Instructions: The only thing you have to bring to New Year’s Eve is a bottle of top shelf alcohol and the ingredients to make a signature drink.
If you know my friends and their level of creativity, that is a tall order. After searching several food blogs, food magazine and top shelf liquor websites, I combined a few recipes and created the Ginger Smash. Also inspired by the incredible Whiskey Smashes I had on Christmas at NoMI with Brock.
The first thing I needed to do was to make candied ginger so that I would end up with ginger simple syrup to put in the drink. I mostly followed David Lebovitz’s recipe.
I started out with a pound of ginger. Yes, that’s a lot of ginger.
Then I peeled the pound of ginger. I used a knife, not the suggested back of the spoon method that was recommended.
Next up, I hauled my trusty mandolin out of the cupboard and sliced it very thin. He recommends 1/8in slices. My slices were a little thinner. The important thing is that they are uniform.
Put them in a non-reactive pan on your stove top and just cover them with water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and let ginger simmer for 10 minutes.
Drain the ginger after 10 minutes and return to pan. Add four cups of water and four cups of sugar and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer. Simmer until consistency of thin honey.
Pour syrup and ginger through a strainer. Separating syrup and pieces of ginger. Toss pieces of ginger in granulated sugar and lay out to dry(at least overnight). The candied ginger can be stored an in airtight container for a month. It’s delicious on its own or can be used in other recipes like ginger scones.
Pour syrup in jar and use for cocktails!
Pour one part ginger simple syrup and two parts Makers Mark into shaker filled with ice. Squeeze one half lemon or lime in to shaker, then add lemon or lime half into shaker. Shake for 20-30 seconds. Strain and pour over rocks in a highball glass. Garnish with piece of candied ginger if desired. Strong and tasty.