Drinks · Uncategorized

Just a Little Spark

Have you ever made something once and then become determined to use it over and over again in new ways? Let’s use simple syrup as an example here. It’s such an easy, and occasionally necessary, component for a cocktail or sweetened beverage, but we do have some friends who didn’t even know that you could make it yourself. With just a little sugar and water, yes, even you can make your own simple syrup. It’s a blank canvas that can be adjusted and flavored however you choose. Once you have the base, you can add it to just about anything. Make a big batch and store it for all those times your recipe needs a little something sweet.

Most people know that mojitos require simple syrup as a sweetener, but really, you can use it in almost anything that needs a bit of sugar. Start the base of your lemonade or sweet tea with simple syrup. Take it a step further and play around with a pastry chef’s method of keeping cakes moist–brushing simple syrup on top before frosting. You can adjust your ratios of sugar to water depending on the final use. A ratio of one part sugar to one part water is the basic recipe, but you can go as high as three to one (a very thick syrup) or two to one (a mid-range syrup). The thinnest syrups are used for glazing cakes or cookies, whereas the thicker syrups typically find themselves in drinks or drenching candied fruits. This refreshing vodka drink is laced with hints of fresh ginger and sour lime. The infused simple syrup acts as a conduit that brings everything together and initiates a little kick with each sip. Who knew simple syrup could be that little spark!

Ginger Lime Cooler – Serves 6
1 1/2 cups sugar
5″ ginger nub, peeled and sliced
Zest of 8 limes
Juice of 8 limes
1 1/4 cup vodka
1/4 cup triple sec

1. Pour the sugar and 1 1/2 cups water into a sauce pan and cook over medium high heat until it forms a thin syrup, approximately 7-10 minutes.

2. Remove the sauce pan from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Pour into a glass jar or bottle and add the lime zest and ginger nub. Set aside to steep and cool completely.

3. In a large pitcher, stir the lime juice, vodka and triple sec together with 5 cups of water. Once the ginger lime syrup is ready, remove the ginger and pour the syrup in the pitcher. Stir well.

4. Serve over ice with a few slices of lime.

Click HERE for the printable recipe.


27 thoughts on “Just a Little Spark

  1. I grabbed the hubby and hightailed it out to our favorite alcoholic beverage emporium – Corridor Liquors – just so I could make this cocktail last weekend. It was certainly worth the trip.

    While we were at it, picked up a bit of ginger beer and rum too for this weekend. Great sipping for humid District of Columbia summer nights.

    Stay thristy, my friends πŸ˜‰
    You Knew I Coming Over . . So Why Didn’t You Cook?

  2. Mmm I don’t even really normally drink hard alcohol… wonder how it would taste if I just left that out? πŸ˜‰

  3. I think sugar is one of those miraculous particles God gave us humans. It gets a bad rep, but come on…it transforms into so many wonderful, beautiful things, from a simple syrup to caramel to hard candy, etc. Besides, we all need a little sweet in our lives! πŸ˜‰

  4. Mmm, ginger! Ginger and lime are such a natural combination … add the vodka and who could resist?! πŸ™‚

    Lately I’ve been making my simple syrups with agave nectar, rather than sugar. The texture suffers a bit, the finished syrup is not as thick, but the flavor is just fine. So fun to play around with infusing simple syrups!

  5. This sounds like such a refreshing Summer cooler. I learned about the magic of simple syrups in my baking classes. They really do have so many purposes. Great seeing you both last weekend.

  6. The only time I’ve made simple syrup is for Mojitos – but thanks for sharing some other brilliant uses for it πŸ™‚ Now I must go make a cocktail! Oh yes, I am definitely making Ga Kho – I’ve eaten a lot of Vietnamese, but never cooked it at home and am always looking for creative ways to prepare chicken.

  7. Hi, you two. I think this looks like the perfect summer-time cocktail for a sunny day – all sassy with the citrus and ginger and vodka-y, too! Thanks for the idea for a new drink. Dan

  8. If I had a batch of simple syrup sitting around…I’m pretty sure I would find any and every reason to use it! I love the ginger and lime pairing…ginger drinks are a serious favorite of mine.

  9. Mmmm, I could go for one of those right now! Hm, it’s before noon here, but it’s late afternoon in Moscow!

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