I love fresh ginger. It’s pungent and spicy and has great culinary range, going well with both sweet and savory dishes.
It’s also become a leading ingredient in cocktails for me. When I’m scanning a cocktail menu, one of the first things I seek out is ginger beer. I prefer the Kentucky Mule over Moscow’s version, but also enjoy a good Dark & Stormy that prominently features a spicy, pepper-like ginger beer. This is all to say that I love ginger and ginger beer and welcome the opportunity to add more of its wonderfully complex flavor into my cocktail of choice.
Ginger simple syrup is a great way to do that.
The recipe comes from Edward Lee’s Smoke & Pickles, one of my favorite cookbooks. Put one cup of sugar and one cup of water into a saucepan. Then cut up 8 ounces of ginger and chop up into small pieces and toss into the saucepan with the water and sugar mixture. Bring all the contents to a boil so the sugar dissolves. Take it off the heat and let the ginger steep in the hot liquid for 20-30 minutes. Allow it to cool and then pour it in a mason jar to store in the fridge or get started with the nearest bottle of bourbon.
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 3-ounce piece of ginger, chopped
- Combine water, sugar, and ginger in a small saucepan and bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar
- Turn off the heat and allow ingredients to steep for at least 20 minutes
- Strain syrup and allow to cool. Will keep in the refrigerator for monhts
Aside from using it in your favorite cocktail, the syrup can be consumed in a myriad of other ways that don’t involve alcohol. Pour it into club soda to make ginger beer or in orange juice to add a little pep. It goes very well with hot tea or drizzled over ice cream. I’ve used it in place of chopped ginger as part of a beef marinade with soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and garlic. That’s always delicious and the syrup just adds a light sweetness to the marinade’s flavor. Or, use it in your favorite glazed carrots recipe.