Special Feature: Products Sally Recommends

ginger simple syrup

by Maggie Battista

Makes: about 3 cups

Preparation Time: 60 minutes

Ginger root is used frequently in international cuisine, especially Asian, Mediterranean and Caribbean dishes, but also is believed to also soothe what ails you, from an upset stomach to coughing to the varied symptoms of the flu. So, it stands to reason that mixing it into cocktails basically makes cocktails healthy. That’s what I say when I pour a Bourbon and Ginger, of course, made with this homemade Ginger Simple Syrup.

This recipe has a bonus feature, too. You can make two cups of deliciously spicy syrup as stated in the recipe, or boil it a little longer (see directions below) to make Candied Ginger (page XXX). In doing so, you preserve both the syrup and the ginger slices - nothing goes to waste and you have two food gifts.

If you’re candying the ginger slices, use fresh young ginger. Younger ginger is mild and has a very thin skin that’s less flawed in its appearance. You can find younger ginger at many Asian markets, as they turn it over more frequently. Older ginger is more potent, thick-skinned, and fibrous, and makes for very stringy candied slices that are not worth the extra effort. So with younger ginger, make syrup and candy. With older ginger, just make syrup.


[1/2] pound fresh ginger, peeled
4 cups water
2 cups granulated sugar


Special Equipment:

3 half-pint jars with airtight lids, sterilized

With a vegetable peeler or a spoon, scrape the peel off the ginger. Slice into [1/8]-inch slices, or thinner.

Place ginger, water and sugar into a saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, swirling the pan every now and then to help the sugar dissolve. Once the boil is reached, lower the heat to medium and simmer for 45 minutes or until the liquid is reduced by about half. Remove from the heat.

Let syrup steep and cool for 15 minutes more. Strain, discarding the ginger. Let the syrup cool to room temperature before bottling. Store in a sterilized glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


Candied Ginger: If you’d like to make candied ginger, boil the Ginger Syrup for an extra 15 to 20 minutes (until the syrup reaches 220° F on a kitchen thermometer). Strain, cool to room temperature and bottle the syrup. Place the ginger slices on parchment paper to dry for 4 hours, though they’ll remain a little sticky and shiny. Roll in extra sugar and let sit overnight or longer, until completely dry.


Gift Wrap Supplies:


Transfer the syrup to a clean pretty bottle.  Write the label on the tag. Wrap the twine around the neck of the bottle several times and tie in a knot. Slip the tag on and tie another knot, if needed.


Excerpt from FOOD GIFT LOVE by Maggie Battista. Copyright © 2015 by Maggie Battista. Photography © 2015 by Heidi Murphy. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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