The Outdoor Apothecary is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more
As the summer heat approaches, I’m always looking for refreshing drinks to cool me down. One of my favorite ways to do this is by making a Lemon Balm and ginger oxymel. This sweet and tangy drink is perfect for sipping on a hot day, and it’s incredibly easy to make at home.
To start, I gather fresh lemon balm from my garden. Lemon balm has a bright, citrusy flavor that pairs perfectly with the spicy kick of ginger. I chop them up and add them to a jar with some raw honey and apple cider vinegar. After letting the mixture sit for a few weeks, the flavors meld together to create a delicious and refreshing summer drink that can be enjoyed on its own or added to cocktails and mocktails.
What is a Lemon Balm and Ginger Oxymel?
An oxymel is a traditional herbal preparation made by combining equal parts of vinegar and honey. The word “oxymel” comes from the Greek words “oxy” meaning sharp or acidic and “meli” meaning honey. Oxymels were used in ancient times as a medicine to treat various ailments.
Oxymels have a long shelf life and can be stored for up to a year in a cool, dark place. They can be taken as a daily tonic, added to cocktails or mocktails, or used as a base for salad dressings and marinades. Herbal oxymels are an excellent way to extract the medicinal properties of herbs and incorporate them into your daily routine.
Related Content: My Love Affair with Herbal Oxymels: Unlocking Nature’s Healing Potential
Why Make a Lemon Balm and Ginger Oxymel?
As someone who enjoys experimenting with different summer drinks, I have found that making a lemon balm and ginger oxymel is an excellent way to create a refreshing and healthy beverage. Not only does it taste great, but it also has several health benefits that make it a fantastic choice for anyone looking to improve their overall well-being.
One of the primary benefits of this oxymel is that it acts as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments. Lemon balm is known to have a calming effect on the body, making it an excellent choice for individuals who struggle with anxiety or stress. Additionally, ginger has been shown to help boost the immune system, making it an effective way to ward off illness and bacteria.
In fact, the use of oxymels dates back to the time of Hippocrates, who is known as the father of modern medicine. He believed that oxymels were an effective way to treat a variety of health issues, including stomach soothing and immune system boosting. Today, many people still use oxymels as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments.
Overall, making a lemon balm and ginger oxymel is an excellent choice for anyone looking to improve their health and enjoy a refreshing summer drink. Whether you are looking for a natural remedy or simply want to try something new, this oxymel is definitely worth a try.
When it comes to making a refreshing and healthy lemon balm and ginger oxymel for summer drinks, you’ll need a handful of fresh and high-quality ingredients. Here are the key components you’ll need to gather:
- Lemon balm leaves: Fresh lemon balm leaves are the star of this recipe, and you’ll need enough to fill whatever size jar you choose to use, about ¾ of the way. Lemon balm is a fragrant herb that belongs to the mint family and has a lemony flavor that pairs perfectly with ginger.
- Ginger root: Fresh ginger root adds a spicy kick to the oxymel and complements the lemon balm flavor. You’ll need around ¼ of a jar of roughly chopped ginger root (I don’t bother to peel it).
- Apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar is a crucial component of the oxymel, as it helps extract the beneficial properties of the herbs and adds a tangy taste. You’ll need raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar.
- Honey: Honey adds sweetness to the oxymel and helps balance the acidity of the vinegar. You’ll want to use raw, unfiltered honey.
To make a lemon balm and ginger oxymel, you’ll only need a few pieces of basic equipment. Here’s what you’ll need:
Jar – You’ll need a jar to mix and store your oxymel. Choose any size jar to fit the amount of herbs you are using. It can be as small or large as you want it to be. I used a quart size but you could certainly do smaller. A pint size jar is the perfect size for making a small batch of oxymel, and it’s easy to handle and store.
Measuring cup – this is to make sure I’m using equal parts vinegar and honey. You can certainly eye-ball it or even use unequal amounts if you prefer your oxymel more or less sweet.
Spoon – You’ll need a spoon to stir your oxymel. A wooden or metal spoon is best, as plastic can leach chemicals into your oxymel. Make sure to use a clean spoon each time you stir your oxymel.
