Gula jawa (Indonesian palm sugar), which gets its slightly smoky taste from the fire over which the sugar is processed, becomes mushy (and easy to measure) when sliced.
- 1 (2") piece ginger
- 3 sticks cassia
- 3 whole cloves
- 1⁄2 cup gula jawa (or dark brown sugar)
- Peel ginger and bruise it with the smooth side of a meat mallet until it becomes juicy. Put the ginger, 4 1⁄2 cups water (preferably filtered or spring), cassia sticks, and cloves into a medium pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently, partially covered, until the spices thoroughly infuse the water, 8–10 minutes. Add gula jawa and stir well until dissolved.
- Remove the pot from the heat, strain the liquid through a sieve, and discard the solids. Serve warm, at room temperature, or over ice.