I'm drinking a variant of this as I write. As far as I know, this recipe originated in my kitchen, but it's based on a freshly squeezed juice I bought one day when I had a fairly bad cold years ago. We were at the health food store, I saw the sign for a cold and flu busting juice, and ordered it without reading the ingredients carefully so the first dose of cayenne pepper came as a shock to my tastebuds. A lot of people think this sounds gross, maybe I'm just strange, but I absolutely love this flavor combination, and always feel better after a glass.

  • 4 ounces freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1 garlic clove, or to taste
  • 1 piece of fresh ginger, about the same size as your garlic clove, again, to your preference
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper, or more, or less, or omitted altogether

This recipe is for anyone who claims that juicing is expensive, or requires special culinary gadgets. Although I have a Breville juicer, I use my handheld citrus juicer that I've had since 1998. I frequently see these at thrift stores, if you're looking to save even more than you would by purchasing this new elsewhere if you don't currently own or have access to one. I have a stainless steel model, although I'm sure the glass or plastic versions will do the trick.

Juice your grapefruit, I've substituted Valencia oranges with delightful results, feel free to experiment. Place your juice into a suitable glass. Finely grate your garlic, and then your ginger into a pile, gather this together, and squeeze over your citrus base. Sometimes I add a twist of lime or quarter of lemon, there are no real rules here, only what your creativity coupled with your innovation and curiosity can concoct. Float your cayenne on top, or mix it into your juice, and drink immediately.

There's something about the acidic burst of citrus followed by the spicy cayenne notes, ginger warmth, and garlic heat that I adore, although this may be an acquired taste. One Friday evening I had an extremely sore throat. I woke up in the middle of the night because my throat hurt so badly, and by Saturday afternoon I was convinced that I had strep throat. After Googling natural sore throat remedies I found a recipe that required you to mash minced garlic into raw honey, lemon, and I think the cayenne topping was my addition, but perhaps the recipe called for it.

I told myself that I was going to go to the doctor on Monday, but by Sunday afternoon my throat pain had calmed, and by Monday morning it was gone. Mixing grapefruit, garlic, and ginger may seem like an abomination, it probably isn't for everyone, but if you're an adventuresome sort, I'd encourage you to at least try it. You can also turn this into a lovely vinaigrette with a splash of olive oil, and a marinade for fish, or chicken. Really the only limits are the ones you place on yourself. Please let me know if you decide to try this, I'd love to hear what you think.

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