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DIY Ginger Liqueur - A Cheap & Simple Recipe That’s Better Than Storebought!

Updated: May 28


Bottle of storebought Ginger Liqueur besides a homemade version of ginger liqueur

Hi, Friends of Cocktails! Ginger in cocktails is usually used as a syrup, which we’ve covered a while back, but you can also make a delicious and fiery Ginger Liqueur. It’s super simple to make, it will last way longer than any syrup, and you can use it in all types of cocktails. We already used it in a Gryffindor-inspired cocktail, but we’ll make two more drinks today, a Sour and a Mule. Plus, this liqueur will cost you a fraction of what you’d pay for store-bought options, which honestly, are quite hard to find. 


So what are we aiming for with our Ginger Liqueur? First and foremost we’re looking for ginger’s heat. That’s why we’ll be juicing the ginger, instead of just slicing it, which is the most common practice when making ginger-based ingredients. That was one of the cocktail hacks in a recent post, but you will need a juicer to get the best yield. And while many ginger liqueurs out there add another flavor note, we’ll be going for pure ginger flavor so that it’s versatile and you can always add other flavors in the cocktail.


Another plus is that our DIY Ginger Liqueur will be a lot cheaper to make it yourself, and you don’t need any specialty ingredients. Store bought options will set you back from $35 to $50, depending on the bottle, but we’ll make 750mL of Ginger Liqueur for under $10. To make it you’ll need just vodka, ginger, water, sugar, and some ascorbic acid or vitamin C, which is a good thing to have at home anyway. So let’s begin, it’s fiery Cocktail Time!


The Ginger Gin Mule, a cocktail with gin, homemade ginger liqueur, lemon super juice and sparkling water

DIY Ginger Liqueur

● 480mL · 16oz Vodka

● 185mL · 6.25oz Water

● 90mL · 3oz Ginger Juice

● 7.5mL · 0.25oz Benedictine

● 113 Sugar

● 1.3g Ascorbic Acid


Start by peeling the ginger with a spoon, then juice it. Afterwards just mix the juice with the rest of the ingredients, and as always I will use my handy magnetic stirrer for this. Once that’s done you can bottle and label your liqueur before giving it a try. If you want to make more or less liqueur though, you can get the adjusted amounts using my Ginger Liqueur calculator here. So what does our liqueur taste like? We made a smooth but fiery liqueur, which is just what I was going for.


Ginger still gives it certain citrusy notes with plenty of freshness as well. Even a small amount of this liqueur will go a long way in a cocktail, and if you want it to look clearer all you need is to wait a few days until some of the ginger particles settle down in the bottom of the bottle. I tried to filter it out with a coffee filter, but the particles are apparently too small. A separatory funnel would work, but I don’t have that piece of chemistry lab equipment yet.


Anyway, happy for this lesson and it’s really that simple. The only easier way for you to add a fiery ginger kick to your cocktails is to get Liber&Co’s Fiery Ginger Syrup. They took the same approach, by juicing the whole ginger root when it’s still fresh, and combining it with pure cane sugar. It packs a punch, but it’s still a bright and full-flavored syrup with a silky texture, thanks to gum arabic. But we’ll be adding the heat with our DIY Liqueur today, and sweetness with our honey syrup.

 

Basically, it will be somewhere between the Gold Rush and the Penicillin, so I’m calling it the Golden Pill. 



The Golden Pill

● 45mL · 1.5oz Four Roses Bourbon

● 22.5mL · 0.75oz Ginger Liqueur

● 22.5mL · 0.75oz Lemon Super Juice

● 15mL · 0.5oz Honey Syrup

● 2 drops 20% Saline Solution


First, chill the shaker, then we’ll add the ingredients. Now add plenty of ice and give the cocktail a good, hard shake, to properly chill, dilute and aerate the drink. Double strain into a chilled rocks glass over a tempered ice sphere, and finish it off with a spray of essential oils from a lemon peel, place it on the drink and give it a try, before we make cocktail number 2. Cheers!


The cocktail is lively and fresh. Ginger's spicy kick pairs nicely with honey and bourbon, with the latter still taking the spotlight because of the higher ABV. It even has a slight frothiness from the proteins in the honey syrup. All in all, a fantastic summer sipper. Now for the second cocktail, we’ll make a version of the Gin Gin Mule, but with our liqueur being the main player I’ll just call this the Ginger Gin Mule. 


Ginger Gin Mule

● 45mL · 1.5oz Ginger Liqueur

● 22.5mL · 0.75oz Monkey 47 Gin

● 15mL · 0.5oz Lemon Super Juice

● 105g Soda Water

● 2 drops 20% Saline Solution



We’ll build this in the glass, so first thing’s first, grab a chilled highball glass from the freezer and add a tempered clear ice spear. Then add the ingredients in, ending with the soda which we’re measuring with a scale as I mentioned in the Cocktail Hacks episode for when you’re adding bubbly ingredients. Lift the cocktail a few times with a barspoon, to gently mix in the soda water, then garnish it with a mint leaf. Don’t forget to spank it on the side of the glass first, then place on the ice. 


That will give our Ginger Gin Mule a nice menthol aroma, which gives way to a spicy highball, that has a subtle herbaceous flavor from the gin’s botanicals. This goes down dangerously easy, so with that we’ve maded it to The Bottom of The Glass. Today, even though I’ve mentioned the prolonged shelf life of this Liqueur as compared to a homemade syrup, that doesn’t mean you have to use it all in cocktails!

 

Ginger Liqueur, neat or on the rocks, can be a great digestif after a meal, the same way that natural ginger beer can be used as a digestive tonic. Expect a fermentation episode in the following months, with the ginger bug starter included, and in the meantime, check out the Godric’s Elixir, made with this liqueur. I’ll see you next week, Friends of Cocktails!




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