Emoliente is one of my favourite drinks. Perfect for a cold winter day if you drink it straight from the steaming pot, and also incredibly refreshing on a hot summer day, once it’s been chilling in the fridge for a few hours. This beverage has been sold by street vendors in Lima for more than a century, and people love it both for it’s sweet soothing flavor and for its medicinal properties. It’s fervent drinkers believe it’s a natural diuretic, and also good for the liver and for digestion in general.
Emoliente is prepared using a mix of herbs selected by the person preparing it. Some brands sell the herb mix ready to put in the pot of boiling water, just like the one I found in a Korean supermarket the other day, and have made today. I have a cold, so drinking it now comes very handy!
As a general rule, what every emoliente must have is: toasted barley, flax seeds, dried horse tail (the herb, not a real horse’s tail!), dried grass, and llantén (plantain leaf). To this you can add as many things as you wish, including aniseed, boldo, lemon verbena, lemongrass, and cat’s claw, a native South American woody vine, consumed for its powerful anti inflammatory properties.
To make it, you put everything in a pan with water, and let it boil for about half an hour. You then strain it, sweeten it with sugar, and finish it off with some lemon juice. I sweetened mine with raw honey. The package instructions of the brand I bought, say you should first boil the toasted barley for half an hour, and at the end you add the other ingredients without boiling them any longer. It also says you should put a quince in the boiling water, together with the toasted barley. As you can see, there are many ways of preparing a good emoliente.Some better than others, but I’ve never come across one that I didn’t enjoy. They always seems to taste and feel good, whatever you put in the preparation. Here it is for you to enjoy, whatever the weather you’re in. Cheers!
- Dried horse tail
- Dried grass
- Flax seeds
- Llanten (plantain leaf)
- Chopped quince (optional)
- Sugar or honey
- Boil all the ingredients in a large pan filled with water, for half an hour.
- Strain, sweeten, and add lemon juice to taste.