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Jun 18, 2013 10:32 AM

Ginger Syrup

Going to make some ginger syrup for the drink listed below - other than juicing the ginger to get the syrup and going 1-1 - do I need to heat the mixture for it to gel properly or will the cold method (just shaking vigorusly) be enough for the sugar and ginger juice to combine properly

Also with the eye dropper bitters what is 2 dashes (I have brooklyn Hemispherical Rhubarb Bitters)

Bourbon St.

Bourbon and fresh strawberries are a match made in cocktail heaven, and the ginger and honey syrups make this drink even more delicious.

2 oz. bourbon

2 fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered

3/4 oz. ginger syrup (use a commercial version like B.G. Reynolds’ or make one with equal parts fresh ginger juice and granulated sugar)

1/2 oz. honey syrup (1:1 honey dissolved in water)

3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice

2 dashes rhubarb bitters (click here for a DIY recipe)

Club soda

Ice cubes

Tools: shaker, muddler, strainer

Glass: highball

Garnish: fresh strawberry slice and mint sprig

In the base of a shaker, muddle strawberries with honey syrup. Add remaining ingredients, except club soda, and shake with ice. Strain into an ice-filled highball glass, top with soda and garnish.

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  1. That looks pretty tasty. Whose recipe is it?

    For the syrup, heat depends on whether you want more of a hot/raw or mellow/candied flavor. Basically the difference between biting into some ginger root and eating a piece of crystallized ginger.

    Equal parts syrup and sugar should be pretty thick. However, I think ginger has a tendency to separate out; you might consider adding a very small percentage (0.5%, maybe) of xanthan gum or some other stabilizer to keep everything in solution. This will further thicken it, so you really shouldn't have any concerns there.

    9 Replies
    1. re: davis_sq_pro

      Dave Whitton and Arianna Reel Cook, One-Eyed Gypsy, Los Angeles

      Yeah the drink sounds pretty fantasic, which is why I wanted to make some, not sure if hot raw might be better since there will be honey syrup in there to mellow it out- I am not an expert with Bourbon, was thinking i would use bulliet bourbon

      1. re: Dapuma

        I wonder how some ginger liqueur would work in place of the syrup. I'm always trying to find ways to bust out that gorgeous Domaine de Canton bottle.

        Bulleit is a high rye bourbon, so you could run the risk of having too much bite with it and the raw ginger syrup. Maybe one or the other?

        The One-Eyed Gypsy menu lists a cocktail simply called Bourbon:

        "a celebration of makers mark, strawberries, simple, and fresh lemon over a bed of shaved ice"

        So, if it's the same recipe as the one from Imbibe, they're going with a wheater bourbon. In that case, I'd be tempted to use a Weller - likely OWA 107, since the recipe doesn't have too much booze.

        1. re: rcb4d

          I have regular Bulleit not rye (unless you are saying the mash is more rye than a normal bourbon) - I also have Makers Mark 46, but I thought that might be overkill in the drink

          So maybe heat it to mellow it out to use the Bulleit, I would prefer not to get a new bottle since I don't use much Bourbon

          I generally like less rye bourbons - I tend to like four roses (most of their stuff) - I have Rittenhouse 100 also but it tastes like tires to me, so that is for guests :)

          1. re: Dapuma

            Yes, the bourbon is a high rye mash bill.

            1. re: Dapuma

              Yes, Bulleit has a high rye mash bill for a bourbon. I hate to break it to you though - their bourbon uses Four Roses's 35% mash bill. Four Roses has a couple of different mash bills, but all are higher in rye content than the standard bourbon. Maybe you do like a touch of rye after all!

              Rittenhouse tends to be fantastic when mixed, but much less so taken neat.

              I think if you use Bulleit (or the Makers, which I wouldn't consider overkill) nad JMF's method for slow heating your ginger syrup, you'll have a fine cocktail.

