Thursday, April 21, 2011

Ginger Sparkler

I've been making simple syrups lately, and I don't see an end in sight.  Simple syrup 101:

1 part sugar + 1 part water + 3 minutes boiling time = Simple Syrup 

Pretty simple, right?  I imagine that's how the name came about! To make flavored simple syrups, just through a flavorful ingredient into the mix.  Lately I've used Meyer lemons, oranges, and mint, but my ginger simple syrup has been repeated several times in the past month.  I vary from the traditional 1-to-1 ratio for the ginger syrup, going with a heaping half cup of sugar to 1 1/4 cups water, which lets the bite of the ginger really shine through.

It's great on fruit (pineapple, mangoes), drizzled on vanilla ice cream, and in drinks.  I've been mixing plain or citrus-flavored seltzer with a tablespoon or two of ginger simple syrup, topping it with a squeeze of lime, and dreaming of sunny summer days ahead. (A splash of gin would make a delicious addition for a simple cocktail.)

Ginger Simple Syrup
Makes about 10 oz.

1 1/4 c. water
Heaping 1/2 c. sugar
2 1/2 inches ginger root peeled and finely diced (about 4 T.)

Add water and sugar to a small sauce pot, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Add ginger, and let continue to boil for 3 minutes.  Turn off heat and let cool to room temperature.  Strain mixture and discard ginger.  Syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks. 

To make ginger sparklers, add ice to a 16 oz. glass.  Add 1-2 T. ginger syrup, and top with plain or flavored seltzer. Stir, taste and add more syrup if desired. 

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