No story behind this one, besides straight ahead deliciousness. This is a straight up lift off of a cocktail from the Absinthe Brasserie & Bar in San Francisco. (Trivia for Top Chef dorks, this is the restaurant Jamie from Season 5 cooked at. And sorry guys, she’s a lady who likes ladies. Damn.) But I’ve seen this drink on enough menus of other bars around town and across the coasts that my shame level barely registers above Impulse Speed. Even the Chronicle had the recipe at one point!
1 1/2 oz. gin
8-12 mint leaves
1/2 oz. ginger syrup(*)
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
Combine the mint leaves and ginger syrup in a tall glass and muddle mint until you smell the aroma. Add lime juice and gin. Fill glass with ice and top with ginger ale. Stir from bottom to top.
For this I used a ginger beer, as I like my ginger drinks with kick. I prefer Bundaberg, an Australian ginger beer that has the right balance between sweet and heat.
* Ginger Syrup
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2-inch piece ginger, sliced into thin strips
2 tsp. black peppercorns
Dissolve sugar & water. Simmer for ten minutes with ginger and peppercorns. Remove from heat and steep for 2-3 hours. Strain and bottle.