If I had to choose 3 words to describe this ginger cocktail, I'd say zesty, vibrant, and energizing. This fizzy cocktail is made with ginger syrup and ginger ale for a real ginger kick.
I love this ginger cocktail as an alternative to the classic Moscow mule. You can make it for happy hour or as a refreshing afternoon cocktail. It's also festive enough to be served during the holidays.
Key ingredients and substitutions
- Vodka is my spirit of choice for this cocktail. It has a neutral flavor and odor that really lets the other ingredients shine. You could however replace it with a herbal gin if you're looking for a more complex flavor profile.
- Triple sec adds enhances the citrus aromas. I like Cointreau or Grand Marnier.
- Ginger syrup sweetens the drinks while adding sharpness. I either use a storebought version made with real ginger extract or make my own (see below).
- Lemon juice and ginger really go hand in hand. It adds a zesty touch that you don't want to miss an makes this cocktail even more refreshing.
- Ginger ale enhances the ginger flavor. You can replace it with ginger beer or apple cider. See below for even more variation ideas.
Homemade ginger syrup
- Wash your whole ginger root and cut it into 1-inch pieces. You don't even have to peel it.
- Boil some water.
- Blend. Add the hot water, sugar and ginger to a blender. I use my high-speed blender and blend it for 30 seconds to 1 minute. The sugar melts in the warm water and your fresh ginger syrup is ready in no time.
- Strain. Run the mixture through a fine mesh sieve and transfer it to a glass bottle. Store it in the fridge after usage.
I really like this sharp and pungent ginger simple syrup recipe. Check it out for detailed measurements and instructions.
- Use fresh lemon juice. While bottled lemon juice can be practical, this cocktail tastes so much better with freshly squeezed citrus juice.
- Choose a ginger syrup made with real ginger extract. Most aromatized simple syrups are made with natural flavorings. I much prefer those made from real ginger extract for their authentic sharpness.
- Shake your ginger syrup before use as a deposit can form at the bottom.
- Shake your cocktail. Mixing the spirit, syrup and citrus juice in a cocktail shaker with ice cubes combines the ingredients while aerating, cooling and diluting the drink.
- Use a Mason jar if you don't have a cocktail shaker.
- Make a stunning ginger cocktail garnish by slicing a ginger root lengthwise. Alternatively, you can stick candied ginger pieces on a cocktail pick.
Step-by-step (with pictures)
STEP 1: Pour the vodka, triple sec, ginger syrup and lemon juice into a cocktail shaker or Mason jar. You can use a cocktail jigger or tablespoons to measure the exact quantities.
STEP 2: Fill the cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously until the glass turns cold.
STEP 3: Strain the mixture over fresh ice into a cocktail glass.
STEP 4: Fill it up with ginger ale and garnish with a slice of ginger.
Watch the video!
You can replace the ginger ale of this cocktail with the following options:
- Ginger beer - for a sharper, more pungent cocktail.
- Apple cider - for a warmer, milder cocktail that's perfect for fall.
- Lemonade and club soda - for a refreshing, citrusy drink.
- Kombucha - for a creative twist on this cocktail. The fermented drink goes incredibly well with the ginger syrup used in this cocktail.
Frequently asked questions
For a non-alcoholic version of this cocktail, simply leave out the vodka or add 1 ½ ounce of the alcohol-free spirit of your choice.
Generally, you can store ginger syrup in the refrigerator for 2-4 weeks. If you're using bottled ginger syrup, check the label for preservation indications.
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Lemony Cocktail With Ginger Syrup
- Cocktail shaker or Mason jar
- Cocktail glass
- Ice cubes
- 1 ounce (30 ml) vodka 2 tablespoons
- ½ ounce (15 ml) triple sec* 1 tablespoon
- ½ ounce (15 ml) ginger syrup 1 tablespoon
- 1 ½ ounces (45 ml) lemon juice 2 tablespoons
- 4 ounces (120 ml) ginger ale
- 2 slices of fresh ginger for garnish
- Fill a cocktail shaker or Mason jar with ice. Pour in the vodka, ginger syrup and lemon juice. Shake energetically.
- Strain the mixture into a cocktail glass that you filled with ice cubes.
- Top it off with ginger ale and garnish with a slice of fresh ginger.
- Triple Sec: I like to use Cointreau.
More cocktail recipes
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