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Ginger and Tamarind Refresher

['2½ cups (600 ml) water', '2½ oz (70 g) sour tamarind pulp or paste', '8 oz (225 g) fresh ginger, preferably young', '1 cup (200 g) sugar', 'One 1 L bottle chilled club soda or 4 cups (960 ml) chilled water']

Bring 1½ cups (360 ml) of the water to a boil. Put the tamarind pulp in a heat-proof nonreactive bowl, and cover with the boiling water. Cover and let sit for about 1 hour, until the pulp has become soft and mushy. Using a small potato masher or clean hands, massage and squeeze the block to soften the pulp. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer suspended over a medium bowl, pressing the pulp through the strainer with a large spoon. Discard the seeds and other solids left behind. Refrigerate the tamarind extract in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use, for up to 4 days.
Rinse the ginger and gently scrub to remove any traces of dirt. If the ginger is young, with a thin skin, leave the skin on. Otherwise, peel. Cut into thin slices. In a medium saucepan, combine the ginger, sugar, and remaining 1 cup (240 ml) water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and immediately remove the saucepan from the heat. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. Strain the ginger simple syrup through a fine-mesh strainer and discard the ginger.
In a large pitcher, mix the tamarind extract and the ginger simple syrup together. Fill eight tall glasses with ice. Pour 4 oz (120 ml) of the tamarind-ginger syrup into each glass, top with 4 oz (120 ml) of the club soda or chilled water, and stir. Store any remaining tamarind-ginger syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
This rejuvenating drink combines the mild heat of young ginger and the sourness of tamarind. It’s wonderful during the warmer months. Young ginger requires no peeling before use because its outer skin is so thin. I recommend using South Asian tamarind, which is a lot more sour than the Mexican variety. Look for it in Asian and Indian markets.

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