13 April 2013

Whiskey Gingers + Candied Ginger Root

I have never liked ginger ale.  But when I chanced upon the phrase "Whiskey Ginger," I felt a connection.  What if, just what if, there was more to this story than just store-bought ginger ale?  My local grocery has started stocking ginger root within the past year.  It was time to add a new favorite drink to my repertoire.
Start with ginger. It's an oddly shaped, stringy root.  Usually by the time they hit the store they've been well-cleaned (maybe even too well-cleaned...).
The recipe calls for 2 cups of fresh ginger.  The root I bought was .75 lbs and ended up being just over 2 cups (skinned and sliced).  A vegetable peeler worked really well to skin it, then I just sliced it with a knife.  A mandolin would also be appropriate if you're looking for thin, uniform slices.
Bring two cups of sugar and one cup of water to a boil.  As soon as it starts to boil, add the sliced ginger.  Simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Let it cool a bit, then strain the ginger slices out of the syrup.
Rinse the ginger root slices in water, then pat dry.  Toss them with sugar and lay them out on wax paper for about 24 hours (depending on slice thickness).
The candied ginger root is very strong, and I recommend nibbling a small piece at first so that you know what you're up against.  It's spicy, sort of the way cinnamon candies can be hot and spicy.
On to the drink portion of this week's post!
The fun part....  Add 1 shot of whiskey and 2 (large) tablespoons of ginger syrup to a glass.
Add about one cup of club soda (sparkling water).  Stir to combine.  Garnish with a piece of candied ginger.
It tastes like summer...and almost makes up for the fact that all the snow here melted, and today it's all back again.  This drink is good enough that I would drink it WITHOUT the whiskey.  Then it's just homemade ginger ale - no HFCS, no aspartame, no chemicals.  Just ginger, sugar, and sparkling water.

Candied Ginger Root + Whiskey Gingers (inspired by this)

  • 2 cups skinned, sliced ginger root (roughly .75 lbs whole ginger root)
  • 2 cups + .5 cups sugar (I used raw, which made my syrup darker)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 shots whiskey
  • 2 cups sparkling water
1.  Bring 1 cup of water and 2 cups of sugar to a boil.  Just as it starts to boil, add the ginger root.  Simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Let cool.
2.  Drain off the syrup and reserve for later.  Rinse the ginger root in water then pat dry.  Toss with half a cup of sugar until well-coated.  Lay the candied ginger pieces out on waxed paper for 24 hours to dry.
3.  Make the drinks:  for each drink, use 2 large tablespoons of syrup, 1 shot of whiskey, and 1 cup of sparkling water.
4.  Keep remaining syrup refrigerated.
This is the perfect drink for a hot summer day...or even a cold winter day when you need to be reminded of what summer is like.


  1. wow!
    I love whiskey and ginger ale (my favorite drink ever) - but this one takes the cake - thanks for the information!

    1. Thanks! I hope you try it - this is a whole different kind of ginger ale :)