This fizzy iced lemon-ginger yerba mate is oh so refreshing and the perfect drink for these hot summer days.
What is Yerba Mate?
Yerba mate is a type of tea with a similar (but IMO better) flavor to green tea. Like green tea, yerba mate packs a caffeine punch to keep your energy levels up while providing loads of antioxidants. Yerba mate hails from South America where is it traditionally served in a gourd – the inside of the gourd is filled up with dried leaves and stems which are then topped with hot water. The tea is drunk straight from the gourd with a metal straw (called a Bombilla). For more information on all things yerba mate, this is a great resource
How to make this Sparking Lemon-Ginger Yerba Mate
To make this drink, the yerba mate is steeped cold-brew style (known as tereré) overnight along with minced ginger to provide a flavorful base. The next day, the cold brew tea is combined with sparkling water at a 1:1 ratio and topped with 1 tbsp. of fresh squeezed lemon juice. Cold brewing the yerba mate has the same taste benefits as it does for coffee by reducing the bitterness letting the subtle flavors really shine through.
The trick to making a base that keeps its flavor when adding the sparking water is making a concentrate of sorts. Here, I use a half a tbsp. of yerba mate and a packed table spoon of (fresh!) grated ginger per cup of water. While the typical brewing method for yerba mate is a tbsp. per cup of water, I find that it gets too strong because it is sitting in the water overnight to where it overpowers the lemon and ginger. A half a tablespoon per cup is the perfect balance! For the ginger, a packed tbsp. per cup is a lot but you need it if you really want that warm and spicy flavor. I am obsessed with a strong ginger beer and if you are too then you know what I mean.
When it comes to the sparkling water, I like to use a citrus flavored sparkling mineral water to compliment the lemon juice, but plain ol’ sparkling water also works. You can also switch it up and try other flavors like lemon, lime, grapefruit, or whatever you think would go. Make sure you finish it off with fresh squeezed lemon juice, it gives a hit of acidity that makes this drink crisp and so thirst quenching.
Note that the ginger juice will separate naturally as this drink sits so drink up or sip it slow and give it a stir as you go.
Sparkling Lemon-Ginger Yerba Mate
Servings: Makes 4 cups, enough for 8 drinks or so
Time: 10 minutes to make and overnight to steep
- 4 cups of water
- 2 tbsp. of yerba mate
- 4 tbsp. of grated fresh ginger, well packed
- sparkling water, to serve (see note)
- 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, to serve (see note)
- Combine the (regular) water, yerba mate, and grated ginger in a coffee press or jar. Stir and place in the fridge overnight to steep.
- When ready to serve, use the coffee press to strain or strain manually using a fine mesh strainer and pour a 4 ounce/half a cup serving into a glass over ice.
- Top with 4 ounces of sparking water and 1 tbsp. of fresh lemon juice.
- I like to use a citrus flavors sparkling mineral water, but plain sparkling water works too. You can also experiment with other flavors like lime, lemon, and grapefruit.
- Lime juice also works so great here giving the drink Moscow mule vibes!
- As the drink sits, the ginger and lemon juices naturally separate so be sure to stir as you sip.
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