Salabat – a hot soothing christmas non alcoholic drink

salabatAs the chilly winter slowly descends upon us, out comes the sweaters, the scarves and the coats. For some families, the Christmas tree is already out (the plastic or fake ones), and so do the hot non-alcoholic drinks.

Here is one drink that we’d like to introduce to Canadians. It is called Salabat, and it is a drink from the Philippines that is traditionally served during the cold season, and is often given out to buyers of bibingka and puto bumbong (rice cakes) outside churches after Simbang Gabi at Christmastime. Salabat is hot ginger tea made by boiling crushed ginger in water. Brown sugar is used to sweeten the beverage. Camote, (yams) sago (tapioca pearls), or milk are added by some to salabat.

Salabat is found to have healing properties and is used to ease cold symptoms and stomachaches. It soothes sore throats and is said to sweeten the singing voice. It is now available in powdered form for convenience in preparation.

Here is the recipe:
8 to 10 slices of fresh ginger (sliced, grated or crushed)
5 cups of water
3 to 4 tablespoon of brown sugar
Servings: 4

  1. Put all ingredients in a pot and boil.
  2. Simmer at low temperature for another 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Serve hot

Variations: Note that the fresh ginger can be sliced, crushed or grated depending on your time schedule. Luckily, the taste of ginger is so strong, it does not take much to squeeze the flavour out of ginger. Even just quickly sliced ginger can do the job. Depending on your taste, salabat can simmer for a few minutes or for as long as two hours.
Variation 1: Brown sugar can be replaced with honey or molasses.
Variation 2: Add a few drops of lemon juice.
Variation 3: Add Cinnamon sticks, and 6-8 cloves to the mixture before boiling
Variation 4: Add cubed yams and cooked sago pearls to the mixture

Let us know how you enjoy the above recipes and do send us your photos and stories. Enjoy!!!

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