You’re probably familiar with ginger-forward drinks like the Moscow Mule or the Dark ‘N’ Stormy. Topped with robust, sweet, spicy ginger beer, neither classic cocktail is for the faint of heart. In fact, if you’re not a fan of ginger beer, it’s likely that you find the spicy profiles of these cocktails a little hard to drink. But that doesn’t mean you need to give up ginger for good. In fact, there are tons of other ways to infuse ginger into your cocktails that doesn’t involve the carbonated mixer. You can add fresh ginger juice or muddle minced ginger at the bottom of your shaker tin to add a tangy, intense vegetal spice to your cocktails. Or, you could make a sweet, satisfying ginger syrup that can easily replace the simple syrup in many of your favorite drinks.
It takes very little effort to make ginger syrup at home. All you need is a handful of ingredients and 24 hours to let it steep overnight. Simply add equal parts (in this case, one cup) water, sugar and ginger to a saucepan, along with bay leaf and a little black pepper. Bring to a simmer for about five minutes, stirring occasionally, until all the sugar is dissolved. Allow it to cool, and stick the whole thing in the refrigerator to steep overnight. You can place the whole saucepan in the fridge or pour its contents into a Mason jar to save space. The next day, strain the contents through a fine mesh sieve into a clean jar or swing top bottle. The recipe makes approximately two cups of syrup and will last in the fridge for at least a month. But let that timeframe only be a guideline—as long as the syrup doesn’t look or smell funny, feel free to use it beyond 30 days.
- Add all ingredients to a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove from the heat.
- Cool and refrigerate overnight. Strain with a fine sieve the next day.
- Makes approx. 2 cups of syrup.