Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Ginger Lime Syrup

As a city dweller heading out to the countryside, the one word that will recur with frequency is, abundance. The countryside is about the abundance of space, the abundance of fresh air, the abundance of nature, the abundance of fresh produce and the abundance of spirit of the people who live there. And invariably, we humour them with our stories of how we, in the cities, pay an exorbitant premium for produce that is available to them freely and in abundance. We talk about how we search our cities, high and low, for organic produce that is, well, growing in their backyards.
And invariably, we come back home with our bags crammed with all sorts of fresh farm and garden produce. We profusely thank the host who waves us off with a bemused smile, shaking their head at the ways of the deprived, of us who live in the cities.

That's what happened to me recently. On a quick trip to a cousin brother's estate, I stood admiring the lime trees in his backyard. The trees were flush with fruit and the morning air was redolent with a slight, citrusy fragrance as you walked by the trees. The city dweller in me gawked, exclaimed and gulped down mouthfuls of that fresh air. The next morning, while we were leaving, we were promptly handed over a bag stuffed with fresh limes. We protested weakly that this was all too much and they ..well.. rolled their eyes and laughed us off!!

So, as always, as I pondered on what to with the limes, Ma came to the rescue. Out came a little book and the recipe for a ginger-lime syrup that was given to her by a friend. And in under an hour, we had a bottle of this beautiful, delicately-coloured ginger-lime syrup.

This is a concoction of lime, ginger, sugar and water that is boiled into a syrup. And how does it taste?? It has the kick of ginger, a zesty pickup from the limes and a certain amount of sweetness to stop it from being overpowering. The end result.. it will leave you refreshed and smacking your lips!!

Take a tiny peg of it with water, plain or sparkling. Depending on the weather, you could add ice or if you are down with a sore throat like me, top it off with some warm water as a soothing night-time tot. The ginger and lime are said to be a natural antidote to counter that nasty cough/cold. If the ginger is a wee bit strong for you, you could sweeten it with a dash of honey.

This ginger-lime syrup provides a winter-counterpart to the classic summer lemonade. It is also a throwback to a time when our mothers and grand-mothers made all this seasonal home-made produce that was not only enticing but packed with health benefits. Of course, these days we look for the very same stuff at independent, boutique organic-produce shops. So, on a cold, wintry day, when the Sun comes out and you are in the mood for a dainty drink from the days gone by, may I recommend a bottle of this ginger-lime syrup.

Ginger-Lime Syrup
Makes approximately 1 bottle (750 ml)
  • 1 cup lime juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 100 gms fresh ginger
Cooking Directions:
  • Scrape the skin of the ginger. Grind the ginger fine and keep aside.
  • On low heat, dissolve the sugar in the water. It is important that this is done on low heat.
  • Once the sugar is dissolved, add the ground ginger and the lime juice together and bring the mixture to a boil. Then boil the mixture for two minutes.
  • Remove from heat and strain the mixture with the help of a muslin cloth/ cheese cloth.
  • Bottle when cool.
  • Store in refrigerator.
  • Serve by adding required amount of water. Adjust depending on your taste.


  1. mmmmm I love drinks that make me smack my lips and ask for more!!! :) :)

    1. haha... although I think Maria ..you should think of a way that this could be used in a cocktail.. that would be even more lip smacking!! :))

  2. Such a lovely colour, the tanginess of the limes and the ginger flavour gives a fantastic combination!

    1. I know..I was really taken in with the colour.. such a pretty and dainty colour! this is such a lovely flavour combination.. and so seasonal!!

  3. these coolers look absolutely fantastic. I have to make these for my father in law, he's crazy about ginger.
    I'll earn some brownie points thanks to you :-)

    1. Oh then he'll love it.. I love ginger and I adore this drink!! Thanks for dropping by!! :)

  4. Sounds lovely. And i love the photograph of your mother's hand-written recipe. Very evocative. My mother has cookbooks stuffed with hand-written recipes. You took me on a mini trip down memory lane. Thanks!

    1. Those hand-written recipes are a little treasure trove.. arent they!!!.. you've got to sit down one afternoon and sift through them.. and you find some really cool retro recipes and some timeless classics!! Thank you for stopping by!!


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