August 25th: The last few days have been really hot! And as much as I love the sunny summery days, I do not like the 'heat factor'. To make things worse, the air-conditioning conked off last night. I put in a maintenance service request first thing in the morning and the maintenance guy came in the afternoon, tinkered around and said that it was just a few blown wires in the air-conditioning unit and that he had fixed it. He advised me to keep the AC on and warned me that it will take time for the apartment to cool down (about one degree Fahrenheit per hour). So I waited. When the husband came back from work and complained that it is still hot, I brushed aside his allegations, quoting the maintenance guy. It was only around 9 pm that it hit me that the AC was not actually not working (duh!), the vents were blowing warm air so while the husband went out to buy a stand fan, I sat down and wrote a LONG service request (yes, it was almost as long as my blog-post!!). I was flustered. I was losing my cool. Because my almost 5 year old who is usually asleep by 8-8:15 pm on school-nights, couldn't sleep and he was getting bouts of cough. A dose of Benadryl helped with his coughing and the tired little being fell asleep even before his father returned with the fan.
I agree that the heat here is nothing compared to the sweltering heat of the summer months in Kolkata, but then again the apartments here are designed for air-conditioning and though we have a ceiling fan in each room, those hardly helped. All day I had been craving cool drinks. I craved Masala Thums-up. I craved Limca. I craved all the things cool but not available here, at least not easily. My only reasonable craving was for ginger-ale and I immediately remembered that my friend, PeeGee had posted a recipe few days back on her blog. So once it got a little cooler (around 10 pm), I set off to make the syrup for the ginger ale. I know I'll have to wait till morning to drink it, but tomorrow I'll be ready to take on the heat well-equipped with the stand-fan and a glasses of minty fresh and chilled ginger-ale.
- Grated Ginger - 1/4 Cup (I used about 3 inches of ginger)
- Brown Sugar - 1/2 Cup
- Lime juice - 1.5 or 2 tbsp
- Water - 1 Cup (8 oz)
- Salt - a fat pinch
- Mint Sprigs - 2 or 3 (optional)
- Club Soda or Seltzer Water - 1 Cup (8 oz)
- Ice-cubes - a handful
Before making the ginger-ale, strain the concoction and store the ginger syrup in a clean glass jar. You may discard the mint leaves and save the ginger pulp to snack on later. PeeGee was right, it does taste a bit like candied ginger.
To make the ale, pour 4 tbsp of ginger syrup, top it off with about 4 oz of seltzer water and throw in a handful of ice-cubes. Garnish with lime wedges, mint leaves and serve chilled.
I am thinking a splash of vodka (or more) will do wonders!