Ginger-Basil Simple Syrup


My love of ginger causes me to experiment with it not only in food, but also in drinks and cocktails.
Tonight I decided to attempt a ginger simple syrup.

1/4 cup thinly sliced or diced fresh ginger
handful of fresh basil
2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar

ginger basil simple syrup 300x225   Ginger Basil Simple Syrup

ginger basil simple syrup

Usually simple syrup is 1 part water to 1 part sugar.  I toned it down in sweetness in order to get more ginger/basil flavoring in the syrup.  This way you can add more syrup without over-sweetening your beverage.

  • Heat the water over the stove in a small sauce pan.
  • Add ginger and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add basil and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes or so.
  • Add the sugar and stir constantly.
  • You may leave the ingredients on the heat for as long as you like while the flavors soak in, so long as the sugar doesn’t burn, so add that last.
  • Remove from heat.

I put mine in a mason jar once cooled and refrigerated it.

Add a few teaspoons or tablespoons to cocktails or even food.  This may be good in or on waffles or as a sweet glaze or salad dressing.

strawberry ginger basil mint cocktail 225x300   Ginger Basil Simple Syrup

strawberry ginger basil mint cocktail

I added it to muddled strawberry, mint, and vodka (or gin) with club soda.  Yum!

June 14, 2011
Drink, Recipe


Cocktail: Strawberry-Lime Tequila


A remix of the Summer of Tequila cocktail, this one involves delicious fresh strawberries.

Ingredients:1-2 strawberries per drink
1/2 lime
Club soda, sprite, or ginger ale

strawberry lime cilantro tequila 225x300   Cocktail: Strawberry Lime Tequila

Strawberry lime cilantro and tequila cocktail

Tequila is delicious with lime.
This cocktail is summery, refreshing, and slightly sweet.

Muddle strawberries and the juice of 1/2 a lime with some fresh cilantro.
Add to tequila, over ice, and top with your fizzy drink of choice: club soda, sprite, or ginger ale.

June 12, 2011
Drink, Recipe


Cocktail: Ginger Fruit Spritzer


Leftover fruit salad?  Check.
Bottle of (cheap?) Champagne? Check.

Now all you need is a bottle of awesome ginger liqueur!  This bottle of Domaine de Canton isn’t the cheapest, at about $30 a bottle, but it goes a long way, and is great for making innovative cocktails.  A little sweet ginger liqueur is also great to spruce up a glass of white wine.

This cocktail really was the result of some leftover fruit salad from a party, combined with my ginger addiction.  It turned out to be delicious!

1 part Canton Ginger Liqueur
2 parts Champagne (or sparkling wine)
spoonful of fruit salad (or any chopped sweet fruits)

Ginger fruit spritzer 300x225   Cocktail: Ginger Fruit Spritzer

Ginger fruit spritzer: Champagne, Ginger Liqueur, fresh fruit

Add all ingredients to a glass.  Optionally garnish with a spring of mint.

Refreshing and slightly sweet!

ginger fruit spritz 225x300   Cocktail: Ginger Fruit Spritzer

Ginger Fruit Spritzer!

May 23, 2011
Drink, Recipe


The Best of Summer Cocktails: Fresh-Mint Mojitos


Mojitos are a quintessential summer cocktailSweet, flavorful, and refreshing, these cocktails are often mixed poorly by bartenders who lack access to fresh ingredients like mint and lime.  Simple syrups, sour mix, and inadequately-muddled mint can turn a good cocktail into a sugary mess.  Learn how to make your own and keep this recipe in your back pocket for summer cookouts.

enjoying mojitos 300x244   The Best of Summer Cocktails: Fresh Mint Mojitos

Enjoying mojitos on the porch

There are a lot of ways to make Mojitos.

If you want a good mojito, it’s not about fancy rum.  It’s about using fresh mint and a little elbow grease.

Here is my tried-and-tested fresh-mint Mojito recipe that has everyone claiming “you didn’t put enough rum in mine” until 5 minutes after they’ve gulped down their first glass.  Most folks don’t make it past two…

Mojito making supplies 300x225   The Best of Summer Cocktails: Fresh Mint Mojitos

Mojito-making supplies: White rum, Fresh Mint, Lime, and Sprite


Ingredients (per glass 8-12 oz glass):

2-3 3″ or longer mint springs with decent-sized leaves (or one long one, obviously.  The more mint, really, the better)
1/3 tsp sugar
1/2 lime, juicedronricorumsilver175   The Best of Summer Cocktails: Fresh Mint Mojitos
1 part (4 oz?) sprite, or sierra mist, or some other lemon-lime soda
1 part (2+ shots worth, as you dare) white rum

I use none other than Ronrico..silver Caribbean rum–just $15.99 at my local liquor store for 1.75L.  Before you judge, try it You’ll go through a lot if you make these Mojitos so you might as well save a few dollars!

  • Use a muddler or mortar & pestle if you have one, or if not, a mug and something to mash the mint with (the handle of a crab mallet has served me well on many occasions).  Add 1/3 tsp sugar and a little squirt of lime to the mint and muddle until thoroughly bruised.
  • Fill a glass with ice (crushed ice is preferable)
  • Fill glass to 1/2 full with rum. Depending on how your ice is arrayed in the glass you’ll get more/less alcohol, so scale according to preference.
  • Juice the rest of the 1/2 a lime into the glass with a citrus juicer.
  • Top with Sprite or other lemon-lime soda
how to make a mojito 300x225   The Best of Summer Cocktails: Fresh Mint Mojitos

How To make a Mojito: Muddle the mint with a little sugar and lime juice



Mojito 225x300   The Best of Summer Cocktails: Fresh Mint Mojitos

MMM mojito

  • After muddling, some of the mint/lime/sugar flavor may be stuck in the container you bruised it in.  Add a splash of soda to that container before pouring the mint mixture into your glass to help transfer more of it.
  • You can twist a Mojito recipe by adding a little muddled cucumber to make it even more refreshing.
  • Add a dash of Chambord or other berry liqueur to sweeten the drink and add a little color
  • The mint is delicious to eat.  But have a friend check your teeth regularly…

Virgin Mojitos:

This drink works out to be delicious even without alcohol.  Substitute club soda, tonic, fizzy mineral water/seltzer, or a combination of all three (depending on how sweet you like your drink).




April 26, 2011
Drink, Recipe


Try it with Almond Milk

Try it with Almond milk 🙂

For years, I have struggled with my lactose intolerance 🙁 Without sharing all of the ugly details, I’ll just say that drinking milk causes some intense gastrointestinal issues.

Because I switched to almond milk, I can enjoy cereal and coffee without bloating and painful stomach issues. Almond milk doesn’t give your coffee the same creamy color as a few splashes of half and half, but it suffices as a milk substitute and it adds a sweet and nutty natural flavor to any dish. I find it much tastier than soy milk. It’s not chalky. It’s super creamy and it serves well in a variety of dishes when a recipe calls for milk or in a glass alongside a delicious sweet treat like cookies or a pastry. I also bake with it. I’ve used almond milk to make vegan alfredo sauce and ice cream.

food 300x225   Try it with Almond Milk

Try it with Almond milk! (or coconut milk!)



Do your research. Some people prefer soy milk and rice milk. I’ve heard about oat milk and hemp milk. They other night, I tried coconut milk in a recipe with a friend. If you have an allergy to dairy products and are searching for milk substitutes, these healthy alternatives might be worth the inquiry.

April 19, 2011
Drink, Food