Now to rest from Rizal: One of the pleasanter early memories of coming to live in the Philippines was discovering Calamansi Soda at the Manila Peninsula Hoitel. It’s the most refreshing drink I’ve ever tasted, cleaning the tongue like a razorblade.  Another was the being introduced to Salabat, a ginger tea easily available in an instant version that’s good for the throat but also a mean waker-upper. The two together make an interesting and refreshing drink I call Salamansi. I can’t claim to have been the first to make this, but almost certainly the first to put one on a blog.

Calamansi, sometimes known as lemoncito, is a small green marble-sized citrus fruit somewhat between a lemon and orange by very sharp and full of pips. I use eight of these for a half-litre, work on four for each 250mls. Half them, squeeze the juice – there isn’t a lot but that not a lot goes a long way, and strain to remove the pips.

Next, I use about a three-quarter inch chunk of ginger, chopped and gently boiled for 15-20mins in around a cupful of water.

Next, for around 500mls, take about a half or three-quarters of sugar in as cup and use the boiling ginger water to make a sugar syrup (easier to handle and dissolves better than crystal sugar.

Let everything cool. I then put the sugar syrup into a 500 ml plastic bottle add the calamansi juice, then use the ginger water to rinse the remains of the calamansi juice into the bottle then top the bottle with the (strained)  ginger juice and top the bottle up to full measure.

Cool in in the refrigerator, then try it.

A nice refresher while your waiting for the election results to come in.

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