Street recipe: Canton ginger kick

ON THE MENU AT STREET: These ginger cocktails pack a punch.
ON THE MENU AT STREET: These ginger cocktails pack a punch.
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Total time: 12 minutes, plus cooking and drying time for the candied ginger and syrup

Servings: 2 cocktails

Note: Canton Ginger Liqueur and Charbay Vodka can be found at good liqueur stores. The candied ginger recipe yields more powdered candied ginger than is required for the recipe. Store the powder in a sealable plastic bag in a cool, dry place; it should keep for several weeks. The recipe also yields more candied ginger than is needed for the recipe; the syrup will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.

Ginger syrup and candied ginger

1/2 pound peeled ginger, sliced crosswise, very thinly

2 cups water

2 cups sugar

1. Heat the oven to 200 degrees. Place the ginger, water and sugar in a medium, heavy-bottom saucepan and stir gently to moisten the sugar. Place the pan over medium-low heat and cook for 30 minutes to allow the ginger to steep as the sugar dissolves; watch that the sugar does not color or burn. Remove from the heat and drain, reserving the candied ginger pieces.

2. Allow the syrup to cool, then cover and refrigerate until needed. This recipe makes about 2 1/2 cups of ginger syrup.


3. To dry the candied ginger, spread the pieces out in a single layer on a parchment- or silpat-lined baking sheet. (To use the candied ginger as a garnish, thread a few pieces each on bamboo skewers or toothpicks and place the skewers on the sheet.) Place the sheet in the oven and bake for 1 hour. Turn the oven off but leave the sheet inside and allow the ginger to dry out overnight.

4. Powder the dried candied ginger by placing the slices in a spice or coffee grinder and grinding them to a fine powder. Store in a sealable plastic bag until needed.

Cocktail and assembly

Ginger powder

1 lemon wedge plus 1 ounce lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon), divided

1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into thin rounds

3 ounces ginger liqueur, such as Canton

2 ounces vodka, such as Charbay

1 teaspoon ginger-infused syrup

Splash of soda or sparkling water

2 quarters fresh lemon (or lemon twist for those who like less citrus) for garnish

Candied ginger on bamboo skewers or toothpicks for garnish

1. Place the ginger powder onto a shallow dish or small plate. Wipe the rim of two double-rocks glasses with the lemon wedge, then turn each glass over onto the ginger powder to evenly coat the rim.

2. Divide the lemon juice and fresh ginger slices evenly between the two glasses. Muddle or gently crush the ginger well in each glass. Add ice to each glass and pour over the ginger liqueur and vodka. Top each glass with a splash of soda and stir once.

3. Garnish the rim of each glass with a lemon quarter or twist and candied ginger skewer. Serve immediately.

Each serving: 224 calories; 0 protein; 21 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 0 grams fat; 0 cholesterol; 3 mg. sodium.