There is nothing more refreshing on a hot, sticky summer day than an ice cold beverage. Reminiscent of lemonade, but infused with fresh ginger and lemongrass, this succulently sweet and spicy cooler is perfect for all of your summer gatherings. Since we included no alcohol in the base recipe, this gingery fizz is the perfect pucker for all.
For the ginger syrup:
3 cups of water
2 cups of sugar
6 inch piece of ginger, chopped
For the Fizzy Ginger:
1 Liter sparkling water, chilled
Juice of 3-4 lemons (depending on size)
8 thin slices of candied ginger (to garnish each glass)
Prepare the ginger syrup:
Combine the water, sugar, and ginger in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce heat and simmer until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover, and steep the mixture for 1 hour to allow the flavors to infuse the syrup. Strain the syrup into a pitcher, discarding the ginger. Chill, covered, until cold for at least 1 hour.
Prepare the Fizzy Ginger:
Add the sparkling water and lemon juice to the pitcher with the cooled syrup and stir well. Divide among tall, chilled glasses over ice cubes and garnish each drink with a slice of candied ginger.
[Chef’s Note: The syrup can be made a week ahead and chilled, but be sure to add the sparkling water just before serving or the drink will lose its fizz. Feel free to use the ginger syrup in other applications, too, as it is also a great base in which to toss fresh fruit. Also, add it to hot or iced teas for a summery kick.]
Add approximately 1½ cups (more or less to taste) of good quality gin or rum for a deliriously delicious adult libation.
There are many tasty variations that can work well in the Fizzy Ginger. Add 2 stalks of lemongrass (pounded and sliced to release flavor) at the same time as the ginger. Discard along with the ginger when straining. On the other hand, purée ¼ cup of strawberries (or other berries) in a blender with a few tablespoons of sugar, depending on the ripeness of the fruit. Add the purée to the bottom of a glass before adding the Fizzy Ginger. Stir to create a cool summer treat. Lastly, add two cardamom pods (pounded to release flavor) at the same time as the ginger into the syrup, discarding them when straining.
Recipe and photo by Monica Glass