Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hot Winter Drink - Ginger, Palm Sugar & Clove

OK, Hong Kong is currently experiencing the coldest November in...hmm...many many many years.

It's on the news.
It's what people talk about.
It's become the standard greetings...

"Morning. Isn't it cold?" (while making a dramatic hand gesture to the air)
"Morning. Gosh, aren't you cold?" (staring at exposed boobage/thigh)
"Morning. Oh, you live in the New Territories (patronising once over), must be cold out there eh?"
"Morning. No, I've moved to ..*insert a fancy schmancy city flat name here* it isn't that cold"
"Morning. Oh, can't wait for my (expensive) exotic tropical island getaway (which will only happen next summer, but tried to make it sound as if it is happening tomorrow)"

Enough already!

I get it! It's cold!
It's still only a little below 10C, people!
Relax and drink your hot drinks...

This time, it's something exotic, something spicy (unlike me).
A little Chinese, a little Indonesian (just like me).

It involves ginger, clove, and this...

Indonesian palm sugar.
They aren't so hard to get. In Hong Kong, you can get these babies at any Indonesian grocery shops (they're all over the city) easily. Much easier than finding a plate of decent scrambled eggs in local char chan tengs.
These babies are mildly sweet, very coconutty with a hint of smokiness.
Perfect for making exotic food and desserts....when I am in the right mood.

Now all I want is to drink something sweet, hot and gingery.

It's so easy, I can't believe I am writing this down. Feel free to adjust the amount liberally, I know that sweet for me is probably bland in your books. Bring a couple cups of hot water to boil (you can make more and refrigerate), I made about 4 cups. Then throw in the rest of the ingredients, used about 5 cm ginger (peeled, sliced and crushed), 4 pieces of palm sugar, 2 tbsp of sugar, and 3 pieces of cloves. Feel free to add nutmeg and cinnamon etc. If you're in the mood for something creamy, add coconut milk. Whatever makes your toes curl, baby.

The palm sugar is pretty grainy, so don't forget to pour the drink through a sieve before serving.

Now that I'm all warmed up...I want ice cream.


Jason said...

Now I have a new morning greetings: "Morning. Gosh, where is my drink with a little ginger, clove, and Indonesian palm sugar? I really need one now!!"

Unknown said...

J, I know you like gingerbread latte from bucky la~ ;)

Karine said...

In Toronto, I think we are having one of the best Novembers in years. I am sorry about it is cold in Hong King.

Your drink is original!

Vijitha said...

I need one now! Perfect for this chilly weather.

Anonymous said...

C'mon Rita. I heard it's 15 C in HK. That is NOT cold! Cold weather begins at -10 C in NY. Tell your friends i said that and hand me that hot drink. It's freakin' freezing here! :)

YaYa said...

You should come to Sydney, it's 32c here and your drink will be delicious with lots of ICE!!

bossacafez said...

hey thx for dropping by my site. i love your photos! and the glasses, they look so retro ie. 1940s shanghai :D

Little Corner of Mine said...

Oh, I will have to try this. I don't have Indonesian palm sugar, will use the Chinese brown sugar, I want to try it with adding cloves. Thanks!

TasteHongKong said...

Agree, hot drinks are a good treat during this cold weather. I also love ginger with honey, lots of ginger, in drinks and sometimes with a few drizzle of lemon juice.

So creative in using the wine glasses!

Indonesia Eats said...

We feel blessed with this weather. It is 10-15C on November in Manitoba, now. That is really rare.