The best ginger drinks for a burning pick-me-up this winter

The best ginger drinks for a burning pick-me-up this winter

I love ginger and am never outside in my kitchen, ready to chop or grate into countless dishes, as well as lots of ground ginger and (luckily) a jar of stalked ginger in a wonderful delicious syrup. I enjoy ginger drinks abundantly, especially at this time of year when the peppery heat of the spice is especially welcome.

A shot of classic ginger wine – Stone’s is the most well-known brand, but there are others, including affordable supermarket brands – is a cheerful winter winner.

Play with it, mix equal parts with whiskey for a Whiskey Mac, make a hot toddy by adding just boiled water, a clove or two and a slice of lemon to it, or fill up a small shot with dry soda for an instant sweet sparkling cocktail.

If you like it too and would like to turn up the spice heat, I encourage you to spray out a bottle of the glorious King’s Ginger Liqueur below, one of my favorite winter drinks.

Made by wine merchant Berry Bros & Rudd, it’s the kind of elixir that fits to sit by the fire after a cold afternoon hike. It warms the heart mussels like almost nothing else – my taste note is below.

However, I came across a non-alcoholic equivalent recently in the form of Gimber Organic Ginger Concentrate, a powerful blend of ginger root with lemon, spices and herbs. It is made in Belgium and is now for sale here through Trouva, Planet Organic and others, from £ 14.95 for 200ml. Dilute with water, preferably sparkling, to taste – a little enough, and it is dry, so it may be a good idea to sweeten it.

As for the usual ginger softeners and blenders, I recommend the London Essence Company’s Perfectly Spiced Ginger Beer (commonly available, £ 1.85 / 500ml), which is cloudy with a proper hint of spice and balanced sweetness, perfect in itself and even better blended with dark room. Bottle Green’s Ginger & Lemongrass Cordial, see below, is also a winner.

Then there are ginger shots – small bottles, 70-100ml, with fresh ginger juice mixed with citrus juice. I tried Waitrose’s Ginger Shot (£ 1.50 / 100ml) and the following recently and enjoyed both – especially as a breakfast drink with porridge.

And then for tea, and ginger is a great base because of its pure flavor. My current favorite is the fresh Twinings Superblends Defense (widely available, £ 1.35 / 20 bags), which combines ginger with white hibiscus, lemon and echinacea on a green tea base.

I also make my own gingerbread using three slices of peeled, fresh ginger, crushed a little to release the juice, a star anise and a short cinnamon stick, all in a cup, with boiling water and let it steep for four minutes.

Remove the spices and add a blob of honey, or for more spicy-sweet delight, a blob of syrup from the jar of stemmed ginger.

Try these …

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