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Fresh ginger gets its characteristic bite from gingerol which is structurally similar to capsaicin, the molecule that gives chili peppers their heat. When dried, the gingerol is dehydrated to 6-shogaol; when cooked, it breaks down to zingerone. Zingerone is the hottest of the three but is still a thousand times milder than capsaicin.
This aqua fresca needs a few hours in the refrigerator, but is a refreshing way to enjoy gingerol.
3 cups watermelon (seeds removed)
1 cup water
Juice of one lime (~2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon ginger juice (grate ginger onto a paper towel or coffee filter, then squeeze into a bowl to remove juice)
1-2 tablespoons sugar
Ice cubes (optional)
1. Combine watermelon and water in a blender; blend until smooth.
2. Add in the ginger juice, lime juice, and sugar; blend until well-mixed.
3. Refrigerate mixture for 3-8 hours to allow flavors to mature.
4. Stir, then serve (with or without ice).