The only thing better than a good recipe? When something's so easy to make that you don't even need one. Welcome to It's That Simple, a column where we talk you through the process of making the dishes and drinks we can make with our eyes closed.
“I know gut health is very trendy nowadays,” my gastroenterologist said through a painfully forced polite grin. I had just asked her if she could somehow check on the “flora'' in my stomach, at which she seemed to internally roll her eyes. And why wouldn’t she? Maybe I have gone through a gut health TikTok rabbit hole and maybe I indulge in more dairy than my lactose-intolerant tummy can handle. But I wasn’t about to give up my love for labneh or cheddar and I was desperate for a way to soothe stomach aches without adding medication into the mix. Hence, my newest routine: putting ginger shots into ice cubes and putting them in drinks for tummy ease.
Let me back up. If you’ve ever googled “stomach pain, what do,” you know as well as I that ginger tea is known for easing digestion and bloating, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. But now that it’s spring, I’m in the mood for a refreshing beverage; I refuse to down a warm drink on a warm day. On a whim, I turned to store-bought ginger shots and was amazed at how delicious they actually tasted: zingy, sweet, and so soothing after a hefty meal. The ingredients read: ginger, lemon juice, and apple—three extremely affordable and accessible grocery store items I could definitely blend at home.
Soon I realized I couldn’t keep up with weekly ginger-blending sessions. I needed a one-and-done way to store the juice for longer than a few days. As ever, my freezer came to the rescue. I poured my blended ginger juice through a sieve and straight into an ice cube tray. First thing in the morning, I pop a cube or two into a full glass of water and wait until the cube is about half melted. The ginger-infused water is spicy-sweet and refreshing—and it gets even tastier as the ice continues to melt. It seems like my stomach almost always has an easier time digesting whatever it is I’m craving that morning.
Here’s how to make it: Blend 1 cup water, 8 oz ginger root, ½ an apple, and the juice of ½ a lemon (for added sweetness, feel free to squeeze in a Tbsp of honey or maple syrup) until the mixture is smooth and cohesive. Don’t worry about peeling the ginger or apple—it’s all getting strained out anyway. Once blended, fit a fine mesh sieve over a glass measuring cup and pour the ginger mixture in. Use a spoon to press the juice out of the pieces of flesh and skin that catch onto the sieve, getting every last drop through. Pour the fresh, strained ginger juice into the cavities of an ice cube tray and let it freeze overnight. Depending on the size of your ice cube tray, you’ll have at least two weeks worth of frozen ginger shots ready to go.
I love the way these make glasses of plain water sparkle, but they can zhush up all kinds of cold drinks: Add a gingery ice cube to sparkling lime-flavored water for a DIY ginger ale. Or pop an ice cube or two into your morning smoothie to boost flavor and health benefits. Whether you’re tired of feeling your stomach gurgle or you’re looking to level up your summer bev game, this ginger ice cube hack is for you.