This drink evolved from a “Dark and Stormy,” which is dark rum and ginger beer. Combining this zesty ginger (Zingiber officinale) syrup, which has the unexpected flavor nuances of vanilla and lemon, with sparkling water to make a homemade ginger ale elevates this from everyday to extraordinary soda. I drink this syrup hot when I have a scratchy throat or cold, and keep it in the fridge to make a delicious natural soda.
Makes about 4 cups
- 4 cups water
- 7- to 8-inch piece gingerroot, peeled and sliced
- ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 2 cups sugar
- ½ lemon, sliced
- In a small saucepan, place water over moderate heat and bring to a boil. Add ginger and vanilla bean, reduce heat and simmer gently for about 20 minutes.
- Stir sugar in to dissolve; add lemon. Cover, remove from heat and let stand for at least 30 minutes, or until room temperature.
- Strain and refrigerate. (If you are in a hurry, use an ice bath to cool the syrup quickly.) This syrup will keep in the refrigerator for a week to 10 days. Store for up to a year in the freezer.
To Prepare Rum and Ginger Drink
Makes 1 drink
- Ice cubes
- 1½ ounces Mount Gay Special Reserve or a dark rum, such as Myer’s or Pusser’s
- 3 ounces Ginger Syrup
- 1 to 2 ounces sparkling water or club soda
- 1 tablespoon cassis (black currant liqueur)
- Lime wedge
- Fill a tall glass halfway with ice cubes. Pour in rum and Ginger Syrup.
- Add sparkling water, drizzle in cassis and stir a few times. Garnish with lime wedge and serve with a straw.
Susan Belsinger is a frequent contributor who loves to sip herbal cocktails in her Maryland home.
Click here for the original article, Herbal Summer Cocktails.