Not to peer pressure you, but you should definitely take a shot.
DIY Ginger Shot
Credit: Alexandra Zhidkikh/Getty Images

Like the fine artist “LMFAO” once said, “Shots! Shots! Shots! Shots! Shots! Shots, everybody!” I, too, live my life with a similar ethos—shots are freaking great. I should specify—alcoholic shots are a good time and fill my body with a warm buzz, the prospect of an exciting night, and an inescapable yearning for college. However, those aren’t the kind of shots that I’m here to talk about. I’m saving the Patron and the Smirnoff for another day, because right now, I’m all about wellness shots.

Okay, before you roll your eyes and denounce this as some hippy dippy, Instagram stunt for obsessive wellness bloggers, hear me out. These baby shooters taste and feel incredible. Throwing one back is like reaching deep down into your throat and giving your sinuses and esophagus the warm hug that they didn’t know they needed. I am (clearly) not a doctor, so I cannot promise that these concoctions actually deliver any sort of notable health improvements, but they’re frankly thrilling to consume and they surely can’t hurt, right? Not to get all science-y on you, but fresh ginger acts as an antioxidant, an anti-inflammatory, improves digestive health, and revs up your metabolism, while lemon juice is said to strengthen the immune system. Who doesn’t want to start everyday with these magical powers?! While these shots are available at juice bars or health food stores, they’ll run you about $4-5 a pop, and that seems like a pretty unsustainable habit, IMO. The good news is that you can churn ‘em out, right at home.

So here’s how it’s done. I am in the lucky minority of folks who own a juicer, so you better believe that I take full advantage of that luxury and juice my heart out (not literally though, OMG). For my wellness blend, I juice a heavy handful of fresh ginger (seriously, the root I bought last time was $’s a LOT, but it will make plenty of shots) and peeled lemons (around 5, but you can adjust to your liking). I keep the final juice product sealed in an airtight plastic container in my refrigerator and slowly chip away at it each morning. The combination of solely ginger and lemon juice is extremely concentrated and potent, so when I have my shot each morning, I thin it out with equal parts water in order to avoid a 45-minute, ginger-induced coughing attack. Seriously, that stuff is strong.

Because I’m not a complete and total wuss, I obviously take it out of a shot glass for the full adrenaline rush. Each shot ends up being 2 tablespoons of both the juice concoction and water. To that, I’ll give it a quick drizzle of maple syrup (probably no more than half a teaspoon), and a tiny pinch of cayenne (totally optional if spicy isn’t your thing). I cheers my imaginary, shot-taking companion (depressing, I know), hit the shot glass to the counter, and throw that puppy back like my life depends on it. If I’m feeling extra wild, I might even cut a slice of lemon or lime to sink my teeth into post shot. My morning routine is a blast.

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If you’re like most people and don’t own a juicer, worry not. You can still make this with one of two options. The first is to add freshly peeled ginger, peeled lemons, and water (the more water you add, the less concentrated your shot will be) to a blender, and let her rip until the mixture is frothy and fully incorporated. Run it through a fine mesh strainer, give it the same finishing touches (squeeze of maple syrup and a pinch of cayenne), and you’re on your merry way. If you don’t feel like whipping out any appliances, you’re in luck. Roll up your sleeves, juice a lemon, and finish it off with some freshly grated ginger. Give the shot a splash of water, maple syrup, and cayenne, and you’re good as gold. Turn off the lights, turn on some bass-bumping beats, and take your shot already!

By Sara Tane and Sara Tane