These 4-ingredient ginger shots are small concentrated drinks of fresh ginger that boost immunity, sooth upset stomachs, speed metabolism and boost energy. Make them easily in a blender, juicer or even a single serving in a jar.
My ginger shots recipe uses only ginger, lemon, cayenne pepper and water, but is easily customizable with any juice such apple, pineapple, lime, even cherry juice.
You can save money making this ginger shot recipe at home as opposed to buying them for $4 a pop. And as with my other wellness shot recipes and my turmeric shots, you don't need a juicer, although this recipe works with one.
I've been using a blender and a fine mesh strainer for making ginger shots for a decade. My method is even featured on Wikihow. In this post, I also show you how to use a jar, and a version that uses ground ginger for convenience.
What Are Ginger Shots?
Ginger shots are small fiery drinks typically 2 to 3 ounces made of ginger, water and other ingredients. Popular variations include ginger lemon shots, ginger turmeric shots, ginger pineapple shots, ginger orange shots, ginger lime shots and more.
Ginger shot benefits are many, stemming primarily from ginger, a spice found in a flowering plant from China, that has long been respected for antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers. [source] It is one of the most common ingredients worldwide, and has been used to solve many medical issues, ranging from colds to hypertension. Gingerol, the primary antioxidant found in ginger, is the source of its nutritional power. [source].
Specifically science shows that ginger shots:
- Boost immunity
- Improve your mood instantly
- Calm stomach aches
- Reduce menstrual cramps & bloating
- Fight colds and infections
- Support weight loss by triggering metabolism
- Lower blood sugar
- Help lower blood pressure
- Block skin-damaging free radicals
- Reduce migraines
Ginger: Fresh ginger root found in the produce section of your grocer is essential. Look for dry roots as thick and clean as possible.
Lemon: Fresh lemon juice is a powerful antimicrobial, and kicks up your immune system as well and your vitamin C levels to lofty heights! It is also a star antioxidant and high in essential minerals such as potassium and folate. [source]
Cayenne Pepper: Pepper is especially important to provide bioavailability of gingerol. If you customize your shot with turmeric, pepper is especially important for the same reason. In both cases, black pepper is also fine, it just has a larger grain so for that reason powdery cayenne is preferable. [source]
Water: Filtered water or coconut water or even juices may be used. Coconut water lends a sweeter flavor and more electrolytes. Juices will raise the sugar levels.
To make homemade ginger shots all you need is a blender and a fine mesh strainer. You can store the ginger shots in a jar, and parcel out servings each day, or bottle them in individual 3-ounce shot glasses.
Swaps & Additions
Boost nutritional targets of your shot by replacing the water with a juice including pineapple, orange, lime or cherry.
Pineapple juice is known for its ability to reduce inflammation due to the ingredient bromelain.
Orange juice is high in vitamin C, potassium and folate.
Lime Juice is known for its ability to protect eyes and boost digestion.
Cherry juice contains melatonin which supports sleep and lowers blood pressure.
Apple Cider Vinegar : Add apple cider vinegar (ACV) to boost fat burning, promote a general detox and decrease blood sugar levels.
Turmeric : Add ground turmeric to increase anti-inflammatories. Or make a separate turmeric shot. Here is my detailed recipe.
How to Make Ginger Shots
It's really easy to make ginger shots at home. Of course you can use a juicer if you have one, just follow the juicer's instructions. To use a blender, here are the steps:
Find specific measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of this post, for now here are the general steps:
Step 1. Wash fresh ginger root with a brush as you would a potato, and chop the root roughly. Leave the skin on.
Step 2. Juice 4 lemons to achieve about ½ cup of lemon juice. Or measure out from bottled organic pure lemon juice.
Step 3. If you used a juicer, follow your machine's directions. To use a blender, add the ginger, lemon juice plus water and cayenne pepper to your blender jar and process the mixture until combined. It will be sludgy with specks of skin.
Step 4. Pour the mixture into a fine mesh strainer, stirring and pressing the mixture with a spoon until the remaining pulp is fairly dry. For extra clear juice, lay a cheesecloth in the strainer and squeeze more juice from the pulp.
Step 5. The captured liquid is your ginger shots! Drink half and refrigerate the other half for tomorrow. This recipe makes two shots.
Food Waste Hacks: Freeze the pulp in ice cube trays and add some to smoothies and soups for added nutrition and fiber. Or bake the pulp at 250 F for an hour to dry, then run it in a food processor into ginger powder.
Use Ground Ginger & Jar
Although the nutrition is strongest with fresh ginger, and fresh juice, here is a recipe to use ginger powder to make a ginger shot. Use it on days you have, say, an upset stomach and desperately need a ginger shot fast.
To make a ginger shot in a jar combine:
- ½ cup of organic lemon juice (my favorite brand)
- ½ cup of water
- ½ teaspoon of ginger powder OR 2 tablespoon ginger paste
- and a pinch of cayenne pepper
Now shake the jar, taste, double the ginger if you want it stronger, and drink! Here is my ginger shot in a jar video.
Find ginger powder (ground ginger) in the spice aisle at a grocery store.
Find store-bought paste in jars in the Asian ingredient aisle or buy it here. Or make ginger paste by pushing fresh ginger root through a garlic press.
