How to Prepare a Traditional Kava Drink
- Author Jordan Kelly
- Published January 12, 2012
- Word count 495
It's known as 'ava, awa, yaqona, sakau, or kava by the numerous south pacific drinkers of the drink produced from the root of what is scientifically referred to as piper methysticum, or intoxicating pepper. It is generally thought that kava use began in Vanuatu before spreading throughout Melanesia, Micronesia, and as far as Hawaii. These islanders commonly drank, and still drink, the murky kava liquid as an alternative to alcohol, as a remedy for various ailments, and during ceremonies. The relaxing impact of kava that enables the drinker to maintain mental clarity, lends itself well to settling disputes and discussing community issues.
In the often hectic western world, some people have recently realized that kava can provide a healthy alcohol replacement to wind down with. Kava is not chemically addictive and does not cause a hangover after use. The Following are instructions on how to make traditionally prepared kava at your home.
First, find a source to Buy Kava. There are numerous kava vendors out there. It is important to ensure that the kava you acquire was permitted to grow for a minimum of four years prior to being removed from the ground. It should also have been pulled no more than six months before it is sold.
Second, inside a bowl, combine the kava root with warm, not boiling water. Boiling water breaks down the active ingredients, called kavalactones. Water that is warm to the touch works well. Ratios should be in the amount of one part kava to two to four parts water. Less water will create a more powerful beverage. Although not required, adding a teaspoon of soy lecithin for every two cups of water will help emulsify the active ingredients. Let this mixture to soak for 30-60 minutes.
Next, blend the mixture for 30 seconds. This will help saturate the root and extract the kavalactones. Pour the mixture back into its bowl.
Next, inside a separate bowl, pour some of the mixture into a flexible, sturdy strainer bag or cheese cloth. The amount poured into the strainer should be no more than an amount that you can manually squeeze with strong pressure. Work the strainer containing the mixture inside the bowl for a couple of minutes prior to squeezing as much liquid out as you possibly can. Discard the dry pulp and repeat this process with the remaining kava mixture until all liquid has been separated from the root.
Finally, drink the kava. A normal kava serving is about eight ounces. Due to kava's earthy and somewhat bitter flavor, most drinkers finish a serving in a single chug. A coconut cup is the traditional kava imbibing container, but any glass or cup will do.
Two or three servings of kava can loosen up muscles and ease the mind. It is best enjoyed on an empty stomach. With a good root and proper preparation, be prepared to find out why the natives of Oceania have such high respect for the sacred kava beverage.
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