Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Lime and ginger cordial and summer gimlets (cordial and cocktail recipe)

let's talk about cooking again, or to be more accurate, let's talk about cocktails.

My drink of choice has been a gin and tonic since I was an undergraduate. Over the past year however, I have become fond of the dragonfly which is gin, ginger ale and a squeeze of lime. Over the summer though while poking around for another delicious looking gin cocktail I came across the great gimlet debate.

I will admit I've never had a gimlet before but when I was reading over a list of gin cocktails it jumped out at me as sounding particularly tasty, and rather historical.

The debate around this particular old school cocktail however is whether you absolutely need to use Rose's sweetened lime juice. Mostly because according to some it tastes of the bottle it comes in plus the preservatives used to give it its shelf life. Some people recommended making your own lime sour and intrigued I started looking at recipes.

The winner of my afternoon's research was this recipe for lime and ginger cordial which can be used instead of Rose's to make a really, really delicious gimlet.

The recipe is simple and inexpensive, really, the most expensive part of the entire thing is the gin. 

One Saturday afternoon I went to my local Trader Joe's and came back with a whole lot of limes and a piece of ginger root and set about making some cordial.

I used:
10 limes
one 4 inch piece of ginger root
2 cups sugar

a vegetable peeler
a glass pitcher or canning jar with lid
a fine mess strainer
a food processor or blender
a cutting board
a pairing knife
a lemon juicer or small spoon
several small bowls

Scrub all your limes thoroughly.

Then peel all the limes with a vegetable peeler. The article says to be careful not to peel any of the while as well but I found it was actually easier just to peel the skin without gauging at the white so no problems there. put the peels in a bowl and set aside.

Then cut the limes in half and juice them. I used a spoon, but a juicer would be a much, much better idea. I got about 2 cups of lime juice out of them.

The article says to use a glass container with a lid. I have a glass pitcher with a lid my parents gave me for Christmas but a large canning jar would work just as well. 

Pour the lime juice into the jar and then crush the peels between your hands to release the oils and add them as well.

Next wash your piece of ginger, trimming off any bad spots, and put it in a food processor. The article says you don't need to peel it so I didn't and it turned out fine.  Pulse chop the ginger until it is ground finely and add that to the lime juice and peel.

Add the sugar a cup at a time, stirring until all the sugar has been dissolved. Because the liquid is cold this will take a while. I actually sat down and watched an episode of Miss Marple while I was stirring the sugar in. It will incorporate eventually though.

What you end up with will look like this:

Put into the refrigerator and let sit for 12 to 24 hours.

After it has sat use a fine mesh strainer and strain out all of the pulp and peels from the cordial. Put the liquid that remains back into the glass container and refrigerate again for another 12 to 24 hours.

At the end you will end up with this:

I had just about 2 cups of cordial when all was said and done.

You can use the cordial and mix it with seltzer water to make a delicious non-alcoholic drink  or you can used it as your base for an amazing gin gimlet.

For the gimlet I used:
2 shots gin
1 shot cordial
top it off with lime seltzer and a lime wheel (optional) 

Add two ice cubes, gin, and cordial to a cocktail shaker, shake well, and pour into cocktail glass. Add seltzer and lime wheel if you are so inclined and enjoy. I usually keep the ice cubes in the glass to keep my gimlet cold but that too is completely up to your preference.

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