Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Whole Grain Mixology: Ginger-Mint Syrup
3 oz. Citadelle Reserve
.75 oz. ginger-mint syrup*
.5 oz. lime juice
1 Dash Angostura bitters
Shake everything with ice and strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with thin pear slice. (If you want to get fancy, cut it in the shape of a crown).
A while back I did a post entitled Whole Grain Mixology wherein I talked about how fun it is to make your own drink ingredients. I still think it's fun, and even more so when you go off-book and experiment with your own ideas.
I can't recall exactly what prompted it, but at some point I had a notion that mint and ginger might work well together, so I grabbed 'em both and took a stab at making a syrup. I thought the results weren't half bad, so the next step was finding a spirit to hitch it to.
I figured gin would be a good starting point. I had a small amount of Citadelle Reserve that seemed to be urging me from its spot on the shelf to pick it up and put it in the shaker (much like the One Ring exerted a pull on Frodo, enticing him to use it,** certain liquors will do likewise to a cocktail enthusiast). A healthy splash of lime juice and a dose of Ango sewed things up nicely, so I decided this was one worth writing down. Chalk up another one for making ingredients from scratch.
Next time: Bulgur wheat bitters!
*to make ginger-mint syrup: Get a decent-sized piece of fresh ginger. A good piece of ginger should be somewhat heavy and feel hard to the touch (if it the skin looks wrinkly or shriveled and feels squishy, keep looking). Cut off a hunk a little bigger than your thumb , peel it, and cut it julienne style.
Toss your ginger sticks into a saucepan with 1.5 cups sugar and 1 cup water over medium heat. Stir continuously until sugar is completely dissolved, and remove from heat. Take 5 or 6 large fresh mint leaves and gently roll them between your hands to release the minty goodness. Toss 'em into the ginger syrup, cover the pan, and let it sit for about 2 hours. Strain into the container of your choice (I like Berentzen Apfelkorn bottles because they're skinny and don't take up much space in my fridge) and refrigerate.
** Yeah, I made a Tolkien reference to illustrate part of the cocktail-making process. Don't act like you haven't seen things far geekier than this.