This ginger syrup is really easy to make and creates a simple syrup with wonderful sweet-sharp flavor, perfect for cocktails, home made ginger ale and more.
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If you've spent any time in the UK, you probably know that "squash" is a pretty common part of most people's childhood, mine included. And completely unprompted, my parents had some last time we visited for our kids.
If the term is new to you, it's basically juice concentrate that you can buy in a bottle. You'll find many flavors from orange to mixed berry and blackcurrant.
The upsides are that it is shelf stable, unlike regular juice, and you can make it as strong or weak as you like, as well as hot or cold. The downside is in most cases it's much less healthy (not that most kids would care, of course).
Cordial: the grown up squash
As an adult, most people grow out of squash, but in more recent years a few companies have started cordials, such as elderflower, which have become pretty popular. I didn't have them often, but I did miss them moving to the US.
I have often meant to make my own, and did manage a cranberry ginger cordial a while back. But then more recently, I realized the simple syrups often used in cocktails in the US are basically cordials. But it feels like both sides of the pond are missing a trick in how adaptable they are to use.
This simple ginger version, however, is one that I have plans to use as widely as possible and have made a good start already. It is really easy to make, being just ginger, sugar and water warmed, simmered and left to infuse.
How to use ginger syrup
- Pour a little of the syrup over ice, squeeze some lime juice in and top up with soda water to make ginger ale.
- You can use the same combination of syrup and lime with tonic water for a great refreshing drink/mocktail G&T.
- Add some to your tea for a slight chai-like twist.
- Mix some with hot water for a great caffeine-free pick-me-up hot drink.
I can see it being good in desserts, too, though I still have to work on that idea a little more. You can make as big or small a batch of this as you think you will use, just multiply everything up accordingly. It will keep around two weeks, or possibly more, stored in a sealed bottle or jar in the fridge.
If it starts to become cloudy or forms mould, then it has gone bad and it's time to throw it away.
Also, don't waste the ginger - you can wrap it in cling or put it in a small container and store in the fridge. Then, use it in cooking, finely chop it to blend in to a smoothie, or use as a garnish for drinks.
It's a great way to use up a glut of ginger, but honestly I'd definitely buy ginger just to make this. Easy, versatile and with great flavor. Give it a try and enjoy.
More drinks with ginger
If you'd like to try other flavorful simple syrups, try these:
- Pumpkin spice syrup with a lovely warm spice flavor.
- Rhubarb syrup which has a little sharp with the sweet and a lovely pink color.
- Lemongrass syrup which has a bright citrusy flavor.
- Thyme simple syrup which is delicately herbal.
- Plus get more drinks recipes in the archives.
- 3 tablespoon fresh ginger in slices (3tbsp is a little under 1oz)
- ¼ cup fine sugar
- ¼ cup water
- Peel the ginger and cut it into thin slices. Put the ginger slices in a small saucepan with the sugar and water.
- Stir the mixture gently as you bring it to a simmer to ensure all the sugar dissolves. Cover the pan, reduce the heat and let it simmer for around 15 minutes. Then, remove from heat and leave the ginger to infuse the syrup further as it cools.
- Pour the syrup through a strainer/sieve to hold back the ginger and store in a sealed bottle/jar in the fridge until needed.
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