Generally speaking, we the Pinoys (Filipinos) are not huge tea drinkers. In fact, if someone visits your house and you offer him or her some tea instead of coffee that person would respond by saying, “I am feeling well, thank you” or “But I am not sick.” It is because tea in the Philippines is often taken only when someone is not feeling well. You can expect a mom with a sick child (old enough to drink tea) to say, “Drink some tea so you feel better.”
However, we do have one traditional tea that we drink on a more regular basis, especially during the cooler months from December to February (that is if you think high 60s and low 70s is cold enough which is cold for those who live in a tropical country like ours – that warrants a light sweater at least!). The tea is called Salabat – made from brewed fresh ginger and often sweetened with honey or sugar and sometimes added with a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice for more potency. At the onset of cold, cough or flu and particularly sore throat – this is the first advice you will be given, “Drink Salabat a few times a day.” Of course we all know the health benefits of ginger, honey and lemon and I will not belabor that in this post but suffice it to say that this delicious tea drink (and yes, it is very tasty, indeed) helps you get rid of the bugs in your system. This is so much better than old store-bought and often tasteless variety of ginger tea and because it’s fresh then it is certainly more effective..
In fact, I just read about a 104 year old man who lived in the mountainous region of the Philippines. When he was asked what his secret for longevity was he didn’t hesitate to say, “I drink Salabat everyday.” Of course there are other factors that contribute to his whole well-being for sure but I won’t be surprised that regular intake of this beneficial tea surely helped him a lot, too. At any rate, it is such delicious tea that whether you are feeling sick or not, it’s great for tea time with your favorite snack. You get the spicy zing from the ginger balanced with the sweetness of honey and a bit of tangy yum from freshly squeezed lemon juice. For sure this winter season I will be drinking salabat very very often so I can help myself maintain a good health during the cold months ahead.
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Fresh Ginger Tea with Honey (Salabat)
By: Manila Spoon
November 25, 2015
Salabat is a traditional Filipino tea served during the cooler months to help fight and cure cold, cough, flu and sore throat. It is made from fresh ginger and sweetened with honey or sugar and may also be taken with a few drops of lemon juice.
- 4 cups Water (preferably filtered)
- 5-inch long fresh Ginger, peeled and sliced thinly
- 1/4 cup raw Honey
- A few squeezes of fresh lemon juice, if desired
- In a covered saucepan, bring the water, ginger slices and honey to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- Strain and serve either hot or cold.
Yield: 4 cups
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cooking Time: 20-25 Minutes
Total Time: 25-30 Minutes