          2. re: Dapuma

            I've had that cocktail. It's pretty good. I found it was better either cutting out the honey syrup, or doing 1/2 oz. ginger syrup and 1/4 to 1/2 oz. of honey syrup. Other wise it is too sweet for me, unless you add too much seltzer.

          3. re: davis_sq_pro

            DSP, using the juicer method you can hot process and it still has that fresh raw ginger flavor.

            It gets the cooked flavor when you do the boiling method, where you make a hot ginger tea with chunks of ginger. An easier method, but not as good results.

            1. re: JMF

              Yup, you're right -- the hot process ginger syrups I've made have always been a byproduct of making candied ginger.

              Your 165-degree method plus hot packing is quite interesting. I'll have to give that a try if I ever get a juicer capable of producing reasonable output from ginger.

              1. re: davis_sq_pro

                With my first juicer which was a cheap one, I would take the pulp and add a little hot water to it, and put the pulp through the juicer again, sometimes even a third time. This produced a lot more juice. Now I have a good juicer and don't have to put it through a second time, although if I do it produces a bit more juice. I'm looking forward to getting a professional juice extractor like the Ruby 2000 when I have a bar client willing to fork over $2K for it.

          4. I've made many, many gallons of ginger syrup using the juicer method. I found out several things over the years.

            First, make tons more than you think you need. You will use it in everything. Food, cocktails, soft drinks, hot tea, etc. I usually do around 10-15 lbs. of ginger root at a time.

            Second, heat the ginger juice and sugar gently to 165-170 degrees. This will not give you a cooked flavor, it will still be fresh and bright tasting. Then hot pack in 8 oz. or 16 oz. canning jars that have been boiled, and the lids sitting in boiling hot water for awhile. Get everything sterile. If you do this the ginger has at least a two year shelf life at room temp.

            The ginger syrup will be slightly cloudy, but not unattractive, with a nice green/golden color. When done in this manner it doesn't separate. As the syrup sits over a few weeks there will be a very fine white gummy/sticky sediment that collects on the bottom of the jar and the syrup gets a bit less cloudy. Just let it sit on the bottom of the jar. It will be sticky enough that it will stay there when you pour out syrup.

            Refrigerate the syrup once opened. It has at least a one month shelf life once opened.

            If you do the cold version it will start to ferment within a day or two.

            2 Replies
            1. re: JMF

              10-25 lbs of ginger. I'm trying to get my head around this....

              1. re: EvergreenDan

                I don't think I've ever made more than around 20 lbs. worth at a time. Usually 15 lbs. that's two huge bags worth. I get it when young ginger is available for $0.99 lb. at Asian produce markets in Flushing, Queens. I haven't made any in over a year and just ran out. I guess it's time again.

            2. Seguing a bit here, a neighborhood bar (Spicewood Tavern for those in austin) had Ginger Gimlets on their $5 happy hour menu a couple of weeks back. If my guess is correct, they were regular gimlets with ginger syrup added. I'd order them again, pretty tasty.

              1. made this cocktail this weekend, and got 60 oz of ginger juice versus not - the ginger syrup was spicy, blazing gnaw your tongue off spicy without cooking it, i cooked it about 20 minutes, and kept tasting it, you really need to cook it awhile to get that raw taste out

                Thanks for all the advice JMF - it was interesting to keep tasting it the more it cooked as the spicy level slowly went down, I can see a lot of variation when making it based on how much you cook it

                the cocktail itself was not bad, but being a rum guy - we ended up making Bum Barrel's / Navy Grog's / this cocktail / Rangoon Gimlet's (which was VERY different when using Junipero versus Hendricks gin in it, Hendricks it was very good, and I did not care for it with the Junipero) and Hemingway Daq's - I think the Bourbon Street was our least favorite

                Made the Bourbon St with Bulleit - i forgot the bitters initially then added them, which made all the difference in the world, tried it with .5 ginger and .25 honey and also .25 ginger and .5 honey

                The Bum Barrels with Coruba and Cruzan were pretty amazing, with Aunt Liliko's passion fruit syrup (just use half the amount)