Today, we are going to meet an old friend who is key component to classics such as the Moscow Mule, Penicillin, Dark & Stormy and many other drinks. He gives drinks a unique fresh and tasty touch, holds a certain spice and makes you feel warm from the inside. A real must have for the cold winter days. Fountain of Flavour with a review.
Fountain of Ginger:
Rhizome, what at the first listen may appear like a threatening diseas is actually just the technical term for the subterranean growing plant stem system, ginger belongs to. Ginger – in very simple terms – is nothing but a plant with very tasty roots. In tropical forests it put down its roots, was used as traditional medicine by the Chinese and then discovered by arab traders and brought into the Mediterranean regions where Romans and then later crusaders introduced it to the Central European tribes and ethnicities. Today, rhizome is being cultivated mostly in China, Nigeria, the West-Indies, Japan, Australia, France and South-America. The auxiliary –officinale (which is latin by the way) confirms once more it’s use as medicine. Nowadays, we know it has similar soothing effects like ibuprofen and helps to fight other symptoms, being anti-inflammatory as well.
Flavour of Ginger:
As subterranean this plant might be, it’s flavour luckily is anything but low quality. It is characterized by the fresh and tasty scent and an interesting spicy touch. The compley aroma exists due to several different components that all have the same intensity so that you can’t tell them seperately. Zingiberin for example, is quite stinging and rather sharp and aromatic, whereas Cucurmin gives away a hay-like and fresh odor. The molecule of Farnesan is responsible for the apple-like typical ginger touch. Concerning it spiciness, gingerol and shogaol do all the work. They directly stimulate the tongue since not being volatile. Gingerol insulates at approx. 60.000 Scoville. As a little comparison: Tabasco sauce just has about 2500 Scoville. Depending on it’s origin, the flavour can vary quite significantly. Australian ginger is told to be the one with the most floral-citrus notes whereas jamaican and african ginger is known mostly because of it’s spiciness and amphor-like aroma (relating back to Cardamom). You can buy ginger either as root, dried, ground, candied and pickled. If you use it for cocktails, we recommend you to use fresh rhizomes. A smooth silvery skin can be used as sign of indication.
Function of Ginger:
An advantage concerning the use of ginger is definitely the fact you don’t have to peel it. It’s skin is non-poisonous and rather tasteless but should be cleaned before the consumption. The flavour of ginger can best be dissolved in alcohol at around 122°Fahrenheit. In order to get a good result, we recommend the use of a sous-vide machine. Take about 50gr of fresh ginger for 700ml oft he spirit and let it sit for an hour at 122°Fahrenheit. You can as well easily put it in the shaker though you would need some more of it. Another possibility for transmitting the ginger flavour right into the drink is the production of syrup. You should ground the ginger in little pieces and extract it’s juice before. The longer you let it sit, the faster the spicy character disappears since gingerol becomes shogaol at high temperatures. So keep the tempreature rather down fort he cooking process to maintain the fresh scents. A great pairing for ginger is definitely all sorts of citrus-plants, plums, pears, strawberry but as well other plants or spices. In combination with basil, ginger underlines the fresh and floral aroma. It works great with it’s old buddy cardamom as well. Coriander, cumin seeds, cinnamon an oregano are equally great partners.
Formula of Ginger:
For our drink, we combine ginger and pear in a fresh an light way. First, we infuse some unmatured rum with jamaican ginger and add pear-brandy, lime, sugar, cardamom and a little bit of egg-white.
10ml Willi (Pear-brandy)
20ml simple-syrup (1:1)
1 capsular of green cardamom
1 dash eggwhite
First put the capsular of cardamom into the shaker and lightly muddle it. Then add all other ingredients and ice and give it a good old shake for about 15 seconds. Then fine-strain it into a coupette, spray it with a lime-zeste and garnish with a dried pear. Cheers!
*Take 50gr of fine-cut fresh jamaican ginger at 700ml unmatured rum. Put into a vacuum bag and put it into water-bath at 122°Fahrenheit for one hour. Filter the rum and strain it into a bottle.