A few months ago, I was asked to contribute several Tequila recipes for a collaborative project with Blurb and Feeding America. Blurb is a self-publishing and marketing platform that unleashes the creative genius inside everyone. Blurb’s platform makes it easy to design, publish, promote, and sell professional-quality printed books and ebooks. About Feeding America:
“SAVING GOOD FOOD FROM GOING TO WASTE: In America, we have enough food to feed every man, woman and child, yet 72 billion pounds of safe, edible food goes to waste each year. In fact, an estimated 25 – 40 percent of food grown, processed and transported in the U.S. will never be consumed. And more food reaches landfills and incinerators than any other single material in municipal solid waste.
We work with manufacturers, distributors, retailers, food service companies and farmers to gather food before it goes to waste.”
So pretty much a dream project landed in my lap. Drinking for charity? Sign me up! I don’t know if you all know this, but most recipes that you read in books and magazines— and yes, even some blogs— are made more than a few times to really test the recipe. Who wouldn’t want a bunch of extra test cakes and cookies lying around? This was my thought process when asked to create several Tequila cocktail recipes for “Occasions to Gather”. Recipe creating with copious amounts of Tequila, for “work”, couldn’t not be fun, right...? It was, at first, but sometimes you just want something cocktail -adjacent to drink without ruining the productivity of your entire day. Let’s be real, you aren’t going to get anything done after you have downed a few of the Kimchi Bloody Maria’s or Fiery Fig cocktails (I know this because I tested them both many...many times.)
Or maybe you just don’t like Tequila. That’s ok. This one’s for you.There are also many other non-alcoholic recipes in the book that I can’t wait to make, like a Margarita Cake and Caribbean Pork Tortas.
You can preview the book and purchase it here, through Blurb Books, with proceeds from the book benefiting Feeding America :
HOMEMADE GINGER ALE
recipe by me, from the Occasions to Gather cookbook
Peeling ginger root is a tedious task, but an important step in ensuring your ginger syrup has a deep flavor. Trust me, I tried making it without peeling it a few times to check, and the result was just never as good.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
6-inch piece of ginger root
8 cups water
Juice of one lemon
½ cup sugar
HOW TO MAKE IT:
1. First, you will need to make your ginger syrup. Peel and chop ginger into small cubes about ¼ inch in size
2. In a medium sized saucepan, combine ginger pieces and water.
3. Simmer on low for 45 minutes, watching your pot carefully to ensure that all the water does not evaporate.
4. Cover, and let sit for an additional 25 minutes.
5. Strain mixture using a colander or cheesecloth. You can reserve the ginger pieces for use in ginger tea at a later time, but they don’t have enough flavor to be used to make ginger syrup a second time.
6. Add the ginger liquid back into the saucepan from earlier, and add sugar and lemon juice. Mix thoroughly and frequently so that sugar does not sit in the bottom of the pot and burn. Simmer until sugar is fully dissolved, about 7 minutes.
7. Chill mixture in refrigerator until completely cool.
8. Mix syrup with sparkling water at a 1:1 ratio.