From ancient Rome and Greece to India, most of Asia, England and now, even the United States, ginger has become a staple in many people’s diets. Whether it’s being used as a condiment, a spice used to enliven dishes or as a key ingredient in confections (gingerbread and chocolate-covered ginger peel, anyone?) this distinctive plant helps impart a bracing yet pleasing flavor to almost any kind of food.
Of course, ginger is no stranger to the beverage world, either, being an important component of such luscious libations as ginger ale and ginger wine. In Indonesia, a beverage called wedang jahe—from ginger and palm sugar—is particularly popular; the Jamaicans are well known for their fondness for ginger beer (as are the people of Corfu); ginger-flavored teas can be found everywhere from the Philippines to the U.K.; and the French favor a ginger-flavored liqueur called Canton.
However, perhaps the most enjoyable way for Americans to enjoy this singular taste in warmer weather is in cocktails. Belvedere’s new Ginger Zest vodka, which has been created by extracting fragrant oils from pure ginger, spring lemons and grapefruit that have been immersed in Belvedere Vodka, can be a fabulous new addition to your liquor cabinet.
Here are two cocktail recipes from Belvedere that make superb use of this new creation and will add a welcome touch to any spring party, barbecue or other get-together.
- 2 oz. Belvedere Ginger Zest
- ½ oz. lime juice
- ¼ oz. simple syrup
- 5 oz. ginger beer
- 3–4 dashes of Angostura bitters
Whip, shake, dump and top with soda. Garnish with lime wheel.
Ginger Zest Spritz
- 1 oz. Belvedere Ginger Zest
- ¾ oz. lime juice
- ½ oz. honey syrup
- 4 oz. soda water
Build in spritz glass. Garnish with ginger and lime slices.