January 30, 2019 – Next Tuesday, February 5 marks Chinese New Year also known as Lunar New Year throughout Asia. It will usher in the Year of the Pig in the 12-year Chinese zodiac. Like Western New Year, it is a time for celebration and new beginnings. Family get-togethers, special food, firecrackers and gift giving are traditional along with lots of red decorations in the streets, at home and at businesses. Red is considered a lucky color, and gifts of money are given in red envelopes.
As you know, ginger is a popular flavoring in Asian food so naturally a Lemon Ginger Martini seemed a good choice. The honey ginger syrup could also be used creatively in a hot toddy. In fact it could be used in the next recipe, Rooibos Toddy that calls for a small amount of ginger syrup.
Since red is the color of the day, the Rooibos Toddy caught our eye. No, we didn’t know what Rooibos tea was either but we looked it up and it is made from the leaves of a South African bush that can be brewed into a tea that cures everything. We’re not so sure about that but the recipe sounds interesting with the inclusion of HUM Liqueur, which also uses ginger in its ingredients. Plus it is a warm drink for a cold evening.
And for the time-challenged, there’s nothing easier than combining a very good rum with ginger beer to create a Mule. The classic Havana Club Rum Mule is a good reason to dust off those copper Mule mugs stashed at the back of the highest cupboard. Or just serve it in a highball glass. It is Tuesday night after all.
Lemon Ginger Martini
2 parts Reyka Vodka
1 part lemon juice
¾ part honey ginger syrup* (recipe below)
Candied ginger for garnish
Method: Briefly shake all the ingredients in a tin with ice, just to chill but not dilute the ingredients. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with candied ginger.
*Ginger simple syrup: Add 2 cups of water to saucepan at medium heat. Add 2” chopped ginger. Add 1 cup agave/honey. Stir to combine. Simmer for 1 hour stirring occasionally. Allow to cool then strain.
1 part Facundo Eximo Rum
1 ½ parts Hot Rooibos Tea
¼ part Ginger Syrup
¼ part HUM Liqueur
Lemon wedge or wheel for garnish
Method: Combine ingredients in a Hot Toddy Glass. Stir gently until syrups are properly diluted. Garnish with a Lemon wedge or wheel.
Havana Club Rum Mule
1 part Havana Club Añejo Clásico Rum
2 parts chilled ginger beer
2 lime wedges
2 dashes aromatic bitters
Method:Fill highball glass or Mule mug with ice and squeeze in lime wedges. Pour in Havana Club Añejo Clásico rum and ginger beer. Complete by adding a dash of bitters and stir gently.