I travel a lot for my work and I get car sick, so ginger (and after a long meeting, sometimes booze) is a dear dear friend.
Growing up, my mother was the sort of mom who carried crystallized ginger on long trips rather than NyQuil. I grew up around a lot of herbalist practices, but this was one of the most delicious. The sugar the ginger was crystallized in made it a spicy-sweet treat, but it was the ginger that was the most useful. Which makes sense — ginger has been used for a long time in treating nausea. (It’s also been used to fight off inflammation.)
To this day, I keep ginger products around. I cook with powdered ginger, keep regular ginger root around, have ginger teas, and I even like ginger brandy. When I cut most sodapop out of my diet for health reasons, cocktails excluded, I kept ginger ale around for the okay list when eating out or flying. Crystallized ginger, though, is the one that gets kept next to the hot chocolate in my kitchen and in my purse during trips. Beyond the obvious properties, and the fact that it eats like candy, it has some sentimental value for me.
Today we’ll be mixing up a drink with a triple dose of ginger. It’s not terribly complex, which makes it great for when you get home from a long trip and are totally drained. I love the spicy sweetness of it. Feel free to tweak the amounts — more alcohol when you need it, less when you don’t, or even add simple syrup if you need a sweeter drink. I’m calling it the Gi³ or Gi cubed (thanks for the brain storming, Sara!) and really hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
You Will Need:
- 2 shots Ginger Brandy (2 parts)
- a can of Ginger Ale (3-4 parts)
- Some Crystallized Ginger
- a tall glass
- ice (optional)
- a straw (optional) or agitating tool
- In a nice, tall glass add in a little bit (not too much!) of ice. I used some yellow submarine reusable ice cubes— aside from the fun factor, the color coordination really works for this drink. If you don’t like ice, or have pre-chilled the brandy and the ginger ale, you can skip this step.
- Pour the two shots of Ginger brandy over the ice. I used Jacquin’s Ginger Flavored Brandy, though if you have access to something with a decent amount of ginger in it, I encourage you to try that instead. I love Jacquin’s both taste and affordability wise, but there’s definitely a difference between something being ginger-flavored and something having a substantial amount of ginger.
- Agitating as you go, slowly pour in the ginger ale up to about where ever you like the top of your glass to be so you don’t spill it. It’s best if you use a brand, again, with real ginger in it, but you can also use whatever’s cheap like I did. (I might also be cheap and easy — perhaps this drink is more meaningful than I thought?) This might also come out to about 3-4 shots depending on your glass and tastes. If you are prone to the foaming issue, tilt your glass a little so that the stream of ginger ale hits the side of the glass and swirls down rather than directly into the other soda. While this trick isn’t 100%, it’s a very useful one to know.
- Once you are satisfied, get a large-ish piece of crystallized ginger. Tear it just enough so it will stick on the edge of your glass, but will not fall into halves. Stick on the edge of your glass. Take smaller pieces and add them to the top of your drink. As you sip it, they will slowly fall to the bottom and will add some extra fizzing to the bottom of your glass. And bonus — at the end, you’ll have some booze-soaked ginger to fish out. Not sure where to get it? I’ve seen it in grocery stores, but if you have a bulk foods or “natural” foods store, you might have a better chance of finding it. If in doubt, think where your granola-munching aunt or Deadhead brother would shop and try there.
- Add your straw if you like, tidy up any spills, and serve.