A summery cocktail that pairs fresh ginger and mint with your favorite Prosecco for a refreshing treat!
Is it just me or does it seem like the seasons kind of crawl along and then all of sudden it’s like a switch is flipped, and boom, you are in that season? We’ve been having spring in little bits and bursts and then it seems like I woke up and it was summer! Blue Skies. Hot sun. Mosquitoes. Weeds. Wow, that list went from good to bad in a hurry, didn’t it? I don’t want to come off as a negative Nelly, but summer is not really my favorite season. I like the concept of summer: lazy days, children laughing and playing, the drone of the lawn mowers in the early evening, fireflies.
I hate heat, though. I hate the ripples of heat rising off of pavements, that rush of it when you open your car door, the humidity so high it’s hard to breathe. But I’ve discovered a remedy. Something to make the summer bearable. Summer cocktails. Is there any better time for a tall ice filled glass of something sparkling? Something sparkling with hints of mint and ginger. Bubbles that tickle your nose and suddenly it feels ten degrees cooler. I’m talking about a mint ginger spritzer – this is summer relief in a glass.
I found Thai Basil-Ginger Spritzer in the latest issue of Cooking Light. I don’t even have my basil planted yet (see first paragraph explaining the whole season switch phenomenon), but then I saw that you could use mint or cilantro instead. I ran around to the side of the house to check my mint bed and saw that it was well aware that summer had begun. Sweet.
First you make a simple syrup infused with ginger, mint and kaffir lime leaves (I buy them from a market when I’m in Atlanta and keep bagfuls of them in the freezer). Then you make a quick run to the liquor store and pick up a bottle of prosecco, I found Secco Italian Bubbles from Charles Smith Wines (I’ll be reviewing it later.) In a short time, and hardly any work later, you have one fantastic cocktail. Hello summer. I think I love you.
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons sliced peeled fresh ginger
- 2 mint sprigs, plus a few extra leaves
- 2 kaffir lime leaves
- 3 cups prosecco or other sparkling white wine
- 6 lime wedges
- Combine the water and the sugar in a small saucepan. Heat to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the mint sprigs, lime leaves, and ginger. Cover and let it steep for 10 minutes. Then strain out the solids and store in a jar or bottle.
- Place 1/2 cup crushed ice in each of 6 glasses. Add a few mint leaves to each glass and stir to bruise them a bit. Add 2 tablespoons of the simple syrup mixture, 2 tablespoons of the simple syrup mixture, and one lime wedge. Stir gently.
- Serve immediately. Save the rest of the simple syrup for another cocktail!
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