Seriously wicked pickled ginger syrup

So, we’re a little obsessed with infused simple syrups right now in the Good Booze kitchen. We acknowledge that an intervention may need to be staged at some point, but until then, just look the other way. A little sugar and water never hurt anybody.

You can walk into pretty much any restaurant these days and find a list of fancy cocktails of which at least one will, inevitably, feature a ginger simple syrup. So, we set out to make a standard ginger syrup until suddenly inspired by the giant bowl of fruit and vinegar currently marinating on the kitchen counter (keep an eye out for that recipe soon), which sent us running to the Asian foods section of the local grocery store in search of a jar of pickled sushi ginger.

The resulting syrup is luscious and peppery, with a distinct tang of vinegar. It will take a star turn in The Friday Tipple this week, but, more importantly, it would be amazing drizzled over creamy vanilla ice cream, as a spicy counterpoint to a rich flourless chocolate torte, or added to club soda for a homemade pickled ginger beer. And we’re pretty sure a spoonful of it might just cure the common cold.

Wicked Pickled Ginger Syrup

We used a raw sugar/cane sugar combination with this recipe, to help deepen the flavor and color. For the pickled sushi ginger, we used a piquant organic variety by The Ginger People, not the dyed-pink stuff that you usually see piled up next to the wasabi on your sushi plate. And don’t throw out the ginger pieces after you’ve strained the syrup — it’s candied pickled ginger gold! We put ours in the fridge and think they make a delicious addition to Greek yogurt and ice cream.

1 cup raw turbinado sugar

1 cup cane sugar

2 cups water

1 jar (6.7 ounces) pickled sushi ginger in vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a rolling simmer, stirring constantly, then reduce heat to low and allow to reduce for about 30 minutes, until you get a slightly thickened syrup. Cool in saucepan, then strain into a jar or squeeze bottle. Kept refrigerated, it should last at least three months.