Gunner’s Libation: Ginnie Meyer |

Gunner’s Libation: Ginnie Meyer

by the Culinary Institute of America
This March 24, 2017 photo provided by The Culinary Institute of America shows the Ginnie Meyer cocktail in Hyde Park, N.Y. This dish is from a recipe by the CIA. (Phil Mansfield/The Culinary Institute of America via AP)
ap | The Culinary Institute of Americ


1 ounce freshly squeezed

Meyer lemon juice

1/2 ounce simple syrup

2 ounces gin

2 to 4 ounces ginger beer

1 piece of candied ginger

1 mint sprig, for garnish (optional)

Pour the lemon juice, simple syrup, and gin into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake the cocktail like you mean it and strain over fresh ice in a Collins (tall) glass. Top with the ginger beer and garnish with a piece of candied ginger stuck on a toothpick. Top with mint, if desired.

Chef’s note: If you don’t have bar measuring tools, you can use a tablespoon measure — 1 ounce is equal to 2 tablespoons. Also, the recipe calls for simple syrup, which is simple: In a small saucepan, combine equal parts water and sugar, and bring to a boil until the sugar is fully dissolved. One cup of water and one cup of sugar is a convenient quantity to keep on hand. The syrup can be flavored by steeping ingredients like herbs and vanilla beans, or by blending with fresh fruit juice or purée (like raspberries) — because soon enough, you’re going to need a summer cocktail.

As we ease on down that road toward spring, you might start dipping your toe back into outdoor living. It starts with two minutes of staring into the sunshine before you huddle back under the blanket, but before you know it, you’ll be reading your newspaper al fresco with a cocktail in hand. That moment requires planning, so it’s time to talk spring cocktail. Sure, you could go generic with your old standby, but even small moments deserve to be celebrated with something a little extraordinary. Let our Ginnie Meyer be your first taste of spring. The drink is a refreshing blend of gin, freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice, and ginger beer. It’s a slow wave goodbye to citrus season as the sun breaks through the clouds. Meyer lemons are sweeter than everyday lemons, with a flavor that might remind you of a slightly tart orange. They are also usually a brighter, more vibrant shade of yellow that looks beautiful when sliced for garnish. You should be able to find them at most grocery stores during the winter and early spring, but you can substitute equal parts lemon and orange juice, if you can’t. Like all citrus, Meyer lemons can be squeezed at the peak of their season and their juice frozen for later. Portion 1/2 cup of juice into small zip-top bags to have enough for four cocktails, and sip all year long. You may have noticed old favorites like the dark and stormy and Moscow mule popping up on happy hour menus. Ginger beer, which is stronger in flavor than the familiar ginger ale, is having a moment right now. This recipe capitalizes on the availability of high-quality and, if you’re lucky, local versions of this lightly carbonated, slightly spicy mixer.