A Restorative Turmeric-based Tonic To Kickstart the New Year

Bia Rebel chef BRIAN DONNELLY shares his recipe for a restorative tonic with Trish Deseine to help replenish depleted vitamin C levels post-Christmas …


An almost non-stop drive from Schull to Belfast might not be as hard on the system as Christmas and New Year festivities combined, but I reckon it’s close! Recently I made that journey, with barely a chicken and stuffing sandwich to keep me going during the long road. You can’t imagine how happy I was to realise Bia Rebel Ramen was still open when I arrived in rainy Belfast at 8.30pm. The ramen were superb, the spicy chicken wings fabulous and the gyoza better than I could have hoped for. But the real revelation was chef Brian Donnelly’s restorative tonic – the turmeric-based Jamu. It has a lot more citrus than other rather hair shirt versions I’ve tasted, and I am sure it is the best thing to replenish those depleted vitamin C levels, or kick-start any new 2019 habits you may have signed up for. Happy New Year!

Bia Rebel Jamu

Makes 1 litre.

20g fresh toot turmeric, peeled (it has to be fresh as dried turmeric makes the juice too grainy and earthy and quite unpalatable)

10g fresh root ginger, peeled

5 large oranges

2 limes

2 lemons

50g honey

Filtered water

Equipment – knife, chopping board, blender, fine sieve, 2 litre bowl


Wash all the fruit in cold water and leave in a bowl to dry off.

Cut the fruit into small pieces and set aside.

Cut the turmeric and ginger into small pieces and keep separate, use gloves to stop the turmeric staining your hands.

Place the turmeric into the blender with enough water to cover and blend for five minutes. Add the ginger and blend for two minutes then pass the liquid through the fine sieve into a bowl using the heel of your hand. Once you have taken off all the juice discard the turmeric ginger pulp.

Now fill the blender one quarter full with the cut up fruit and cover with twice the volume of water and pulse for one minute. Place into the fine sieve and again press with the heel of your hand, this is a gentle process so as not to make the juice bitter from the pith. Continue this process until the all the fruit has been processed.

Warm the honey in a microwave for 30 seconds then whisk into the juice and adjust the consistency to suit your palate, if you like it a bit sweeter add more honey.

Cover and chill in the fridge for two hours then enjoy. The juice will keep for four days.


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