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Ginger Simple Syrup

A bottle with a swing cap rests on a wooden table in front of a leafy plant. The bottle holds a dark brown syrup and is surrounded by chunks of fresh ginger.
Image:

Liqour.com/Tim Nusog

An important ingredient in a vast amount of cocktails is some kind of sweetener. Often, that sweetener is in the form of simple syrup, an aptly named blend of equal parts sugar and water, heated and integrated into a silky syrup. A number of variations arise from that simple template, including tweaking the portions for a richer syrup and infusing the mixture with an herb like ginger. After all, you can’t scoot too high up the cocktail tree without coming across a recipe that calls for ginger simple syrup.

This bar staple is a must for anyone looking to make a proper version of the modern classic the Penicillin. It also goes into lesser known concoctions like the Ginger Rogers, and can be used to amplify the gingery spice of drinks like the Moscow Mule and Dark ’n Stormy, or add complexity and depth to cocktails like the Old Fashioned or Daiquiri. Swap out the plain simple syrup for this ginger version in your preferred Whiskey Sour recipe and you might discover you have a new favorite drink. And its warming, soothing presence in a Hot Toddy makes the drink even more comforting and healing.

Another great use for ginger simple syrup? Homemade ginger ale. Simply add it to ice, soda water and a squeeze of lime. You can enjoy it on its own as a nonalcoholic beverage, or you can easily make a batch of Dark ’n Stormies or Ginger Ale Highballs without worrying about what ginger beer or ginger ale to use.

In any case it’s an easy-to-make, easy-to-use recipe and it might become a staple behind your home bar. Be sure to keep it refrigerated, and if you add an ounce or so of vodka it will greatly extend the syrup’s shelf life, though it will mean you can no longer use it for non-alcoholic drinks.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 3/4 cup water

  • 1/3 cup peeled and chopped ginger

Steps

  1. Add the sugar, water and ginger into a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.

  2. Remove from the heat and let sit covered for 20 to 30 minutes.

  3. Double-strain into a jar. Keep sealed in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.