A while back, I was inspired my Elizabeth's blog. She was sick and made some delicious-looking homemade ginger soda. Folks, I'm just going to get this out there now: I love ginger.
I juice most mornings (juice vegetables and fruit, that is. For some reason whenever I tell people at work I've been juicing, they give me a strange look and ask "Like...steroids?" "Yes, thats why I look so incredibly buff", I tell them.) and I always, always always include ginger. It makes the drink zingy like soda and can even disguise the taste of handfuls of turnip greens. My favorite combos are Apple-Carrot-Ginger-Beet and Apple-Carrot-Ginger-Blueberry...but I usually try to sneak some greens in there.
While I'm talking in this vein, I'd like to take the time to encourage you to try "Green Smoothies," a totally satisfying way to start your day with a healthy bang. Just blend frozen fruit with some kind of juice, or even water, honey and lemon juice, and add spinach or another green until the smoothie is a mysterious murky green. If you use spinach I swear you can't taste is and it is so good for you. My favorite combo is Banana-Blueberry-Mango with spinach and orange or apple juice. Carrot Juice-Mango-Spinach is also good.
I'm going to get some pictures in here of these drinks, soon.
All that to say, when I was inspired by the aforementioned Elizabeth's Blog, I dug out some ginger and the vanilla beans that my friend Katie had given me.
I put 1 cup sugar and 1.5 cups water in a pot and added about a 1/3 cup thinly sliced ginger and the split and vanilla bean and the seeds. I boiled the mixture for a half an hour, maybe a bit more, stirring occasionally.
I strained the slightly thickened syrup through a fine strainer and was then ready to use it- mix a couple tablespoons of syrup with club soda and ice.
The vanilla bean makes it incredibly smooth and somehow creamy, and adds very intriguing little black specks to your drink. The ginger shakes things up and adds the necessary ZING.
Plus, the stuff lasts forever. And by that I mean I pulled it out of the fridge 2 weeks after I made it and as far as I could tell it tasted the exact same. In fact, a month and a half later I would probably still be drinking it had Eric not taken the initiative to clean out the fridge recently. It is good to have my measuring cup back.