Ginger Syrup

During the summer I love a good mule drink. Really simple vodka, ginger beer, lime, and ice. I’ve always wanted to make my own ginger syrup and so today I gave it a try.

I’m a huge fan of Greg from How To Drink, and so I followed his recipe for Ginger Syrup, starting with a full pound of fresh ginger.

The next step is to peel the ginger and chop everything up into medallions. This allows more surface area to let the ginger spice goodness seep into your sauce. I also grated a small bit, per the recommendation from How To Drink.

I added around 2.5 cups of water to the mixture, and also sweetener. I decided to use stevia sweetener since I wanted low calorie, but also sweet. The container that I have called for 2 tbsp of stevia for 1 cup of sugar. I mixed in 4 tbsp (for 2 cups) and stirred it together before putting it on the stove.

I then boiled/simmered it for around 30 minutes. I wasn’t sure if that was long enough, but when I tasted the mixture it had a fair amount of bite. I think in retrospect I could have gone longer than I did (and probably didn’t need quite as much ginger).

I then drained it and put it in jars before chilling.

I tried a little bit of it tonight on it’s own and it’s really got some serious bite. I don’t have any seltzer water, so I’ll need to wait to get some of that before I can truly try a mule.

From what I can tell it went well, and I’m pleased with the end result. Will I do this all the time? I’m not sure. It’s a lot of work to peel and chop that much ginger. However, if the flavor in a mule is as good as it is in my sampling, it might just be worth it.

Recipe

1 lbs Ginger

2.5 cups water

2 cups sugar (or equiv. alternative sweetener)

Peel and chop ginger

Bring to boil and simmer for at least 30 minutes

Drain and chill

Ginger can be saved for eating on it’s own.

Winter drinks

The weather is decidedly colder around Minnesota this week, and we’ve even seen a few snowflakes in the air. With the turn to winter also comes the change in what we tend to eat and drink. In particular, my drinks of choice in the winter take on a much different feel than the rest of the year.

Obviously, I don’t abandon beer in the winter months, but I do change up the styles I go for. It’s pretty typical for winter beers to be darker and heavier, and that’s true for my preferences as well. However, I also try to find beers that go beyond just dark and even more dark. In the winter I like to find beers that are more malt heavy, even if they’re not a blacked out stout or IPA. Some of the Scottish ales, and British milds fit the bill nicely for me in the winter time. I want some body and heft in my beer as the temp drops.

Winter also finds me seeking out more red wine to imbibe. I’m not a huge fan of white wine, and so I rarely drink much wine in the summer. Once the temps start dropping, I always need to keep a few bottles around the house. I’m not nearly the wine snob that I am a beer snob, and my favorite red wines tend to be inexpensive red blends. A good friend introduced me to Red Truck wine many years ago, and I try to pick that up whenever I can find it. I’ve recently found some other good blends such as Kenwood, Apothic and a very unique one called Black Ink. I do have to be careful however, as too much wine tends to give me a headache the next morning (maybe the sulfides?) in a way that beer doesn’t.

Finally, in the winter I turn to a couple of old friends, Mr. Kahlúa and Mr. Baileys. I love spiking my hot chocolate with these two, making a warm drink just a bit warmer. I have a very nice glass mug that I received as a gift from a local brewery on the occasion of our wedding, and it’s a perfect sized container for this smooth concoction. I can also choose how much alcohol I want to add to the drink, so if I just want a little extra warmth I can cut back on how many shots I put in. For those wondering, I try to equal out the Kahlúa and Baileys portion, but if you like one over the other it’s all about taste preference.

That’s what I’ll be drinking in the coming months. Winter has arrived, and my tastebuds are ready for the new season!