Hangover Rescue Recipe
It's our wild rooibos, sweetened with a bit of maple syrup, brought alive by a squeeze of lemon juice or a spritz of lemon zest and balanced, like a salty caramel, with a single grain of sea salt. It's smooth, deep and mellow and, goddamn it, I think it really works. Rooibos has been used for thousands of years by local tribesman in Africa to treat dehydration. The maple and the salt provide the necessary electrolytes to make it isotonic.
Use 3g of rooibos tea per 150ml of boiling water and steep for three to five minutes. Strain and stir in: half to one teaspoon of maple syrup, according to preference; a squeeze of half a lemon; and a flake of sea salt. Add a twist of lemon zest on top.
When I'm particularly crushed by a hangover, crushed so small I feel like a little girl lost in an IKEA car park in a strange city as night falls, I use vanilla rooibos.
You don't have to buy a flavoured rooibos. Some synthetic vanilla flavourings come from by-products of the wood-pulping industry and the natural ones might come from the anal glands of beavers. (Okay, the beaver bum juice is a rare one you're unlikely to stumble across, but it is a ‘natural' flavouring.) It's safer to just use vanilla pods.
Fill a glass jar, (I use one with a wired, flip-top, rubber-sealed lid) full of rooibos. Take a vanilla pod and cut it open lengthways, as if opening the belly of a fish. Stick it in the jar so that it’s entirely submersed in the rooibos (cut the pot into pieces if you need to). Put the jar in a cupboard you use regularly and leave it for a couple of weeks, giving it a shake every time you see it.
You can use a zip-lock bag instead, but I’ve found glass is better at holding the flavour over time. The good stuff has so much flavour, you want to keep it at its best. And the really good stuff is wild.