Every once in a while I get inspired by an ingredient. The world of cocktails and mixology has its own flow of trends. Some have outlasted their inspiration (every-tini, whatever-ita, and every random mojito) to become cliché. Others center on an ingredient such as Vinegar, Chipotle, or Island Malts. This is my little contribution to the world of cocktails and mixology: Ginger
The way this happened is that a couple of years ago, I was tasked with dinner and no plan. I found pork loin chops, asparagus, and a ginger root in the fridge. Seemed like a good opportunity to stir fry. The dish uses a large amount of fresh ginger and it has since become a favorite of the family. Last week, I was preparing this dish and found myself with some extra ginger and a desire for a cocktail.
I’m sure we’re not the first, nor will we be the last to put Ginger into a highball glass but here are our first contributions to the world of cocktails.
Ginger Julep — ’68 Fastback
This is the first of the drinks born from our first evening of experimentation. The first iteration included Angostura bitters which we decided were extraneous. Once we realized that it was a Julep and not an Old Fashioned we took another swing at it.
What we end up with is a new twist on an old classic. The name is also a classic muscle car, and the specific model driven by Steve McQueen in Bullet.
- 1 Jigger (45ml) Bulleit Bourbon
- 1 Tbsp (15ml) Organic Brown Sugar
- 1 Tsp (5ml) peeled minced fresh ginger
- Soda Water to taste (Approx 45ml)
- garnish with a lemon or lime twist
Muddle the ginger and brown sugar together until all of the sugar is moistened and nearly dissolved. Add a dash of soda to finish dissolving the sugar, stir in your Bourbon. Finish with ice, soda to taste and a lemon or lime twist.
Bulleit Ginger Infusion & Orange — Magic Bulleit
The Old Fashioned is the granddaddy of cocktails. Probably the first drink to carry the name “cocktail” and as such it sets the foundation for many of my experiments. We’ve been playing with different bitters and variants on the Old Fashioned for another project, but when we finished the Bulleit Ginger Infusion it slotted itself right in.
- 1 Jigger (45ml) Bulleit Bourbon
- 1 Tbsp (15ml) Bulleit Ginger Infusion (below)
- 1.5 Tsp (7.5ml) Brown simple Syrup
- Dash Stirrings Blood Orange Bitters
- Orange Zest
- Garnish with an orange flag
I always build Old Fashioned and their variants by stirring together the liquid ingredients (bitters, syrup, Bourbon, and Infusion) over ice. Stir until chilled, then zest garnish and enjoy!
Ginger Whiskey Sour
- 1 Jigger (45 ml) Bulleit Bourbon whiskey
- 2 Tbsp (30 ml) fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) Bulleit Ginger Infusion
- 1 Tsp (5 ml) Simple Syrup
- dash egg white (optional)
It is shaken and served either straight or over ice. The traditional garnish is half an orange slice and a maraschino cherry.
The last one of these I made with the white of one egg and shook it until we had a happy sassy froth.
Bulleit Ginger Infusion
Once we realized exactly how well Bulleit takes to fresh ginger we had to try an infusion.
- 1″ peeled sliced Ginger root
- 8oz Bulleit Bourbon
Put the Boubon and ginger in a clean bottle. Soak in the fridge for 3 days shaking once a day. Filter Bourbon through a cheesecloth, and squeeze the juice from the ginger. Keep refridgerated and shake before using. Ginger-infused bourbon makes a great base for a variety of cocktails. We’d love to hear about yours!