Last time, we were telling you about the amazing ginger bitters and bitter ginger liqueur we made. Now it’s time to put these ingredients to work in some interesting cocktails. First of all, the ginger bitters work great in simple drinks like an old fashioned or champagne cocktail. But we made time to try some more complex ideas and came up with a few winners.
Ginger is associated with the Caribbean, and we just knew our bitters would be great in virtually any rum drink. Most rum drinks involve citrus (usually lime juice), and many are sugar bombs. We wanted to get away from those patterns and create something in a little more of a classic, pre-prohibition style.
- 2 ounces of a good aged rum (we used Flor de Caña 12-year. We recommend you use something aged at least 8 years)
- 1/2 ounce Luxardo maraschino liqueur
- 1/2 teaspoon absinthe
- 5-6 strong dashes of the ginger bitters
Add ingredients to a mixing glass filled 3/4 with ice. Stir and then strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime twist, because rum and lime really are inseparable.
We also just knew these bitters would go well with bourbon. We chose Maker’s Mark because its sweet, wheat-heavy flavor would counter the ginger spice better than a bourbon that uses rye, which is already spicy itself. We used Sandeman tawny port with this, which is pretty good stuff. We can’t guarantee the same results with a cheaper port like Warre’s, but there’s only a small amount, and it really serves to bind the other flavors together. Just make sure it’s a tawny port and not ruby.
- 2 ounces of Maker’s Mark bourbon
- 1/4 ounce St. Germain elderflower liqueur
- 1/4 ounce tawny port
- 3-4 strong dashes of ginger bitters
Add ingredients to a mixing glass filled 3/4 with ice. Stir and then strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Just to shake things up a little bit (that’s some bartender humor for you there), here’s a variation on the classic martini that uses my bitter ginger liqueur.
The Ginger Avenger
- 2 ounces London dry gin – we used regular Bombay
- 1/2 ounce bitter ginger liqueur
- 1/2 ounce Cocchi Americano
- splash lemon juice
Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a sliver of ginger root.