Sunday, February 19, 2012

Bourbon and Spicy Ginger Soda


For Paul's birthday, I knew I wanted to make a cocktail that featured his favorite bourbon--Woodford Reserve. So I found an intriguing recipe in Hugh Acheson's "A New Turn in the South: Southern Flavors Reinvented for Your Kitchen": Maker's Mark and Spicy Ginger Soda. I didn't have the fresh ripe peaches or the drink's eponymous bourbon. But I knew Paul would love the ginger so I went ahead with what I had:

1/2 pound of fresh ginger
1 cup turbinado sugar
6 oz of bourbon
4 oz of soda water/seltzer

Prep the ginger by peeling it and ideally finely grating it. Man, this is a lot of work.  As someone who doesn't work with ginger in such large quantities often, this was a LOT of work.  I ended up mincing it as much as I could because grating it seemed to just make a weird stringy mess where I was losing the juice.

Bring 1 cup of water, the minced or grated ginger, and the turbinado sugar to boil.  Don't be surprised-it's going to be a lot of ginger in the pot.  Turn off heat and let it steep for an hour. Strain off the ginger pieces and save the syrup.

Fill two glasses with ice. Add 3 oz of bourbon and 1 fat spoonful of ginger syrup and stir. Add 2 oz of soda water. Stir gently, find a place to get comfortable, and enjoy.  Ideally outside with friends and family.

The remaining ginger syrup will last in the fridge for 2 weeks--my daughter loved making fresh ginger soda with the syrup and seltzer.  So much tastier than the canned variety.

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