Wednesday, June 23, 2010

hardly bartending! ginger beer, dark 'n stormy, and the communist

It seems like we've had a couple of days lately where we wake up, make a semi-elaborate breakfast, ride bikes to the farmer's market for lunch, do shopping for the week in the afternoon, get home just in time to start cooking dinner. Well this Saturday was like that... except with liquids :)

Ginger Beer

We'd both been excited to try making ginger beer after seeing this post on Lottie and Doof recently -- another thing I'd never really considered making. And I'm still not completely sold that the proper way to make it is to make ginger juice and add club soda, but the method seems pretty common on the internet and it sure tastes good.

Ginger is wonderful, curative stuff, but we made a budgetary decision to limit it to 1 pound (down from 2.5), and I'm kind of really glad we did because it is still crazy crazy spicy.

Homemade Ginger Beer

1 pound of fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
4 cups of water
1.5 cups of simple syrup (1 cup sugar dissolved in 1 part water). Turbinado syrup turns daiquiris an unappetizing color but it was perfect for this
0.5 cups of fresh squeezed lime juice

Put the ginger and two cups of water in the food processor. Process on high for about 3 minutes, strain the liquid and return the solids to the food processor. Add an additional cup of water, process for another 3 minutes, and strain again. Return the solids to the processor a third time, add a final cup of water, process and strain. At this point you should be left with some totally flavorless cellulosic ginger, and a big bowl of fiery ginger juice (go ahead and taste a big spoonful, it's fun. and by fun I mean shocking). Add the sugar and lime and stir.

Serve with lots of ice and about a 2:1 ratio of club soda to ginger. You can add a little more sugar to taste at this point, but this seemed a pretty good balance to me.

This stuff is great on its own, but two shots of Gosling's dark rum and a slice of lime puts it right over the edge.

The Communist

Another classic mixed drink I learned from Rachel Maddow (It is hilariously difficult to try to search for this on Google; lots of hits for "rachel maddow communist"). It's been on my to-try list for a while, and when I finally saw Cherry Heering at BevMo I could not resist.

Pretty ain't it?

The Communist
1 shot gin
1 shot orange juice
1/2 - 3/4 shot of lemon juice
1/2 shot of Cherry Heering

Shaken with ice and served up

For me, the cherry and lemon juice are the stars. I was worried it would be sweet with the syrupy liquer and orange juice, but thankfully it balanced out quite well, though the gin is maybe not quite as prominent as I'd like. Definitely one I'd make again.


  1. I just heard of the cocktail called a Bramble and have decided I MUST try it this summer, especially since gin is my favorite hard liquor (wow, I am losing my English! First I typed "lickor" then "licor;" pathetic!).

    That being said, there's a fantastic juice bar here that makes ginger juice. It's literally sugar and ginger, diluted with some water. It is AMAZING. The combination with lime reminds me too of fresh sugar cane juice with a slice of lemon, which is AMAZING on a hot summer day.

  2. the bramble sounds really similar to a tom collins, one of my faves. hey... you are coming to the usa soon!