When to Drink
It is best to drink a ginger shot first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, at cold or room temperature, about 30 minutes before eating. This timing will end your overnight fast, flush out toxins, kick start your digestion and energize your day. [source]
Start with one a day, and go up to two, but no more to avoid side effects.
Negative Side Effects
In general ginger shots are safe, but too much can lead to a heartburn, negative effects on tooth enamel and your esophagus. Also consult with your doctor if you are on any medications that might conflict such as blood thinners.
What Makes Ginger Burn?
Ginger tastes hot because of gingerol, the very antioxidant that gives it nutritional power. Though it tastes much less hot than the capsaicin found in searing chili peppers, according to the Royal Society of Chemistry. The bright taste of lemon actually smooths the edge. Chase the burn with water if you must.
How Much Do Ginger Shots Cost?
You probably have seen these shots ready-made at the grocery store, right? Whole Foods and other grocery stores stock ginger-lemon shots by brands like KOR and JUS. But they are expensive - $3 - $4 at least for a few ounces.
Made at home in your blender, your shots will cost a fraction of that, even if you add in the optional cayenne pepper and coconut water. Depending on the cost of your ginger, your homemade ginger shots will cost probably 20 cents or so per shot.
How Do Ginger Shots Taste?
Ginger shots with ginger, lemon and cayenne pepper taste startlingly bright, with a bite from the pepper and ginger, and a touch of sweet and tangy from the lemon. If you choose to use coconut water or juice instead of plain water the flavor is even sweeter.
How Long Do Ginger Shots Last in Fridge?
Ginger shots are most potent for 24 hours, but can last up to a week refrigerated. However it's best to pour extra into ice cube trays, freeze away and thaw when needed.
More Detox Drinks
- Apple Cider Vinegar and Lemon Juice
- Homemade Turmeric Shots
- 5 Wellness Shots
- Celery Juice
- Lime Water + Benefits
- Ginger Juice + Benefits
- Smoothie Cubes
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Ginger Shots Recipe
- ½ cup (50g) fresh ginger root wash, chopped; find in produce section)
- ½ cup (120g) lemon juice (squeezing 3-4 lemons should produce about ½ cup juice OR use organic bottled juice)
- ¼ cup (60g) water (or use coconut water or juice)
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (or ground black pepper)
- ¼ cup (60g) orange juice Use this is instead of ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup (60g) pineapple juice Use this is instead of ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup (60g) lime juice Use this is instead of ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup (60g) cherry juice Use this is instead of ¼ cup water
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Wash fresh ginger root as you would a potato, with water and a cloth to scrub off debris. Then chop fresh ginger into chunks just small enough to blend.
- Squeeze 4 lemons to gather ½ cup of lemon juice, or measure it out from a bottle of pure organic lemon juice.
How to Make Ginger Shots
- Add all ingredients to a blender or use a juicer and process until combined. To use a juicer, follow your machine's instructions.½ cup (50g) fresh ginger root, ¼ cup (60g) water, ⅛ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, ½ cup (120g) lemon juice
To Use a Blender
- To use a blender, pour the blended mixture through a strainer into a measuring cup.
- With a spoon or spatula, push the mixture through the strainer until the pulp is fairly dry and you have captured most of the juice from the blended mixture. For a more clear result, add a cheesecloth inside the strainer, and strain the liquid again to remove more pulp.
Don't discard the pulp
- Freeze the pulp in ice cube trays and add it to smoothies and soups for extra nutrition and fiber.
How to Drink
- Pour out the liquid into two glasses and drink one ginger shot and refrigerate the other for tomorrow.
- This recipe makes about ½ cup. It can be stored in the refrigerator for a week but declines in potency with each day.
- Make ginger shots in bulk and freeze them in ice cube trays. Then add a cube to a glass the night before, let it thaw refrigerated, then add a bit of water to it and down the shot.
I love this recipe! I was buying this same type of shot at my local juice shop and it comes with a chaser (shot sized) of coconut water to tame the burn of the cayenne. I love being able to make this at home now. Thanks for sharing!
That's interesting, that chaser. It is fun to be able to make it at home; so expensive at the store. Thank you for commenting!
My son offered to make me a ginger shot when my tummy was upset and rumbling. Threatening to start "running". It was like tossing water on a fire. Within seconds I felt wonderful. I will do this at home, often . Thank you!
Dee Dine | Green Smoothie Gourmet
Yes, thank you so much for sharing your experience. It’s true! This shot has instant effects. Take care, Dee xx
I add water in the blender. Did I ruin the shots or does it still work?
Dee Dine | Green Smoothie Gourmet
Hi Gracemary, I'm sure they are not ruined, just diluted. Some people like them that way, less burny going down. Hope that helps, Dee xx
Love this recipe! Can you work around the garlic press?
Of course, just peel and chop the ginger, and crush with the back of a spoon to release juices!
I don’t see garlic in the ingredients but I see it in the instructions. I love this idea though. Really need this.
Hi Suzanne, there is no garlic in this recipe - I recommend using a piece of equipment called a "garlic press" to squeeze the juice out of ginger. Dee xx
Whoops! So sorry