In the tropics, on a hot day or just as a remedial drink served hot, lemongrass is a wonderful herb to use to make this punch.
Lemongrass is abound in South East Asia and is relatively cheap. It has medicinal values too. It helps especially to relieve indigestion, bloatedness and nasal congestion. To a degree, it has been cited to kill cancer cells through apoptosis. (please see http://www.livestrong.com/article/525481-do-fresh-lemon-grass-drinks-cause-apoptosis-to-cancer-cells/)
For most of us growing up in this region, lemongrass smells and tastes so familiar and is a comfort herb for us. For those not familiar with it, it may take time to get used to it.
To a make a refreshing cold drink, this is my favourite way.
- 5-6 stalks of lemongrass- pound the bulbous ends.
- 1.5 -2 litrs of water
- a pot
- rock sugar or candied melon pieces ( to sweeten the drink, the amount would be to taste, your personal preference)
- 1 cup of coco de nata or aloe vera cubes or konyaku jelly cut into tiny cubes
Bring the water to boil, together with the rock sugar/sweetened melon pieces and after 2 mins when the water has been boiling, place all the lemongrass pieces into the boiling water. Let it simmer for 15 minutes. Switch off the fire. Let the lemongrass concotion cool to room temperature (about 1 hr) before pouring them into glasses and placing ice cubes into them to chill them completely. For each glass, put about 2-3 tbp of coco de nata /koyaku jelly or aloe vera cubes whichever you are using. Serve it with a sprig of lemongrass if you wish or a few torn fresh mint leaves.