Combining freshly-squeezed orange juice with a turmeric and ginger-infused simple syrup makes for one heck of a delicious cocktail. I’ve chosen to make mine with vodka, a natural pairing with orange, but I’m sure it would be just as delicious with gin or even spiced rum. Why the Queen of Cocktails? That’s because turmeric has been dubbed the ‘spice of the year’ for 2016, and it’s also often referred to as the Queen of Spices. With its peppery, sharp taste and vibrant, stain-your-kitchen-towel yellow colour, this spice is used worldwide in cooking. We often see it in powdered form, but I prefer to use the whole root. Like other spices, working with the whole form provides greater flavour and aroma, plus, I suspect, greater nutritional benefits as well. So what makes turmeric such a powerhouse? It contains a vast range of antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antifungal and anti-carcinogenic properties. On top of that, it’s loaded with beneficial vitamins and minerals. We know orange juice is a great source of Vitamin C and given that turmeric and ginger are often used to treat a wide variety of ailments, it’s safe to say that this cocktail is genuinely good for you. Go ahead, have two.
For the turmeric simple syrup
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) white sugar
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) water
- 1 inch (2.5 cm) piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced
- 1 turmeric root, finely grated
For the cocktail
- 2 ounces (1/4 cup or 60 mL) freshly-squeezed clementine (or other orange) juice
- 2 ounces (1/4 cup or 60 mL) vodka *
- 1 ounce (2 tablespoons / 30 mL) turmeric syrup
- Clementine segments, to garnish
* replace with sparkling water for a mocktail
- Make the syrup by combining the sugar, water, ginger and turmeric in a small saucepan. Over medium heat, stir the mixture frequently as it comes to a boil, then remove it from the heat. Let sit 15 minutes then strain through a fine sieve or cheesecloth. Put in a jar with a tight lid and refrigerate for up to two weeks.
- Prepare one cocktail by combining the juice, vodka and syrup in a cocktail shaker (or canning jar) along with several ice cubes.
- Cover and shake for 1 minute to chill the mixture.
- Pour into a cocktail glass and garnish with orange segments.