I like to slowly slide into autumn. I don’t immediately buy into all things pumpkin. It’s probably because I’m afraid of winter coming and the bleakness and brown that follows once the trees lose all their leaves. But when I put my ill-will toward winter aside and focus on the present, I must admit that autumn is one of the best times of year here in the heartland. The humidity mellows out and it’s often pleasant to sit outside in the evenings. So while I’m not quite ready to give up icy drinks, I am not opposed to some change. A bit of spice seems like a reasonable addition to an autumnal punch or cocktail.
The inspiration for this cocktail comes from the 1941 edition of The Boston Cooking School Cookbook. The original non-alcoholic punch recipe is this:
- 1/2 pound ginger
- 1 quart cold water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
Chop ginger, and add to the water and sugar. Boil for 15 minutes, add the fruit juices, cool, strain, and dilute with crushed ice. This recipe will serve 10.
I liked the bones of this recipe. Citrus and ginger are a tasty pairing, and this ginger syrup is much less sweet that a simple syrup that combines equal parts water and sugar. I don’t like an overly sweet cocktail, so simple syrup is often too sweet for me. To enhance the autumnal feel of this cocktail, I added Scrappy’s Cardamom Cocktail Bitters.
The first three ingredients below are for the ginger syrup. You will likely have a lot left over, so have fun with it! Add it to sparkling water or your favorite juice.
- ¼ pound ginger root
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 cups water
- 2 oz gin
- 1½ oz orange juice
- ½ oz lemon juice
- 1 oz ginger syrup
- crushed ginger snaps
- For the Ginger syrup: In a small saucepan Add ½ cup sugar to two cups water. Peel and roughly chop a large piece of ginger (about ¼ pound). Add it to the water/sugar and boil for 15 minutes. Strain and cool.
- In a cocktail shaker add ice, gin, orange juice, lemon juice, ginger syrup, and cardamom bitters. Shake; Strain into a cocktail glass that is rimmed with crushed ginger snaps.
If you like a sweeter drink you can add more ginger syrup to your liking. You could also serve this cocktail over ice on one of those unseasonably hot days that I hope we still have in our future. What I’m trying to say is, play with your food! Mix it up. Don’t play by the rules. Don’t be pretentious. Make it Untwisted.
By the way, my husband says this cocktail should be called The Gingervitis. Don’t be scared. This is only because he thinks that is a good name for a ginger cocktail. He has lost his cocktail naming rights.
[This post contains an Amazon Affiliate link. See my About section for more information]