There’s a longstanding tradition of spiking citrusy drinks with salt in Southeast Asia as a way to battle intense heat and provide the body with electrolytes. In India, the beverage jaljeera has a similar strategy, but with the specific addition of cumin (jeera translates to cumin in Hindi). The base of the drink is usually a spice mix of cumin, black salt, ginger, mint and fruit powder such as amchoor, and it sometimes includes muddled dates or tamarind. The Salty Ginger-Ade takes its cues from jaljeera.
To create this inspired mocktail, first grab some Medjool dates. The remaining ingredients you’re likely to already have in the pantry. You’ll begin by muddling a date to bring out the fruit’s rich sweetness. The addition of fresh lime adds tartness and balance, while the salt and cumin commingle to create a distinct, almost shrublike effect. Lastly, ginger beer provides a sweet and spicy kick, turning the cocktail into a tall refreshment that’s perfect for sipping when temperatures rise.
Because the Salty Ginger-Ade contains no alcohol, it can be consumed all day long, when you want a break from the hard stuff, or by those who choose to abstain from alcohol. And it’s proof that mixed drinks don’t need booze to be complex and delicious.
- 1 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 Medjool date, pitted
- 1 pinch fine sea salt
- 1 pinch ground cumin
- 6 ounces ginger beer
- Garnish: mint sprig
Add the lime juice, date, salt and cumin to a shaker. Let sit for 5 minutes, then muddle until the date is pulverized.
Add ice and shake until well-chilled, then pour unstrained into a tall glass.
Top with ginger beer and stir well to combine.
Garnish with a mint sprig.