Servings: Serves 8–10
Ingredients 1 (14-ounce) block tamarind pulp1/4 tsp. kosher salt1 cup ginger , unpeeled and thinly sliced (from a 5-to-6-inch piece)1 cup sugar1 bottle (1 liter) club soda or sparkling water
Note: Tamarind is a sweet-sour fruit; the pulp is available in blocks at Indian markets. You can make the tamarind "tea" and ginger syrup up to three days in advance and refrigerate until ready to use. At Susan Feniger's Street, they also add splashes of tequila and orange juice and serve the cooler as a cocktail.
Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a medium pot. Add tamarind, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 15 minutes; halfway through, stir tamarind to break it up. Arrange a fine sieve over a large bowl. Working in batches, use the back of a wooden spoon or ladle to press tamarind liquid through the sieve; discard solids that remain. (You should have 2 1/2 to 3 cups tamarind puree.) Transfer puree to a large pitcher; stir in salt and 5 cups water to make a tea.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, place ginger, sugar, and 1 cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until ginger is softened and syrup is very fragrant, about 25 minutes; discard ginger slices and let syrup cool.
To assemble coolers: For each, pour about 1 cup tamarind tea and 3 tablespoons ginger syrup into a tall glass filled with ice cubes; top with 1/4 to 1/2 cup club soda.