Many years ago while researching Ayurvedic medicinal teas, I found that turmeric is used base for lots of herbal blends. In Hindu there are over thirty different names for turmeric. My interest peaked in summer 2014 when I was able to get a hold of some exceptional dried turmeric samples from Thailand. I was drawn to the bitter, pungent flavor, and deep orange color. And I remembered that turmeric, ginger and black pepper were a classic Ayurvedic combination.
Tonics often contain quinine for a bitter edge and their restorative powers. I developed this blend to substitute the slight bitterness of turmeric for quinine to create a tonic that would embrace bitterness, while maintaining the Ayurvedic belief in good health.
Our Turmeric Tonic is a combination of dried turmeric, spicy Thai ginger, lemon verbena, licorice root, lemon peel, black pepper, and essential oils of lime, lemon, and ginger. When developing this blend I really wanted something spicy. I originally tried cayenne pepper instead of black pepper, but it was too hot. The black pepper gives just the right amount heat and is thought to boost the Ayurvedic health benefits. I also added licorice root, adding a subtle sweetness, and citrus just seemed to compliment the heat perfectly.
I like to prepare it using 9 grams of tea in 400 ml glass teapot with boiling water, steeped for 5 minutes. This produces a deep orange color and good amount of heat. It tastes great with a slice of lemon and a touch of honey.
To make it as iced tea I measure out 15-20 grams in a one liter, heat-proof container. I steep the tea for 5 minutes using just enough 210°F water to cover the tea. I then add cold or room temperature water to bring up the total volume of water to one liter, and steep for 12-24 hours. Finally, I strain the tea and serve over ice.