Many home fermenters think about gifting festive ferments this time of year. Honey cranberry, honey garlic, honey ginger, and a million combinations thereof. Some start in early November which can allow these ferments to be ready by Thanksgiving (e.g. honey pomegranate), while others may benefit from more time.
As I write this in early December, there’s still some time to do so before Christmas and New Year’s, but with all the hubbub of holiday shopping, cooking, parties, and more, you might be facing a bit of a time crunch. That’s where this ginger syrup comes in.
If time is not a factor, all the better. This ginger simple syrup is extremely versatile, so whoever the recipient is, there should be a good use. It is good in a marinade or as a glaze for meats, served in tea, on breakfast foods, on ice cream, in dressings or soups, and – my personal favorite – for ginger beer “mule” drinks — typically ginger beer with one of the following: vodka, bourbon, rum, or tequila, and lemon or lime wedge.
It is also easy and relatively inexpensive to bump up the ingredients to organic (simply organic ginger and sugar).
As a great complement to these gift ferments, or in the event you’ve run out of time but still want to give a festive food gift with the personal touch, ginger simple syrup (or any simple syrup for that matter) can be ready within an hour (assuming you already have everything you need). It’s also a good option for that friend who is less zealous about fermented foods than you!
This recipe is for one 5 oz. sauce bottle. Just multiply the quantity based on how many you need. Also bear in mind that the cook time will increase proportionally as well, with two bottles requiring nearly double the time to simmer and reduce.
You will need: a small or medium cooking pot; wooden spoon; jar or other receptacle; a 5 oz. sauce bottle, woozy funnel (suggested), fine mesh strainer (such as this)
- 1/4 lb. (4 oz.) of ginger, thin sliced (peeling optional)
- 1 cup clean filtered water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Wash and/or peel the ginger
- Cut into thin slices
- Place the ginger in the pot with the water and sugar
- Set heat to medium, stirring periodically until the sugar has dissolved
- Once dissolved, reduce heat to medium-low for 30-40 minutes, until the consistency of syrup is achieved
- Strain the syrup by removing the ginger and passing the syrup through the mesh strainer (into a jar, bowl, or other vessel) to remove sediment.
- Transfer syrup to sauce bottle with the bottle funnel (or just keep in jar)
- You can discard or choose what to do with the sliced ginger. It is very tasty and can be dehydrated to make candy, used on grilled meats, blended into a marmalade, etc. Please share your ideas!
- If you want to get creative, consider adding other components like mint, orange or lemon zest, cinnamon, cranberries, etc.