After a long, hard and exceedingly cold winter, I am really ready to embrace the warmth and sunshine of spring. For me, the new season signals a shift in the kitchen; I look for dishes that shed a little of their winter weight in favour of fresh, bright flavours. This well-balanced cocktail offers both tang and sweetness; it is a great way to celebrate the longer days and melting snowbanks. If you prefer, omit the gin for a refreshing and delicious non-alcoholic libation.
For the ginger syrup
- 1/2 cup (100 g) white sugar
- 1 cup (250 mL) water
- 1 teaspoon (5 g) black peppercorns
- 2 oz (50 g) fresh ginger, peeled and chopped (about a 5” / 12.5 cm knob)
For the cocktail
- 1.5 oz (45 mL) gin
- 1 oz (30 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 oz (30 mL) ginger syrup
- Soda water
- 1 inch x ½ inch piece of lemon peel
- Put sugar, water, peppercorns and chopped ginger in a small saucepan.
- Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Strain into a jar with a tight lid and refrigerate until cool. Ginger syrup can be stored in the fridge for about a month.
- Put gin, lemon juice and ginger syrup in a cocktail shaker or a medium-sized jar with a tight lid. Add four ice cubes and shake gently for one to two minutes to chill the mixture.
- Strain into a martini glass or champagne coupe.
- Top with a splash of soda water and garnish with lemon peel.
Makes 1 cocktail.