Sunday, September 25, 2005

Pop Replacement - the Herbal Cosmo

the Other Dave objects to the word cosmo being applied to a non-alcoholic beverage, he has his supporters. I consider this to be an example of the tyranny of the dominant boozing majority over the non-drinking class.I invented the Herbal Cosmo to break my Coca-Cola habit around the end of the last school year. I was drinking at least a litre of Coke every day. I'd be thirsty after lunch, my coffee quota met long before and I'd want something with flavour and that would give me an energy boost. At school, I'd buy a litre of Coke, because there was a store that had it for $2.00, only $0.12 more than the 591ml size in the law building.

At home, I'd crack open a 2-litre bottle of PC pop, whatever I had around, ginger beer, blueberry, whatever. (Speaking of blueberry pop: If you're going to a party and you'd like to have pop to drink through the whole party, bring PC Sparkling Blueberry. It actually tastes pretty good and the bottle will last because no one else will drink it. If you bring cola or ginger ale, it will be gone in 45 minutes. Test it. Bring chilled 2-litre bottles of PC blueberry and PC ginger ale to the next party you go to. This will cost you $1.98. Open both bottles to start them off. Come back in 45 minutes. Observe and record the results. Reports are due here on the 15th.)

Back to the Herbal Cosmo. I knew I had to do something. Smokers were telling me "Dave, all that sugar is not good for you!" (Have you ever noticed that being a smoker is not incompatible with being a health food nut?)

After experimenting with ingredients and preparation, I've settled on the following recipe:

  • 1 bag rosehip hibiscus herbal tea
  • 1 bag mint herbal tea
  • two or three handfuls of frozen cranberries
  • just less than 3.78 litres of water.
  1. Take one of those big 3.78-litre cranberry juice jugs. Almost fill it with water, leaving enough space for the teabags and cranberries.
  2. Put the teabags in the water so that the string attached to them hangs out. If only one of the teabags has a string use it to tie a corner of the one without string. If neither has string, use a piece of dental floss to tie them. (If your dental floss isn’t clean enough for this, you shouldn’t be flossing with it.)
  3. Pour in the two or three handfuls of cranberries. You don't have to actually hold them in your hands, in fact, it's a bad idea to do that. Just eyeball it.
  4. Put the cap on the bottle nice and tight.
  5. Then leave the bottle on a counter, in the sun if you can, but it doesn't matter. What matters is that you turn the bottle upside down. I don't think it in any way speeds up the release of the tea from the teabags or the cranberry goodness from the cranberries. It just looks cool to have the teabags floating halfway up the bottle.
  6. After a few hours, take out the teabags and put the bottle in the fridge. You now have a nice refreshing beverage that has anti-oxidants and flavonoids that are great for your immune system. You can chew the cranberries for extra immune system boosting, or just leave them in your glass as decoration.
  7. The only possible health risk I'm aware of is tooth enamel decay. The mixture is slightly acidic and apparently sipping lots of acidic beverage can dissolve tooth enamel. The Herbal Cosmo is less acidic than orange juice, cranberry juice or PC Cola. (There are herbal teas that are more acidic than orange juice, be careful with those).

Things that didn't work out: 1) Ginger – did not blend well, 2) Berry Zinger tea that contained chamomile – yuck! soapy! 3) Boiling the water – yes, it releases the tea faster, perhaps more thoroughly, and makes the cranberries really soft, but how much damage does it do to the beneficial molecules? I don't know. And if you've got the sort of personality that truly needs the Herbal Cosmo, how often are you going to leave the pot boiling on the stove and forget it until the water has all boiled away? Often, believe me. 4) Frozen blueberries – they sink to the bottom and taste like cardboard.


afp763389 said...

something real at least... :)

WFKA5M said...

Hey Dave, sounds like an interesting mix that kind of reminds me of Kombucha tea ... have you heard of that? It is really tasty and apparently medicinal. I drank it happily for several months before I tired of making it - but you need a mushroom ... and I'm not sure how you get one if you don't know someone who has one ...

David Scrimshaw said...

Say 5th, Kombucha sounds good, but I just checked out the instructions here and that's way more work than I'm up for.

Besides, if you leave a glass of herbal cosmo out for a couple of days you get that fermenting action anyway. Yum, yum.