Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Best drink in the world - lemongrass tea

I first tasted lemongrass tea eight years ago. The funny tasting and murky looking concoction was totally unfamiliar and the first mouthful had me sort of gagging. I couldn't decide if it was good or bad. Then came the second tentative sip. Hmm, there's a not-totally unappealing aftertaste...strange, but palatable. Whoever made it had made it sweet, and the sweetness went surprisingly well with the pungent taste of the drink. I asked what it was. "Lemongrass tea. Would you like another glass?" My "no" came out faster than you could say, well, no.

But that funny little drink had me thinking about it a lot! It was almost like the beginning of a crush. You know, like the boy who sort of annoys you a lot, but you find yourself secretly wondering what music he listens to, and whether he likes vanilla or chocolate ice cream. No? You have no idea what I'm talking about? Nevermind.

Eight years ago, I didn't cook, so I didn't know what lemongrass was. I thought lemongrass tea was like Lipton tea - you could buy it by the boxful and it came in neat little teabags. I found myself looking out for this intriguing tea on supermarket shelves.

I didn't know it then, but that was when I started falling in love.

It wasn't quite the norm, like it is now, to find it on restaurant menus back then, so whenever I saw it under Beverage, I would order it. It was research I told myself. Just to see how different restaurants made it. I stopped short of asking the waiters where they bought their tea.

When I finally discovered lemongrass was a herb/plant (don't ask me why it took so long), I promptly went out and got myself a bunch. Armed with a recipe I took off the internet, I attempted to make my own. It turned out completely awful. So I resigned myself to ordering it from restaurants whenever I could.

Last week, as I was shopping the organic aisles, my eyes went straight to the familiar looking stalks. Organic lemongrass! Now that I had better cooking skills, and have reached my 30s relatively unscathed, surely I could get reacquainted with my old crush in the kitchen again? I lovingly picked two healthy looking bunches and hurried home.

I cut off the leafy parts and bruised the stalks with the back of the kitchen knife. Into a pot of water I added five pandan leaves and lemongrass. Bring to boil and let simmer for about an hour. Add sugar to taste.

I got it right this time! And it was so easy to make! If you haven't fallen in love with lemongrass tea yet, now is a good time to start. When it's chilled, it's the perfect thirst quencher on a hot day. If you have it piping hot, it's better than hot sweet tea. My mission now is to make my girls love it as much as me.

Now shoo! while I spend some quality time with my favourite drink.

1 comment:

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