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Pineapple-Ginger Elixir (with or without Rum)

I'm a sucker for words like potion, tincture, balm, and elixir.  In my mind I can picture myself in a long, colorful gypsy skirt, a flowy peasant blouse, and bare feet.  Gathering bundles of wild flowers and herbs; carefully peeling bark from medicinal trees and digging healing roots from the earth.  I see heavy glass bottles with frosty glass or cork stoppers amongst jars, tins, canisters, pots, and droppers in various sizes.  My well-loved mortar and pestle sits atop an ancient butcher block with a dip worn in it from years of use.  Dried lavender, yarrow, purple cone flowers hang amidst the herbs, garlic, and chiles on the wooden rafters.  Gnarled roots of goldenseal, ginger, and licorice are wrapped in cloth and tucked into baskets on cool, dark shelves.  I'm pretty sure I was meant to be a shaman.  Or a healer in some form.

So, perhaps you can see why a recipe containing the term "elixir" drew my attention.  Although I used a blender instead of a mortar and pestle to coax the sweet juice from a golden pineapple, the addition of warming ginger and cayenne reinforced the images in my head.  This blend...this elixir...will warm your body from the inside out on a cold day.  If you're sensitive to chile peppers, be aware of the potency (oooh, that's another great word...potency) of your cayenne.  If it is nice and fresh, you'll get a fantastic burn on your upper lip for hours to come.  

If the word elixir doesn't inspire you like it does me, I hope you'll try this sweet, yet spicy cooler anyway.  Add a shot of rum for even more warmth...
Pineapple-Ginger Elixir

by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Cook Time: n/a
Keywords: blender beverage vegan vegetarian ginger pineapple

Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 4 c. fresh pineapple cubes
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
  • ½ c. water
  • ¼ c. light coconut milk or homemade
  • 2½ Tbs. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 Tbs. pure Maple syrup
  • 1½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp. ground cardamom
  • ⅛ tsp. ground cayenne
Purée pineapple cubes, ginger, and water in blender until smooth. Strain through a fine-meshed strainer into bowl, pushing down on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard pulp and return liquid to blender.

Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.

Serve over ice and garnish with fresh pineapple wedges or rings, cinnamon stick, or lime wedges.

For a warming cocktail with the sweetness of pineapple, add a shot of rum to the bottom of the glass before pouring in the elixir.

slightly adapted from Vegetarian Times #391
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