Cocktail Bars Take On GingerSeptember 10, 2013 By: Kristen Santoro
Ginger had been creating quite the stir this year in varying cocktails across the country. This spicy and sometimes sweet ingredient has been turning good cocktails into truly awe-inspiring ones.
With its versatility and subtle beauty, it’s no wonder this root has been making its mark. According to Technomic’s MenuMonitor database, “ginger mentions have increased by an impressive 65 percent as a flavor in Top 500 specialty drinks, from 65 items in June 2012 to 107 items in June 2013.” The MenuMonitor also showed that ginger has “increased as a flavor most significantly in classic cocktails (92 percent) and original cocktails (61 percent) over the past year.”
With these impressive numbers brands like Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur (growth of 10.2 percent in 2012, according to Technomic’s 2013 SpiritsTAB report) have also seen volume growth. Domaine de Canton just wrapped a national cocktail and culinary tour in cities around the U.S. Since the spring, the brand has been traveling to cities partnering with top chefs and creating a one-night only cocktail and culinary experience where each course, including cocktails, contains a minimum of 1 oz. of Domaine de Canton. The focus of the dinner series was to showcase Domaine de Canton in both food and cocktails as each chef and mixologist created their own unique recipes for each course. The dinners also tie in to their Bartender of The Year competition (info here) and a recipe contest that Domaine de Canton started September 1st (info here).
Beyond the traditional Dark and Stormy, there is some serious sipping that can be done when it comes to ginger cocktails. Ginger adds depth with a sweet and spicy combination and depending on how you use it, the root can soothe or heat things up. With its complex flavors and adaptability, ginger is perfect for adding adept intensity to your fall beverage program.
Tapping into the dessert-like properties of ginger allows you to play off hints of molasses, cinnamon and nutmeg in warm fall libations. Take Northeast Kingdom in Brooklyn for example whose displaying two cocktails on their fall menu that incorporate ginger. The Spiced Toddy made with Cardenal Mendoza Brandy, Ginger-Spice Syrup and Lemon for $10 and The Old Bushwick made with Jim Beam, Angostura Bitters, Ginger Ale and Lime for $8. The Los Angeles gin- and whiskey-forward bar, No Vacancy’s cocktail list was curated by barman Sean Hamilton. He chose a dozen bartenders to contribute recipes for the opening menu and one of them features white rum, lemon and ginger liqueur with a hit of curry.
With so many possibilities, don’t be afraid to mix it up this fall and winter with a ginger-flavored ingredient in your signature cocktail.