Sunday, February 17, 2008

Aloe Drink

My grandmother swears by drinking aloe, and judging by her health as an octogenarian, I probably should too.

To ensure an affordable, consistent supply, she basically ran her own small aloe farm from the eleventh floor balcony of her North Miami Beach condo. I copy her recipe whenever a leaf from the plant in my bedroom becomes damaged. I slice it off, chop it up, cover with boiling water and let sit overnight. At first the pieces dance up and down, as captured in the photo above. The liquor then becomes yellow and deepens to red.

Maybe it's not for everyone, but I find it thrilling to consume something that's grown in my bedroom. In fact, I like it so much that I just ordered a bunch of heirloom seeds for a little bedside salad garden.

I haven't had enough aloe to comment on its medicinal properties, but rest assured that a quick google search will yield plenty of wildly contradictory, crackpot testimonials.

As a drink, aloe is slightly astringent, with a familiar flavor like strong mineral water. The raw gel is gag-reflux bitter, and I always thought the drink was too. But after my last brew, I took one sip of Honest Tea's plain, iced green and realized how much nastier an incompetently brewed comellia sinensis is. Like the avocado leaf tea and the hibiscus, it's a subtle and wild taste that probably predates the cultivation of tea, or frappuccino.

Stumble Upon Toolbar