Monday, August 17, 2009

Lovin’ That Ginger

I do love ginger. I find any excuse to use it, be it powdered, fresh or crystallized. I use it in simple syrup to make ice tea a wee bit tastier and put a few slices in when simmering my homemade chai tea. I have a great recipe for triple ginger cookies that uses grated, powdered and crystallized ginger. I also add it to stir fry dishes, fruit salads, hot oatmeal, cakes, jam,and anything else I can think of. So it was with great pleasure that I found a recipe combining two of my favorite things: ginger and sparkling wine.

Originally featured in Gourmet magazine’s December 2007 issue, this Sparkling Ginger Cocktail is a perfect summer drink. Light, refreshing, full of golden bubbles, it has a clean flavor enhanced by a ginger/sugar coating on the rim of the martini glass. While I enjoyed it sitting on my porch on a hot summer evening, this cocktail would work for a bridal shower, brunch, or as an accompaniment to a formal afternoon tea (champagne and strawberries are so passĂ©!).

Make sure that the prosecco and ginger syrup are ice cold, and it doesn’t hurt to chill the glasses, either. This can be served in either martini or champagne glasses (not flutes).

I neglected to take a picture in my rush to imbibe, but here is a link to the original picture in Gourmet.

Sparkling Ginger Cocktail

3/4 cup water
1/2 cup sliced fresh ginger (2 ounces)
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1 tablespoon finely chopped crystallized ginger
2 lemon wedges
2 (750-ml) bottles chilled Prosecco

Simmer water, fresh ginger, and 1/2 cup sugar in a small saucepan, uncovered, 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let steep 15 minutes. Strain syrup through a sieve into a bowl, discarding solids. Chill until cold.

Finely grind crystallized ginger with remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a blender or food processor, then spread on a small plate.

Run lemon wedges around rims of glasses, then dip rims into ginger sugar. Put 1 tablespoon syrup into each glass and top off with Prosecco.

TIP: Don't use the softer, gummy crystallized ginger, as it will not grind fine enough for the glass (although that did not deter me). Try and find the harder, smaller crystallized ginger, that will powder more easily.

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