taste and how you’re feeling. Different amounts of spice for different times of year, or combining ginger and thyme to nip that cold in the bud, you can’t go far wrong.