Herbal Summer Cocktails: Dark Rum and Ginger Syrup

<p>This drink evolved from a “Dark and Stormy,” which is dark rum and ginger beer. Combining this zesty ginger (<em>Zingiber officinale</em>) 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.</p>
<p>
<strong>Ginger Syrup<br />
</strong>
<em>Makes about 4 cups</em>
</p>
<ul>
<li>4 cups water</li>
<li>7- to 8-inch piece gingerroot, peeled and sliced</li>
<li>½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise</li>
<li>2 cups sugar</li>
<li>½ lemon, sliced</li>
</ul>
<ol>
<li>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.</li>
<li>Stir sugar in to dissolve; add lemon. Cover, remove from heat and let stand for at least 30 minutes, or until room temperature.</li>
<li>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.</li>
</ol>
<p>
<strong>To Prepare Rum and Ginger Drink<br />
</strong>
<em>Makes 1 drink</em>
</p>
<ul>
<li>Ice cubes</li>
<li>1½ ounces Mount Gay Special Reserve or a dark rum, such as Myer’s or Pusser’s</li>
<li>3 ounces Ginger Syrup</li>
<li>1 to 2 ounces sparkling water or club soda</li>
<li>1 tablespoon cassis (black currant liqueur)</li>
<li>Lime wedge</li>
</ul>
<ol>
<li>Fill a tall glass halfway with ice cubes. Pour in rum and Ginger Syrup.</li>
<li>Add sparkling water, drizzle in cassis and stir a few times. Garnish with lime wedge and serve with a straw.</li>
</ol>
<p>
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<p>
<em>Susan Belsinger is a frequent contributor who loves to sip herbal cocktails in her Maryland home.</em>
</p>
<p>Click here for the original article, <a href=”https://www.motherearthliving.com/cooking-methods/good-vibrations-with-herbal-libations.aspx”>Herbal Summer Cocktails.</a>
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