The Mixology Talk Podcast, Episode Twenty Four
Ever had a drink that was just “meh”? Here are some “Secret Ingredients” to take any drink and make it great!
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In today’s Episode…
Today we’re going to talk about some ingredients that might just make your cocktail go from good to great!
Carbonated ingredients can make a huge difference to drink that’s falling flat. You use your own homemade ginger beer, some Prosecco, or even create your own sodas to use by creating your own carbonating rig!
Cocktail bitters are well known, but I think it’s worth emphasizing that they really can make a big difference. If your drink just needs “something” and you can’t place it – it might just be bitters! (Did you catch our episode a couple weeks ago about bitters?)
3. Egg Whites
I know some people are put off by the idea of a raw egg white in their cocktails, but I suspect after tasting the drink they’d come around. Egg whites are a great way to take your drink to the next level – both in taste and appearance. If you are going to use egg whites, be sure to use them safely!
4. Citrus Oil
Whether or not you’re using citrus to garnish your cocktail, it’s almost always a good idea to squeeze a peel of citrus to express the oils across the top of the drink. In fact, we’re having a hard time thinking of a drink that wouldn’t benefit from a spritz of citrus oil. Can you think of any? Definitely let us know!
We’re Drinking the Cheater Ginger Beer
- 2 cups (about 10 ounces) coarsely chopped, peeled fresh ginger
- 3 strips lemon peel (about 4 inches each), yellow part only
- 1-1/2 cups (about) sugar
- 3 quarts chilled club soda
- Ice cube
- Place ginger, lemon peel, and 4 cups of water in a 4-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Simmer at a low boil, uncovered, for about 10 minutes.
- Add sugar, stirring constantly, and continue to boil until reduced to about 3 cups, another 15 minutes.
- Place a fine wire strainer over a large bowl. Pour in ginger mixture to separate solids from liquid. Discard the lemon peel. Save those ginger pieces as well. I’m going to try my hand at making candied ginger with the left over pieces.
Allow the syrup to cool and pour your ginger concentrate into a glass container and store in the fridge. If you add an ounce of vodka to the syrup, it will stay good for 2-3 weeks.
Stuff we Mentioned:
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Let us know your “secret ingredients” that you use in your cocktails! Hit us up on the comments below!
I only recently discovered your podcast. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge! I started with the first episode and am now up to this one (#24). Buying ginger beer can sometimes be a problem for me. Jamaican-style ginger beer is always available where I live and for drinking straight, I love that style. But my favorite highball is the Dark and Stormy and for me, a Jamaican-style ginger beer overwhelms the Gosling rum. The Gosling company used to recommend using the milder Bermuda style Barritt’s ginger beer. That made for a great Dark and Stormy, but Barritt’s would disappear from local shelves for months if not years. Then Gosling started producing their own Bermuda style ginger beer. But before they did, I started becoming a real DIY kind of guy (bitters, liqueurs, tonic syrup, cordials…you name it and point me to a recipe and I’ll try it). A good ginger beer recipe has so far eluded me. By good I mean, being in the Bermuda style, not having a procedure more complex than making wine and having a reasonable shelf life. After trying a couple of recipes with no carbonation which I think a Dark and Stormy needs, I’m fairly certain that making a ginger syrup and adding club soda is path to success. In the spectrum of ginger beer extremes, where do you think your recipe falls? Is adapting a recipe that produces a Jamaican style product simply a matter of reducing the amount of ginger?
Hey Randy! Yep, I would say so – if you’re looking to tone it down a bit, you could reduce the ginger in the syrup or reduce the syrup overall, compensating with soda water and that should allow you to find the balance you like. The best part is you can add the soda water right when you’re making your drink – so you could add less for drinking the ginger beer on its own, or more if it’s going in a dark & stormy!
While I haven’t tried it, I suspect this ginger syrup may last forever in the freezer – it has enough sugar not to freeze, which means you can still use it instantly, but you don’t have to worry about it going bad 🙂
Great tips! Thanks.