If we were musicians, we'd write a torch song about ginger and lemon, a match made in heaven. And though we've been drinking fresh lemonade as long as we can remember (Coca-Cola was taboo at 83 East Bay Street), we never thought to make a cold fresh-ginger lemonade until recently. Now we're making up for lost time. This drink is easy to make, super-refreshing, and happens to be a kick-ass mixer with bourbon and tequila, so those of you who are of age should mix up the Ginger Lemon Drop and the Lemon Gingerita variations that follow.
2 ounces fresh ginger, peeled, cut into thin disks (1/3 cup)
1/4 cup honey, or more to taste
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 4 large lemons)
1. Put the ginger in a medium heatproof bowl. Bring 2 cups cold water to a boil, then pour it into the bowl and stir to agitate the ginger. Slowly pour in the honey, stirring until it's dissolved in the concentrate. Add the salt, cover, and let steep for 10 minutes.
2. Strain the concentrate into a large pitcher (it will keep for 5 days, covered, in the refrigerator), reserving the ginger slices. Add 3 cups cold water and the lemon juice to the pitcher, and sweeten to taste with honey. Set the pitcher in the refrigerator to cool further; store the ginger slices in the refrigerator as well. (The lemonade and ginger slices will keep in the refrigerator for 5 days.)
Note: If, after making Ginger Lemonade, you'd like to sweeten the lemonade further without adding more honey flavor, add superfine sugar to taste.
3. Fill each highball or pint glass two-thirds of the way to the rim with ice, and pour the ginger lemonade over it. Garnish with a slice of the steeped ginger.
Reprinted from The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern: Knockout Dishes with Down-Home Flavor by Matt and Ted Lee. Copyright © 2009 Published by Clarkson Potter. Featured on the December 12, 2009 episode
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