As much as you’ll hear us brag that we never fall ill (largely due to copious amounts of garlic, onions and vitamin C) we do — once in a blue moon — get sick. And yes, we have chased the green dragon. NyQuil, DayQuil, other sorts of new fangled drugstore opiates in their generic versions. We will fess up. The stuff works!
But not this year. When one of us woke up last week with a throat tickle that blossomed into a gnarly case of the flu, we took it on with fresh produce, organic sweeteners and thimbles of liquor.
In place of Acetaminophen (pain and fever reliever), Dextromethorphan HBr (cough suppressant), and Doxylamine succinate (sleep aid) we used green chile, ginger, citric acid and booze — all herbal, if subtler, forms of the chemical stuff. A couple shots, errr, doses, of the stuff is perfect for sitting on the couch in a sweatshirt and sweating out your germs. Take that Big Pharma!
(One day’s dose)
2 cups fresh mint leaves
1 cup water
1 cup agave nectar (sugar, honey work)
1 small ginger bulb
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. roasted green chile
2 shots Pastis
2 shots Southern Comfort
1. Start off making a mint simple syrup. Pluck 35-40 mint leaves off their stems, this should yield about 2 cups of mint. Roughly chop half the mint (set half aside for later use) and add to a saucepot with 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat and strain the leaves out. Put just the mint tea back on a medium heat and wait until back to a full boil. Add agave nectar, mixing, and let cook 1 minute before removing. Set aside to cool.
2. Ready your other veggies for the blender. First peel the ginger and slice into matchsticks. Next, zest your lemon, place the zest into a small dish and cover with 1 tsp. of good quality olive oil.
3. Toss the ginger, green chile and remaining cup of fresh mint to the blender. Add lemon juice. Finally add half the mint syrup, setting the rest aside for garnish. Pulse thoroughly for up to a minute. (Note: If you do not have the luxury of having authentic green chile, try subbing in a roasted jalapeño. Remove the seeds and use half in place of green chile.)
4. Strain the mixture into a bowl. Use a spoon to slush it around, allowing it to pass through the sieve or fine mesh strainer. Now you have the fresh juice part of your elixer! Taste it with a spoon, if it seems too tart or spicy, add more mint syrup one teaspoon at a time.
5. Mix. The basic proportion is one-part juice to one-part pastis to one-part whiskey. For a single dose: measure out a tablespoon of each into a cocktail shaker. Add a teaspoon of lemon zest oil. Complete with 3 ice cubes and shake fervently. Pour into a shot glass or desert wine snifter.