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take a break

Recipe: ginger limeade

I’ll admit it. I’ve been spending a lot of time playing around with canning. That’s what happens when you have a boatload of fruit that is ripe right now. I went to bed dreaming of sterilizing jars and woke up thinking of lid wands. It’s a sickness, I tell you. So over the weekend I had to put an end to the madness and get myself into the backcountry. It’s my cure all, you know. Here are some snappies from my iphone.

rose crown

the keyhole above pawnee pass

from the summit of pawnee peak, jeremy points to another hike we had done

Once we are home, our typical post-hike ritual is to unpack our gear, scrub the sunblock and grime off of ourselves, and dump our stinky, sweaty clothes into the laundry basket. Kaweah likes to sniff down our hiking pants and trail runners because it makes her waggy and happy. I sometimes wonder if she knows where we went as she’s been on nearly every hike with us several times up until the last couple of years. She really loved her hikes, so it’s bittersweet for me to watch her get so excited about something she can’t do anymore.

When everything is put away, we sit down and have ourselves several glasses of water (ice water for me, please). But this time, after the second glass of water, I asked Jeremy if he’d like to have a ginger limeade. I had the ginger limeade at Café Aion in Boulder a couple of times. It was good, but not as gingery as I prefer. Why not make it the way *I* like it at home? There’s no reason not to.

ginger and limes

There was leftover ginger syrup from the candied ginger I made earlier. That is great in cocktails or with seltzer water or added to hot tea (especially if you have a sore throat). It’s more sweet than spicy, so I tried a different ginger syrup recipe that I found on Imbibe Magazine. They don’t peel the ginger in their recipe, but I peeled mine.

chop up the ginger

combine ginger with sugar and water

cook the syrup for an hour then strain

The resulting syrup was cloudy, but wonderfully spicy. There’s more bite to this syrup than the other one. If you like the zippy zing of ginger that clears your nasal passages and wakes you up, then this is the one you want to make. It is terrific with seltzer water and a squeeze of lime. I’m sure you could booze it up with some gin (haven’t tried that… yet). But the ginger limeade is super refreshing when you want a cool down and a pick-me-up in the same glass.

zest and juice the limes (zest first, your life is easier that way)

make simple syrup for the limeade

Homemade limeade and lemonade are really straightforward to make and taste infinitely better than store-bought varieties. The reason I like homemade is because I have total control on the tartness, the concentration, the sugar, and the dilution of the drink. You make it to your liking. If you juice a lot of citrus, a nifty juicer is your pal. I have a Braun citromatic juicer that I purchased for $16 in 1996 (in Pasadena) because my girlfriend kept giving me bags of oranges from the trees in her yard. I love that little juicer. Never gonna give it up.

add simple syrup to the lime juice

add water to taste

stir in the lime zest

I dilute my limeade a little more than usual for this drink since the ginger syrup is sweetened. We tried ginger limeades made from each of the ginger syrups and both of us prefer the spicier ginger syrup (which is great since it is easier to make). It reminds me of the better ginger beers I’ve enjoyed.

two ginger syrups

top off a limeade on ice with some ginger syrup

Don’t stop at just a ginger limeade. As I said before, there are a lot of ways to enjoy a ginger syrup: cocktails, spritzer, tea, maybe even in cakes or desserts. The most important thing is that you enjoy it.

refreshingly zippy

Ginger Limeade
[print recipe]
inspired by Café Aion

ginger syrup

3/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 cups lime juice (from about ten regular limes)
4 cups water
zest of 1-2 limes

Combine the sugar and 1 cup of water in a small saucepan set on high heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar and let come to a boil for one minute. Remove from heat and let cool. Place the lime juice in a pitcher. Pour the simple syrup into the lime juice. Add up to 4 cups of water to taste. Stir in the lime zest. Makes about 2 quarts.

ginger syrup
from Imbibe Magazine

2 cups ginger, peeled & minced
2 cups sugar
6 cups water

Combine the ginger, sugar, and water in a large pot. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat to medium-low. Let the ginger syrup simmer for an hour. Remove from heat and strain out the bits of ginger with a fine-mesh sieve or cheese cloth. Makes about a quart.

Make a ginger limeade: Fill a tall glass with ice. Pour limeade into the glass, leaving enough volume for the addition of the syrup. Add 2-4 tablespoons of ginger syrup to the limeade, depending on how spicy you want the drink to be. Stir and serve.

Or make a ginger lime spritzer: Fill a tall glass with ice. Fill the glass 80% full with seltzer water. Pour an ounce (2 tablespoons) of lime juice (not limeade, but lime juice) into the glass. Add 2-4 tablespoons of ginger syrup. Add gin if you so desire. Stir and serve.

10 nibbles at “take a break”

  1. Trolleira says:

    Great pictures, as always! I wonder, do you use a certain app for the Iphone to get such great fotos or is it the normal camera?

  2. Twila M. says:

    Ginger syrup is also amazing in place of normal breakfast syrup. At our house, my husband won’t have pancakes without real maple syrup and I won’t have pancakes without homemade ginger syrup. We’re spoiled. For syrup I just peel and cut up a bunch of ginger and simmer it for as long as you want with 1 c. water and 2 c. sugar. You can eat out the pieces like the candy recipe you had, too. Might try your spicier method if I decide I don’t mind cleaning a strainer :)

  3. angelitacarmelita says:

    I wish I lived in paradise….. man are your snappies beautiful, makes me look twice and go “is that real?” I wanted to share w/you a similar recipe using a product you actually turned me on to (passion fruit puree). A local restaurant here in NOVA (Northern Virginia) makes their own gingerale (I do it at home too, I get to buy huge bags of ginger for .99 cents at my local Asian market…. so yeah, maybe I live in paradise too!), but at the restaurant they add passion fruit puree to it and o.m.g….. that is good stuff. Thanks for sharing the pics, stories and recipes.

  4. Shut Up & Cook says:

    If I’m really fixated on something, be it food, work, travel, writing, I so often dream of it as well. Sometimes it’s really helpful, creating a channel to explore an idea…sometimes it’s just plain maddening. No matter what though, Ginger Limeade sounds delicious!

  5. jenyu says:

    Trolleira – no, I use no filters or apps on my iphone – it is just the iphone camera.

    Twila – I don’t usually eat pancakes (I’m not a huge fan of sweet breakfasts), but I might start if it means using ginger syrup! :)

    angelitacarmelita – that sounds LOVELY. Thanks!

    Shut Up & Cook – ha ha! good to know it’s not just me ;)

  6. Susan says:

    Looks delicious, Jen.
    I love lime in just about everything :)
    I will be giving this a try.

    Thanks for sharing.

  7. jenyu says:

    Susan – thank you!

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