On Saturday I toddled off to the Sydney Morning Herald Growers’ Market at Pyrmont with my man and dog in tow. It was particularly good this month for some reason. I loaded up (with apples, hazelnuts, venison, two types of kale, saucisson, EVOO, fabulous artisan bread, among other things) AND I found a gorgeous pile of young ginger.
My Dad is a ginger-lover. He’s coming to visit in April, so somehow when the idea of homemade ginger syrup for ginger ale popped into my head, I decided to go with it. If it works well, I’ll make it again for Dad. If it doesn’t, we’ll chalk it up to experience!
I found this recipe at Joy the Baker.
(makes 2 cups ginger syrup)
2 cups coarsely chopped ginger
2 cups granulated sugar
6 cups water
Place chopped ginger in a food processor and pulverise until well chopped.
Place ginger, sugar, and water in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 1 hour to 1 hour and a half, until the liquid has reduced down by more than half. You’re going from 6 cups of liquid to 2 cups. The boiling syrup will become glossy and silky as it cooks down and nears completion.
Remove syrup from the flame and strain twice through a cheese cloth, or fine mesh strainer, into a large bowl. Let syrup cool slightly before pouring into a bottle to store.
Cool completely before incorporating into drinks.
Can I say, it’s pretty damn fine ginger syrup! Woohoo! I used about 1/3 syrup to 2/3 sparkling water and threw in some lime and some ice. Purists reckon’ a splash of Angostura Bitters is a must (but I didn’t have any)
And – for the really keen – some quite interesting information about ginger:
1. In China ginger has been used to help digestion and treat stomach upsets, diarrhea, and nausea for more than 2,000 years.
2. Ginger has also been used to help treat arthritis, colic, heart conditions, the common cold, flu-like symptoms, and headaches.
3. Ginger syrup can be added to a hot lemon and honey drink for a great hot toddy!
4. Ginger ice-cream is bloody yummy (I may investigate making this with some of my ginger syrup!)
5. Tim Minchin has a song about prejudice and red-heads (gingers!). I wonder if he would fancy my syrup?