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A Ginger Quick-step 

by Sheila Swerling-Puritt

Ah, ginger – not Ginger Rogers; I'm referring to the perfect spice when autumn turns chilly which, like Ms. Rogers, also does a sophisticated quick step across your palate.

Ginger, the rhizome (not the root) of a perennial creeping plant grown in South Asia, East Africa and the Caribbean, has an impressive résumé.

Ginger has long been used for its medicinal properties. Some say it has aphrodisiac power. It's an effective digestive aid and curbs motion sickness. It's saved my lunch more than once when I've gone sailing. (Though a friendly sailor tells me to give it a miss if you have gallstones.)

Ginger is best known for its role in cooking, where it sparks up gingerbread, ginger carrot soup, ginger tea and a host of other delicious dishes. Buy fresh ginger whenever possible for the freshest taste. Fresh ginger can be kept for several weeks in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator.

In liquid form it's the base flavouring for ginger ale, ginger beer and even ginger wine. It's also wonderful in cocktails which are unusual but just perfect for entertaining.

Domaine De Canton, an intense ginger liqueur, is back on our liquor board shelves in a distinctive frosted bamboo-shaped bottle. The original recipe, which comes from Indochine, infuses hand-cut baby ginger with Cognac and other eaux-de-vie. It has hints of vanilla, honey ginseng and Cognac.

Domaine de Canton partners well with Sake and apple-flavored drinks during the upcoming entertaining season. Just a splash in sparkling wine or Hendricks Gin garnished with cucumber makes your cocktail extraordinary. Sake and apple are reliable partners to the sweet spiciness of ginger.

Here are a few spicy recipes for ginger-based mixed drinks to keep you warm as the evenings grow cooler.

 

 

French Ginger Snap

  • 2 parts Domaine De Canton
  • 1 part vodka
  • ½ part fresh lemon juice
  • Splash Triple Sec
  1. Blend over ice.
  2. Shake well and pour into a cocktail glass.

 

Whisky Mac

  • 1½ oz. Scotch whisky
  • ¾ oz. Stone's Ginger Wine
  • Garnish: apple slice dusted with sugar and nutmeg
  1. Place ice cubes into an Old Fashioned glass.
  2. Pour Scotch and ginger wine over ice.
  3. Garnish.

 

Ginger-Lime Quencher

Makes approximately 3 pints

  • 2 pints ginger beer, chilled
  • ½ pint lime juice cordial (undiluted)
  • Ice cubes
  • Garnish: Fresh mint leaves
  1. Prepare this cocktail just before you wish to serve it.
  2. Combine ginger beer and lime juice, add ice cubes. Mix well.
  3. Pour into highball glass. Garnish.
     

 

For more information, you can contact Sheila at spuritt@hotmail.com.

 

 

 

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