Ginger beer is ginger ale's sinister cousin: much or ginger and a little less sweet, but still (mostly) non-alcoholic. It can be made easily at home with simple ingredients and materials.
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Not quite a traditional recipe, but with very traditional flavors, Ryan Gannon's version is "firmed up" with Cointreau.
The Operator is a spin on a white wine spritzer, but it's a bit more flavorful (though still refreshing and low in alcohol.) We used subpar Sauvignon Blanc, but any dry white wine will do.
Our first Cook the Book column of 2011 is going to feature Amanda Hesser's newly released The Essential New York Times Cookbook, a compilation favorite recipes spanning the paper's 160 years. As an intro to the feature we thought we'd bring you a sneak peak: a Bourbon Slush perfect for New Year's Eve.
I suppose that while paging through Alton Brown's Good Eats 2: The Middle Years, I was looking for a glazed carrot recipe that had a little more oomph than the standard combo of butter and brown sugar. This recipe subs in ginger ale as a sweetener, and depending on which brand you choose it can lend a significant kick. I chose a super strong ginger beer, which reduced to a lovely glaze and left the carrots plenty spicy and gingery enough to wake you up. The sprinkling of chili powder adds a bit more warmth and spice, taking these carrots out of the realm of sleepy side and into the side dish spotlight.
Short of simply popping open a beer or a straight slug of whiskey, there are few drinks that are less labor-intensive than the venerable highball. With Labor Day this weekend, we figured this was the perfect drink to share. You could reasonably ask the question, "Do we really need a recipe for something so easy?" but while this simple (and flexible) mix of booze, bubbles and ice can be prepared with almost zero thought, a little care in the execution can make all the difference between a watery glass of meh and a damn refreshing drink.