Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Make Your Own Ginger Syrup!
One of my favorite flavor profiles is ginger - I love to cook with it, enjoy ginger-flavored drinks, like it candied, and find it to be the most soothing method of dealing with minor stomach issues. The spicy hot flavor of ginger goes very well with both savory dishes and as a refreshing sweet treat.
One obvious choice would be a bit of ginger syrup!
A hefty dose makes a soft drink that is somewhere between ginger ale and ginger beer (which tends to retain the warming spicy flavors of ginger more than ginger ale does).
A lighter dose adds that wonderful gingery flavor without too much sugar, and is a great way to settle one's stomach.
I prefer to make my own syrups for the Sodastreamer so I can better control what goes into them, and Ginger Syrup is very simple and fast to put together. Next time you come across one of those big nubbly roots in the grocery store, pick one or two up, and try this for yourself!
enough ginger root to make 1 1/2 cups of thinly sliced ginger
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups cane sugar
Scrub the ginger root, and decide if you want to peel it or not - it is not necessary to make Ginger Syrup, but if you'd like to eat the resulting candied ginger, you may want to peel the skin from it before slicing.
I didn't peel this time - but if you do, try scraping the skin with a spoon. It's easier to get into all those nooks and crannies that way than it is trying to use a peeler.
Slice the ginger as thinly as possible, and place into a medium large saucepan.
Add water and sugar, and stir. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, then lower heat and let simmer another 15 minutes or so, until sugar is completely dissolved, and liquid begins to thicken slightly.
Let cool, and chill overnight with the ginger still in the syrup, in order to maximize the gingery taste.
The next day, strain the ginger from the syrup, reserving the now-candied ginger to enjoy separately, if desired.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and use as you like. This will last at least 2 weeks without spoiling (but that's a guess, because it goes fast around here).
I've seen a variation that includes a few whole peppercorns put into simmer, and that sounds like something I definitely want to try!
- Add to carbonated water, either from the Sodastream, or commercial selzer or tonic water.
- A splash of this is really good added to a cup of hot chai spiced tea with milk.
- This is a powerful tool for your bartender's arsenal - it goes nicely with all sorts of drinks. Try a whiskey and soda with a bit of lime and ginger syrup. Yum!
- Toss some fresh fruit in a blend of Ginger Syrup, lime juice, and a bit of champagne vinegar for a really lovely fruit salad.
How would you use it? The possibilities are nearly endless!