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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Spicing things up: preparing ginger for your cocktails

Cubed ginger ripe for muddling.

Ginger has uses in cocktails that go beyond mixing with Ginger Ale or Ginger Beer.  This hot and tangy root (it’s actually a rhizome, but luckily we’re not in science class) has a bit of a bite along with some sweet and citrusy undertones.  It has just the mix of flavors and sensations to add an extra kick to your cocktails.  You may have used Ginger in stir-fries, or had it in dishes at restaurants.  Either way, you’re probably at least familiar with the taste.  Preparing some cubed ginger for use in cocktails is not that hard if you follow these simple steps.
  • Wash and dry your ginger as you would any root from the grocery store.
  • Cut off any unwanted protuberances.  (Note: A nice section of our demo root trims down to a regularly-shaped piece of ginger.)
  • If possible, cut off a nice straight piece to use in cubing, a regularly shaped piece will be easy to peel and cut up.  Your ginger may have a very irregular shape, so you may have to peel it with a paring knife or a vegetable peeler.  Sometimes you can use a Chef’s knife if, due to the symmetry of the piece, it’s easy to cut off the skin.
  • Cut the piece into thin slices based on the desired size of the cubes.
  • Next, stack the slices and cut them into strips.
  • Gather the slices and start cutting off the cubes until the ginger is cubed.

When preparing a cocktail, we will normally muddle the ginger, sometimes alone, sometimes with simple syrup, and other times with citrus juice.  Try it in a St Germain Ginger Margarita.  Whichever way you mix it, be prepared for a treat.

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