Ginger adds a pleasant zing to foods, but it has long been used to enhance beverages as well. As fall arrives in all its glory, our thirst moves from the light and fruity drinks of summer to darker, smoother, more warming concoctions. Ginger pours well into this space.
Take ginger beer, for instance. We tend to associate ginger beer with tropical locales — the Caribbean and parts of Africa — but believe it or not, it originated in Jolly Olde England in the mid-18th century. British soldiers, desiring a taste of home, brought bottles of ginger beer with them to their posts in far-flung colonies. When the Brits left, the beverage stayed and became a local refreshment, which then became an essential ingredient in high-octane libations.
Dark and Stormy
2 ounces dark rum
3 ounces ginger beer
Lime wedge (optional)
Fill a highball glass with ice. Pour rum and ginger beer over ice, and stir. Add lime if desired.
Variation: Moscow Mule. Follow the recipe above, but substitute vodka for rum. Moscow Mules are traditionally served in copper mugs.
SNAP is a locally made ginger liqueur that combines the sweetness of a cookie with the warmth of a good cordial. The following two quaffs feature this unique digestif, but if you are disinclined to mix it, Snap is wonderful over ice in lieu of dessert, or poured over vanilla ice cream for dessert.
1 ounce SNAP
2 ounces sparkling wine
Lemon twist (optional)
Pour the SNAP into a champagne flute. Top it with sparkling wine and garnish with a lemon twist if desired.
1½ ounces SNAP
1½ ounces bourbon
Orange wedge (optional)
Place the SNAP and bourbon in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain it into a martini glass. Garnish with orange if desired.