Quest for a Cocktail

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I live in a really cool house in Orange County, right on the line between Chapel Hill and Carrboro.  Its a 2 minute walk to Bread & Butter where I fake doing homework while I eat blueberry scones, a 5 minute walk to Calavera where I drink margaritas and 10 minute walk to Weaver Street Market where I sit in the sun and play with dogs.

simple simple simple

simple simple simple

We're right by a pool that just closed for the summer, not too far from a running trail that wanders through the woods and just fifteen minutes from UNC's campus.  We've got a big back yard with a fire pit and a grill and a few weekends ago it was filled with over a hundred people listening to my dear sweet friends in Dissimilar South play their tunes.  This is the perfect cocktail for that.

We just celebrated a year in our little home - me and my roommate.  In the last year, we've filled our house with friends and Christmas trees and baked goods and Skillet Beans and big breakfasts and laughter and tears and snuggles.  We went from a house of three to a house of two and then gratefully back to a house of three.  

But here's how I know we've made this house our home - there are always people knocking at our door - stopping by on their way to and fro in these little Chapel Hill lives.  And obviously, the truest mark of being an adult is being able to whip up a delicious drink at a moment's notice. In our house, we like ginger and drinks that taste like they don't have too much liquor in them.  For a while, we would buy up expensive ginger beers whenever we found them - but the good, spicy ginger beers are too expensive to use as a base for a cocktail.

I like this recipe because it allows you to control for flavors.  I like mine spicy, so I use a generous amount of ginger in my syrup.  If you like less, use less.  There's no added sugar, which keeps the drink from being too sweet, but the honey syrup gets a nicely toasted flavor from the simmering.  This is good stuff, ok?  Be careful.

This cocktail is slightly adapted from the Penicillin, which is a cocktail just a bit too classy for my wallet.  If you're a scotch lover, go make that.  I cannot possibly convince myself that it is worth it to buy any liquor as expensive as Scotch.  I'm much more interested in spending unreasonable amounts of money on cheese, thank you.

I'm calling this cocktail The 212 because that is our house number and the nickname we have adapted for our little home, as in I was in the 212.  This cocktails is a bit like a cold Hot Toddy, just refreshing enough for summer and just comforting enough for the fall months.  Basically, it's exactly what I want, every single day.  (But I try to limit myself to one a week.)

The 212

for the honey ginger syrup:

  • 1 1/2 cup roughly peeled and chopped ginger
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup water

Combine ingredients in a heavy bottom saucepan and bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer for 5 minutes.  Chill overnight (or until you're ready to use.)  Use a fine mesh sieve to strain solids before you make your drinks.  Will keep about 10 days in the refrigerator.

for the cocktail:

  • 1 ounce honey ginger syrup
  • 1 1/2 ounce bourbon
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • seltzer water (optional)

Combine syrup, bourbon and lemon juice in a shaker with ice.  Shake well (about 5 seconds) then strain over new ice into a rocks glass and top with seltzer if desired!

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