Glass rimmed wih Homemade Ginger-Sugar
You might be asking yourself: What does Ginger-Sugar have to do with preserving?
My answer: A lot!
You can't make Ginger-Sugar without Candied Ginger* (also known as Crystallized Ginger). Just thinking about it makes my mouth water...it happens to be one of my favorite things!
Ginger is delicious fresh -- true -- but when it is preserved through the method of candying, it's flavor is concentrated in the very best possible way. The unique taste of Candied Ginger can best be described as powerfully spicy & intensely sweet at the same time, with a pleasant firm and sometimes chewy texture.
I have used Crystallized Ginger in baking, like in ginger snaps & cheesecake crusts, to mention a couple of it's best uses. I've also used it in chutney recipes, like Pear Chutney and Cranberry~Jalapeno Chutney, but I think it's usefulness goes way beyond baking and chuntneys.
I decided to take my love for ginger one step further by making Ginger-Sugar for rimming glasses. Creating Ginger-Sugar is simple. All you need to do is put a few chunks of Candied/Crystallized Ginger in a mini-food processor along with a cup of sugar and whirrrr away. Beautiful!
Sparkling sugar with flecks of gold (candied ginger) in it.
Not only is it lip-smacking good on the rim of a beverage, it adds another level of deliciousness when I bring it out when I'm baking cookies. Try rolling a ball of Ginger Snap (or Sugar Cookie) dough in it before baking!
Here's the bar set-up last Sunday with Ginger-Sugar, and a few other things:
*Brooklyn Cocktail: Run a lemon wedge around the rim of a glass, and dip it into Ginger-Sugar, add a shot of Absolut "Brooklyn" (Red Apple & Ginger) Vodka, a generous splash of apple juice, and top off with ginger ale. Add the lemon wedge you used for the rim of the glass!
Speaking of cocktails, When I set up our bar, it's just one more chance for me to share my passion for preserving (besides the Ginger-Sugar for rims). I like to set out bottles of homemade syrups, bitters, liqueurs and infusions. One way to make a cocktail or mocktail more interesting is to add a couple spoonfuls of Ginger Syrup, which is incredibly easy to make yet tastes pretty darn fancy.
*You can find Candied/Crystallized Ginger in the Baking aisle or Bulk Foods section of your favorite grocery store, or you can make it by using one of the recipes found by clicking on the link above!
Crystallized Ginger prices are sky-rocketing!
Buy some fresh ginger and make your own today. It keeps practically forever....