I really enjoy drinking an occasional cocktail; I do it about once a month, maybe every two months. It almost always happens on a special occasion and always with friends. I'm particularly fond of those big full-bodied over priced cabernets from theNapa valley. And I love Cosmopolitans; a straight martini is too hard for me to get down - unless it's dirty! But my new love is the Ginger Limeade.
Something you should know is I only drink the good stuff; I don't want to spend a single moment feeling awful after a couple of drinks. Since I rarely imbibe the cost is not a big problem. In fact I have a large bottle of Ketel One in my cupboard; I bought it over a year ago and it's still over half full!
A few months ago I had lunch with my good friend Carol at the Slanted Door in San Francisco.It's located in the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero, which is a very cool place to go if you're a foodie. There is a farmer's market outside and inside there are restaurants, food stores, including a chocolate store, as well as a mushroom store and much more. It's really fun and only one block from the BART train station. So - the Slanted Door is Pan-Asian, trendy, busy (reservations are a must) and the food is very good and not ridiculously expensive. Ah, and the bar... I had a ginger limeade and was wowed! Ginger and lime go incredibly well together, and already being a fan of that flavor combination, I was immediately hooked. Nothing less than two more would do, and Carol and I had lots of fun being happy silly drunks (I didn't fall down or drop a single thing, and I didn't drive until much later in the day).
We asked the bartender how to make this elixir of the asian gods and she graciously shared. She also garnished our drinks with crystallized ginger candy, a very tasty tidbit.
1 oz fresh lime juice (equiv one lime)
1/4 oz Cointreau
3/4 oz ginger syrup
1 1/2 oz Hangarone lime vodka
Use only excellent ingredients. You'll thank me. You will need a martini shaker, plus a glass mini shot measure is way helpful. Cointreau is an orange liqueur; I'm sure Gran Marnier, an equally quality liqueur would be fine.
Ginger syrup is simple syrup infused with fresh ginger: simmer equal parts organic sugar and pure water, ie. 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water, with at least 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh ginger. Simmer 5 minutes, remove from heat. Let cool completely, strain into a container such as a squeeze bottle or anything suitable for pouring. You can make it the day before. Hangarone is a fine vodka; however I have oodles of Ketel One. So I poured vodka (no I didn't measure, about 2 cups I guess) into a quart jar and added the zest (just the "green" not the bitter "white") of two limes and covered. Make this a couple days in advance to get the lime essence into the spirits.
Finally, agave nectar is becoming a popular syrup for mixed drinks. I've been reading up on infusing it with herbs, ginger, etc. so I'm going to play around with it. Using agave nectar could bring down the calorie count a bit as well as the glycemic index, but still not acceptable for diabetics.