- Food and Cooking
Raspberry & Ginger Refresher
Raspberries and summertime are high on my list of favorite things. This fresh tangy fruit combined with the heat from the sun takes be back to some of the best times of my life. My fondest memories are of summer with family. I loved spending time with my grandparents. Not only were they influential in nurturing me, all of my grandmothers taught me the love of spending time in the kitchen. Often, I reflect on the summers of my youth. I think of my favorite things: grandparents, their gardens, cooking and the warmth of family.
I loved waking up early in the morning to pick the fruits to have them ready for breakfast table. What made the morning so special is when Grandfather and I would make a point of eating one bowl of raspberries before we went into the house. We learned about each other while we were sitting on the back porch just chatting about life. It was our bonding time. It was a time for making memories.
Now, every summer, I looked forward to fresh raspberries for a summer treat. The sweet but tart juicy flavor brings me back to the crisp mornings in southern Idaho sitting on the porch. While I live on the east coast, the enjoyment of berries in the morning is one of my favorite things. In the mid-atlantic area, the days are hot and humid. Summer can be brutally warm. I look forward to the cool refeshing beverage that brings me back to a cool breeze and a loving conversation.
Raspberries are usually in season during the mid-summer season. They add vibrant color and a zing to many foods. You may add raspberries to salads, entrees and even make great desserts with this fruit.
There are some people in my life that have not learned to love the raspberry like I have. My husband's adversion to the fruit is due to the multiple seeds they have in them. However, I have found that if I create a great raspberry sauce or beverage, I need to strain it well to avoid the seeds. My husband has found that he can enjoy the flavor without the pitfall of the seeds getting between his teeth.
This Raspberry Ginger Refresher gives everyone the flavor of raspberry, ginger and lemon that is easy to drink and enjoy. For those that enjoy an alcoholic beverage, add light rum to the refresher. The rum enhances the fruit flavor.
- 2 cups Raspberries, fresh or frozen
- 1 Lemon, zest
- 4 slices Ginger
- 1 1/2 cups Sugar
- 2 cups Water
- 1/2 cup Lemon Juice
- Crushed Ice
- 2 quarts Water
- 1 cup Rum, optional
How to Prepare
- Make a simple syrup by combining the raspberries, lemon zest, and ginger with the sugar and 2 cups of water in a sauce pan. Cook on medium high for 10 minutes, stiring often as to not boil over.
- Drain syrup.
- Add some ice to syrup in pan to cool.
- In beverage container, add the rest of the ice, lemon and 2 quarts of water. Light Rum may be added if desired.
- Add the strained and cooled simple sryup.
- Stir and enjoy!
Tips and Tricks: Making Syrup
Syrup is sugar dissolved with liquid and flavorings. Maple and fruit syrups for breakfast pancakes, syrup bases for beverages and mixed drinks. There are several types of syrups based on the viscosity or thickness of the liquid. This is based on the liquid to sugar ratio and cooking time. Traditional syrups are equal parts sugar to liquid. Simple syrups ratios have more liquid than sugar when cooked. Simple syrup is the base for many beverages. Infused syrups have been cooked with other ingredients to add flavors.
I keep a set of simple syrups on hand in my fridge of some base flavors. The two main flavors I keep on hand are a ginger syrup and vanilla. I use the ginger syrups for teas and drinks often. Vanilla simple syrup is the type of syrup you would use for coffee beverages and lattes. Spice syrups are also wonderful and I find I use them the most during the holidays. You can really make simple syrups out of many things.
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 cups water
Infusion Flavors: Choose one/mix/match
- Vanilla Bean (2 -- split open)
- Ginger (4 slices from the madeline)
- Star Anise
- Use your imagination
In a saucepan, cook sugar, water and flavorings for aproximately 10 minutes on the stove top on Medium-High. Stir often so it doesn't boil over.
I store my syrups in the fridge, but they may also be stored on the counter. I only keep my syrups for just a few months.
Tips and Tricks: Ginger Root
Ginger is good to keep on hand for teas, cooking and beverages. I buy a root every six months, put it a zipped freezer bag and store it in my freezer. Having the root frozen not only preserves it, but also keeps the root frim for easier slicing on the mandeline or grating with a grater.
Raspberries and ginger are nutritional and good for your body. Raspberries are full of vitamin C, manganese, riboflavin, folic acid, copper, and iron. Addtionally, they are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants have been linked to good health and cancer fighting agents.
Ginger is also considered high in antioxidant and full of nutrition. Natual medicine advocates consider ginger an anti-inflammatory which could help alleviate arthritis conditions. Researchers also claim the benefits of gingers works well to alleviate nausea and upset stomach problems.