food

hot ginger

Hot Ginger drink

This is a picture of a hot glass of Rochester Ginger. I’m currently addicted to it.

You can buy Rochester Ginger in any health food shop in Ireland, and I’m sure it’s widely available in the UK where it is made. It claims to be a ‘Dickensian recipe’, by which I assume it means Victorian, but perhaps Dickens was a fan of this beverage and raved about it constantly. I’ve no memory of Pip extolling its virtues after he set up in new digs in London, or Oliver Twist sipping it with the the Artful Dodger as they handed over the day’s purloined handkerchiefs to Fagin. Perhaps I missed something…

It also claims to have the ‘kick of two very angry mules’, which may not be an exaggeration for those unused to hot and spicey substances, but for me it has the kick of a grumpy mule, perhaps one that was startled by the appearance of a Dickensian beggar.

It’s funny how the mind ponders upon things because I realised I don’t associate mules with England. In my mind they are animals of America and South America. But of course, ginger is hardly native to England!

I usually dilute the Rochester Ginger half with hot water. If you use less Ginger you will lose the spiciness, but increase the heat. 50/50 seems to make it hot enough in temperature and spiciness.

Of course, you can put in a third Ginger a third whiskey and a third hot water if you really want a warm, boozy winter drink.

You could add other niceties like a slice of lemon studded with cloves I suppose, or extra sugar if your tastes run sweeter than mine, but I like the flavours as they stand.

Our preference in this household is for Irish Whiskey, not the Scotish variety with its smokey peat-fire taste. I believe – and it might just be bias – that Irish whiskey does work better as the taste of turf fires muddles the Ginger flavour. But, each to his/her own. I don’t want to start any wars about whiskey versus whisky.

Rochester also does a Dark Ginger drink based on a Jamaican recipe, which I will have to try with hot water to see if I enjoy it too.

Winter has its drawbacks, but sipping a hot, spicy drink in front of a fire, with blinky lights offering extra illumination, is not one of them.

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