Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Ginger and Spice and Everything Nice: Homemade Ginger Syrup

Lemon lime basil with raspberries
 Way back in the dead of winter we had the amazing opportunity to travel to Hawaii and I am still day dreaming about going back.  Now that the sunshine is here and the grass is green, I am dealing with life off the island a bit better than before.  One of the tasty things we tried at the Honolulu famers' Market was a homemade ginger ale concoction from Pacifikool that was absolutely fabulous.  Ginger syrup mixed with sparkling water (or club soda) and flavoured with lime, berries, basil....I believe the boy took his cup back to that booth for a refill!

Blackberry mango lime ginger ale

Not only is ginger tasty, it also has huge health benefits if consumed regularly. Ginger is beneficial for the gastrointestinal system, motion sickness, arthritis, and it also is an antioxidant and can help boost the immune system! Those are just a few of the benefits of this spicy little rhizome! Find out some more info at these helpful websites:

World's Healthiest Foods

Health benefits of ginger

I looked up a whack of different recipes online and found pretty much the same basics: make a simple syrup infused with ginger.  A simple syrup is basically equal parts sugar and water boiled until the sugar dissolves and cooled down.

Here's what I did:

Wash then chop up a big ole rhizome of ginger into smallish pieces and place in a pot. ( To peel, or not to peel? The first time I made this, I peeled the ginger but the second time, I washed it well and chopped it up. I didn't notice a difference. This is strictly a personal preference)
Add to this pot:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
Bring to a boil, slap a lid on it, reduce the heat to medium, and let it steep for about an hour.


Allow the syrup to cool before draining it and storing in the fridge. This syrup hasn't lasted more than 1 week, because we keep using it up so quickly! Every recipe seems to say something different. Some say 2 weeks, some say they've successfully kept ginger syrup for 6 weeks in the fridge.


I have been using about 3 to 4 tbsp of syrup and topping the glass up with club soda. (I also squeeze some lime into the bottom of the glass first.


Other tasty add ins we've used this week:
  • fresh basil leaves
  • raspberries
  • backberries
  • mango
  • mint
  • lime
  • lemon
 When using the add ins, make sure to muddle everything at the bottom of the glass first, then add the ginger syrup, then add the club soda. (muddle is fancy talk for 'smash things up a bit')


You can test things out and use the amount of syrup you feel tastes the best. In general I have been using 4 tbsp to 1 cup of chilled club soda (1/4 cup syrup to 1 cup soda). I have made syrup twice in the past week now and have been making different concoctions ever since!

Mango lime basil

 I really love the hint of warmth left after drinking this. I find I prefer this to the prebottled brand names becaues I can really taste the ginger.  Mix it with all those add ins and the flavour possibilities are endless!  Now I just have to play with adding the liquor and my summer is all set!

Here is a few sites I looked at while deciding in what to do with the ginger.

Joy the Baker
Cocktailia
Martha Stewart

Until next time, stay warm and eat well!






4 comments:

  1. Wow! looks so refreshing Drink.....I like the addition mangoes....

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  2. Seriously amazing drink. I don't do enough of this type of thing. I need to start. You've inspired me.

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  3. Oh my! I love ginger. I do think this is begging for some liquor! Maybe a nice rum? Yummy!

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  4. I love ginger syrup - I use it in just about anything. It make a quick and easy addition for dressings and that bit of kick in an asian marinade!

    (I think I's be adding a healthy shot ((or 2)) of rum to that)

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