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February 21, 2012 / alice

drink up!

i thought i was going to miss this round of cold and flu creeping around. but i didn’t.  so here i am geeking out on murder mysteries (my fave), reading  about folk medicine tradition and drinking one of my favorite hot beverage for sickies. whether it’s eating chicken soup or sushi, everyone has their own list of cold remedies.

the first time i ever drank cayenne tea for a cold was at New Leaf in Capitola, CA at the New Beet Café. They call it ray’s fire-water or something. I made up my own version of the drink that is prettier, has more nutritional value and makes you feel more normal on a cold rainy day like today.

this citrus trio has vitamin C clout and treats the taste buds. heat from the warm water with cayenne and ginger clears out the stuffy head and nose feeling. flushing out the ick. last but not least, the tablespoon or two of honey reminds me of childhood flu remedies, helps soothe a scratchy throat or cough and adds an element of immune defense (and deliciousness!)

grapefruit, blood orange, lemon,  cayenne & peeled ginger


½-1 grapefruit

1 small orange or tangerine

½ lemon

1-2 tablespoons chopped ginger* depending on preference

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1-2 tablespoons honey depending on taste

2 + cups almost boiling water


Squeeze juices from fruit & put into a large cup or jar

chop ginger & add to the glass

add cayenne & honey

pour the hot water into the container and let it meld until cool enough to drink (careful! if you use a jar it might be hot). as you drink this down you can keep adding water to what settles at the bottom of the glass to keep hydrating and making more tea.

*a hint for peeling ginger- use the back edge of a spoon like a vegetable peeler. works like magic.

please remember to use your own body as a guide when making this recipe. everything isn’t always good for everyone. if something doesn’t sound right for you replace it with something else or leave it out. in addition, honey should not be used for very small children.


Leave a Comment
  1. wartica / Feb 21 2012 1:37 am

    I have never tried cayenne tea; I could only imagine it being very amazing:)) Great post and I look forward to sharing more with you:)

  2. jacquiephelan / Feb 27 2012 3:49 am

    hey wendy’s kid . This is Jacquie, a very long-ago friend of yr mom
    I was astonisht to see that you might come see the bike show at SFO.
    IF you send me proper email address.,I ‘ll tell you when the ‘party’ is (it won’t be in May, at opening time).
    PS lovely silk painting, and VERY happening succulent pots!

  3. l0ve0utl0ud / Feb 29 2012 8:35 pm

    This comes at a perfect time – I’ve just come down with a cold! Thanks for the recipe!

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