I love ginger. Ginger ale, ginger beer, gari, gingersnaps, gingered mashed potaotes, you name it, I will presume I’ll love it if it’s flavored with ginger.
Back in my homebrewing days, I flirted with making my own ginger beer, but never followed through. I did make my own ginger syrup, and found that when mixed with soda water, it make a very tasty, and very affordable, version of ginger beer.
After several recent Thursday Drink Nights featured high usage of ginger syrup, I realized it was time to try making some of my own again. Naturally I’ve lost my old recipe, which I recall being terribly complicated. This time I wanted as simple as possible. After checking out several, I decided to start with a version offered by the Minimalist.
I didn’t see the need to make the simple syrup first, so I went the super lazy route.
3 cups water
2 cups sugar
6 ounces ginger root, roughly chopped (no need to peel)
put ingredients in decent sized saucepan. bring to boil. let simmer for 15-20 minutes (until up to half-reduced). strain solids from syrup. let syrup cool. put in easy to pour bottle. use with joyful abandon!
I couldn’t understand why it was taking so long for my syrup to boil until I recalled that I used frozen ginger root. I put ginger root in the freezer so it keeps longer. I also find it grates much more easily when frozen. But it takes longer to get to boiling temperature when put in water and sugar. Next time I’ll try unfrozen1 ginger root and see if it makes much difference in the taste. The kitchen smelled absolutely wonderfully of fresh ginger while this simmered, and the syrup has a fantastic aroma.
Using this recipe, I ended up with just shy of 750 ml (25.36 ounces, or the size of what we think of as a fifth of liquor). I poured this into a recently emptied bottle of Lillet, and labeled it prominently so I don’t surprise myself.
Instant Ginger Beer
2 oz ginger syrup
pour ginger syrup in a rocks glass filled with ice. top with soda water. stir. enjoy!
My first use was to make my own instant ginger beer. I started with 2 ounces in a rocks glass, and found that that plus ice plus soda water made exactly what i wanted – sweet gingery goodness.
Naturally I started adding ginger to everything I could think of. One of my favorites is to use it in place of simple syrup in a daiquirí. Use a dark Jamaican rum instead of a light rum, and you get something that hints at the flavors of falernum.
Dark Ginger Daiquirí
2 oz dark Jamaican rum (Appleton Estate Extra 12 year)
1 oz ginger syrup
3/4 oz lime juice
shake over ice. strain into cocktail glass. sip happily.
What uses can you think of for ginger syrup?