Thursday, August 13, 2009

Iced Salabat-Hibiscus Tea

Salabat or ginger hot drink (technically not a tea, because it is not made of tea leaves) is a staple for us who stretch our vocal chords so that the churchgoer would be able to pray and aspire for loftier things. The dread of many church musicians is a sudden turn of the head and a puzzled annoyed look from an individual who should look at God, and not on us. When we get this gaze with a pursed lip ala Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada, we know what they mean: we don’t sing well and we don’t even approximate the choirs of angels.

But even those who love singing get bored by the usual salabat. So I remember putting something into salabat that made it a little exciting. If we don’t become glorious, at least, we are able to taste a little of that glory.

To serve around 8 people (a basic choir with two people per soprano, alto, tenor and bass), you can do this to a bottled salabat (though having it fresh is better). I’ll take the fresh anytime.

1 tablespoon of ginger (chopped)
2 teabags of hibiscus tea
5 tablespoons of brown sugar
a twist of calamansi or lemon
a slice or curl of a citrus peel like an orange, calamansi, dalandan or lemon

1. Put the first 2 ingredients into a pot of 9 glasses of boiling water. Allow to brew for 7 minutes. Remove the hibiscus teabag.

2. Add the brown sugar and stir until it dissolves. (You can add more sugar. I don’t like it too sweet because I am diabetic.)

3. Cool and chill.

4. Pour over ice and add a twist of calamansi/lemon/dalandan.

5. Garnish with a citrus peel or a slice of dalandan.

Variation: if you want a tall drink, you can put soda like Sprite or 7-UP on top.

WARNING: Do not serve this during the practices. This is ideal after the rehearsals, when people want to chill out, unwind, move around, socialize. After all, the choir is not just a music ministry, it is also a community.

The good thing: When you have leftover salabat, you can just add the other ingredients and you have a nice cooler. Good choir singing is usually the result of friendship.


Jhaw, sj said...

looks very refreshing jboy. will try it one of these days

Jessel Gerard said...

Hi jhaw, just had it, but used the salabat from the Father's Recreation Room. You can try substituting the hibiscus with other flavored fruit teas around.

It is really refreshing. If you will use the powdered salabat, use real dalandan juice or lemon, so it would taste fresh.

Enjoy. Now I am returning what I got from the rec room. My office staff and some musicians were amused when they saw me preparing it.

Jboy SJ

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Philippine Sites said...

That is one exotic brew! I always thought ice and sugar were bad for the throat. Do you find that the concoction works just as well as basic salabat?

jtiu said...

As I was researching Filipino cuisine and food history sites (considering starting my own), I came across your blog. I'm looking forward to reading more!

Also, here's a tip, and sorry if you already know this. If you're diabetic (my father is), you might want to try honey, maple syrup or agave nectar (if you can find that) as a substitute for sugar. The glycemic index is much lower than straight sugar but flavor is still good. Agave (27), Maple Syrup (54) and Honey (83).

Olie Lucas said...

Why aren't there new blogs recipes? Will be at the Jesuit Mirador Villa for a retreat this Holy Week. Will the cooking be as good as yours?

Jhaw, sj said...

Hi Olie! Thanks for visiting. Will be posting new recipes soon. Be patient. Mirador food is good, at least that was my memory the last time I went there. I'll be in Mirador too from March 10 - 16.

Fr. Jhaw