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Fresh ginger tea

Makes 8 cups

Drink hot or cold. For the cold version, use sparkling water and add a slice of lemon. Make the hot version if you have a cold or ``funny tummy," in which case drink as much of this as you can. It cures all. A version of this tea is made in many Asian cultures.

1 piece unpeeled fresh ginger (about 8 inches long)
2 1/2 cups water
3 tablespoons sugar
Juice of 2 to 3 lemons
1. Cut the unpeeled ginger into 1-inch pieces. With the side of a large knife or the bottom of a small skillet, smash each piece of ginger.

2. In a saucepan, combine the water and sugar. Cook over very low heat until the sugar dissolves. Add the ginger pieces and turn the heat to medium-high. Bring the syrup to a boil, then simmer it for 8 minutes.

3. Strain the syrup into a plastic container. Leave to cool and cover tightly. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

4. For each cup of hot or cold tea, pour 1/4 cup syrup into a mug or glass. Add 3/4 cup boiling or cold sparkling water and a generous squeeze of lemon juice. Debra Samuels

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