Winter Cocktail — Ginger Whiskey Sour

In which I post the third of my experiments with a winter cocktail, all in the name of my monthly missions (#32).

This is the new front runner for the winter cocktail. We’ve had it several times, including tonight.

The first thing you need to do for this is to make a ginger infused simple syrup, which will keep in the fridge. (I keep ours in old frappuccino bottles that we run through the dishwasher. It is a really good size for the batches of simple syrup I make.)

To make the ginger simple syrup:
Get a large piece of fresh ginger and cut it up as finely as you can. You don’t need to peel it. I cut ours into chunks and then ran it through the food processor to get as much surface area as possible. Add sugar and water so that the ginger, sugar, and water are all equal amounts. Put in a tablespoon or so of whole peppercorns. Heat until all the sugar is dissolved and the mixture starts to thicken. Allow to cool and strain the mixture through several layers of cheesecloth, pressing the syrup out of the ginger pulp.

I know this sounds like some work, but it is really worth it. The first night, the ginger syrup is very strong. There is a noticeable drop off in potency after the first day, but no discernible subsequent drops. I made our syrup with a cup of all three ingredients and the syrup lasted us for several rounds of cocktails. I preferred the strength and heat of the first night, while the hubs liked it in its day 2 mellower (and longer-lasting) form.

To make the drink:
In a cocktail shaker, combine 3 parts whiskey, 2 parts lemon juice, and 1 part ginger simple syrup over ice. Shake until the outside of the shaker is frosted. Strain into glasses. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and a piece of candied ginger. (I make it with one part equaling one shot, which yields us two drinks. Adjust your measurements to your own preference; the ratio is what is important here.)

I think this is going to be the one to beat. I’ve got a strong feeling that I’ve found my signature winter cocktail.