In summary, to make a lemon balm and ginger oxymel, you’ll need a jar, a spoon to stir your oxymel, and a measuring cup. These items are easy to find and will make the process of making your oxymel much easier.
Preparing the Oxymel
1. Roughly chop the lemon balm and ginger and then place them in a clean sterilized jar. I put the ginger in first since it’s heavier, and I don’t want it to weigh the lemon balm down or keep the liquid from reaching it. If using fresh herbs like I am here, you’ll want to fill your jar. If using dried herbs, you’ll only want to fill one-quarter of the way, as the herbs will expand in the liquid.
2. Mix equal parts raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar and raw unfiltered honey. If you like things more sour, add more vinegar. Sweeter? Add more honey. Mix well with a spoon until the honey is completely incorporated into the vinegar. I used 1 ½ cups each of honey and vinegar.
3. Pour the vinegar-honey mixture over the herbs. Screw the lid on your jar and give it a gentle shake to make sure that all the herbs are submerged in the liquid. Label your jar with its contents and the date of preparation. Shake the jar once or twice a day for about a week. After that, give it a taste. If you prefer it stronger, let it continue infusing for up to 6 weeks.
4. After your mixture has infused to your liking, strain the herbs out and rebottle in a dark glass bottle. Store in a cool, dark place for up to one year.
Using the Oxymel
As I mentioned earlier, the lemon balm and ginger oxymel is a versatile concoction that can be used in a variety of ways. The versatility of this blend opens up a world of possibilities, allowing me to savor its unique flavor while reaping its numerous benefits.
First and foremost, I love using my lemon balm and ginger oxymel as a refreshing beverage. A simple combination of water and a splash of this tangy elixir creates a revitalizing drink that uplifts both my senses and my spirits. It’s the perfect companion during hot summer days or whenever I need a natural boost of energy.
Another way I enjoy utilizing this oxymel is by incorporating it into my culinary adventures. The vibrant combination of lemon balm and ginger adds a zesty twist to dressings, marinades, and sauces. Drizzling it over salads or using it as a glaze for roasted vegetables gives my dishes a burst of flavor that’s both delightful and invigorating.
Beyond its culinary applications, this oxymel is also my go-to remedy for soothing digestive discomfort. The ginger’s natural digestive properties, combined with the calming effect of lemon balm, work wonders for alleviating indigestion and soothing an upset stomach. I simply mix a spoonful of the oxymel in warm water and enjoy the relief it provides.
Overall, the lemon balm and ginger oxymel is a versatile and tasty addition to any kitchen. Experiment with different ways to use it and enjoy the sweet and sour flavor all summer long!
Storing the Oxymel
As I mentioned earlier, the lemon balm and ginger oxymel can last for up to a year if stored properly. Here are some tips on how to store your oxymel:
Choose the right container: It’s important to store your oxymel in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. Avoid using plastic containers, as they can react with the vinegar and affect the flavor of your oxymel.
Keep it in a cool, dark place: Oxymels should be stored in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight. Sunlight can cause the flavors to deteriorate and can also affect the color of your oxymel.
Shake it up: Be sure to shake your oxymel before using it to be sure all ingredients are well blended.
Check for spoilage: While oxymels can last for a long time, it’s important to check for spoilage before using them. If you notice any mold, discoloration, or a strange odor, discard the oxymel immediately.
Keep track of the shelf life: While oxymels can last for up to a year, it’s important to keep track of the shelf life. Label your jar with the date you made the oxymel, so you can keep track of how long it’s been stored.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your lemon balm and ginger oxymel stays fresh and flavorful for as long as possible.
Where to Buy High Quality Herbs
If you don’t have access to local or homegrown herbs, I highly recommend purchasing them from Mountain Rose Herbs. They are my favorite place to buy high-quality, organic dried herbs and herbal products. As a company they believe in people, plants, and planet over profit and only ever source their herbs ethically and sustainably. It is through this ethical, responsible sourcing, that they are able to offer one of the largest selections of certified organic herbs, spices, and botanicals in North America.
Disclaimer- I am not a medical professional. All information shared here is for information and entertainment only. Do your own research and consult your health care provider before treating yourself with any product, plant or mixture.
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.