Variable winter weather has us thinking "ginger." Cold ginger drinks for when the days are warm, hot ginger drinks for when the days are cold and ginger-infused jam just because.
Get You a Ginger Beer?
There are lots of ginger beers out there, each with its own niche in the market. We’re happy to sample them all. When we found Q Drinks’ Ginger Beer we bought a four-pack. We were attracted by the ingredient list – flavored with fresh ginger, coriander, cardamom and lime and lightly sweetened with organic agave syrup. The company says they give it a little extra carbonation as well, which contributes to the sparkling experience. It’s one of the most effervescent ginger beers we’ve tried. Like Q Drinks’ other offerings, the Ginger Beer was designed to work well in cocktails but be delicious on its own. Earth Fare, 1578 Avenue Place, Atlanta. 404-633-2025.
A Ginger-Spiked Hot Toddy?
Charleston, South Carolina’s Oliver Pluff & Co. makes a Lemon Ginger Hot Toddy Kit with everything you need to make a restorative hot drink. You get enough spice mixture (cinnamon sticks, lemon grass, ginger and lemon peel) to make three gallons of toddy all at once or you can scoop out the spice mixture by the tablespoon and make just a serving at a time. The instructions suggest infusing the spices and then adding whiskey, rum or brandy. We liked it just fine as a lemon-ginger tea with no liquor at all. The company’s packaging and tea blends harken back to the Early American teas and spice blends imported by the British East India Company. $22 for a 3-ounce container of spice mix. Linden, 2340 Towne Lake Parkway, Woodstock. 770-928-2222. Lucy’s Market, 56 East Andrews Drive, Atlanta. 404-869-9222.
Chokeberries, Lime and Ginger?
"Chokeberry" is the common name for a group of deciduous shrubs native to our part of the world that bear tart red, black and purple fruits. The common name refers to how sour the fruit is. But call it an “aronia” berry (that’s actually the name of the plant’s genus) and maybe it’s more appealing? Process it into jam with lime and ginger and it makes a delicious fruit spread. Elange-Longwood Farms in Fayetteville makes Aronia Berry Lime Ginger Jam. This rich, thick spread tastes “expensive” – as in much more fruit that sugar. The flavor will remind you of other fruits high in anthocyanins such as raspberries and blackberries and the citrus and ginger shine through. You’ll find it in the Georgia Grown section of the Buford Highway Farmers Market. $10.99 for an 8-ounce jar. Buford Highway Farmers Market, 5600 Buford Highway NE, Atlanta. http://aofwc.com