When making ginger syrup there`s but one little problem – to get that fresh bity ginger flavour to stay. When i make the syrup the usual way aka the hot method where you make a simple syrup and add sliced ginger and boil it, then cool it – the syrup looses its fresh flavour quite quickly.

When it was ginger MxMo – Rick over at Kaiserpenguintook up this topic and his solution is to make it fresh everytime by muddling ginger with simple syrup which is a very good solution giving you this fresh zingy biting ginger flavour in your cocktails.

However if you want to also have the depth that real syrup making gives there´s a way too which is a slight variation of this method. But how long the shelf life is i cannot say bec i`m making very small batches that goes fast.

GINGER SYRUP – With both hot & cold methods

To make a ginger syrup that has both depth of flavor and a rich roundness as well as the typical sharp zing or bite of the ginger its necessary to use both the hot and cold methods in syrup making, or at least that`s what my own experience is telling me.

First you use the hot method and boil, simmer and cool the syrup before adding additional fresh ginger – muddling it and then leaving it to steep until you have got the desired flavor and zing. Doing it this way you`ll get a lovely ginger syrup, rich and sharp.

Make it in  small amounts as ginger flavor decreases rapidly. Don´t ask me why it does but it does, i first discovered how short lived fresh ginger really is when making ginger beer. Now ginger syrup isn`t the same as ginger beer but also the syrup looses its fresh flavour quite fast.

Here´s how to make the syrup:

Take 2 parts sugar of choice (i use a light raw sugar – Oxfam brand plus a pinch of light muscovado) to 1 part water.Then grate a piece of fresh ginger and boil for 2 mins.Then lower the heat and simmer for another 5 mins. Cool.

Add some more fresh ginger, muddle it a bit to squeeze out the flavours and leave to steep until you find the flavor is good.

Easy to make and very useful.

Its that sharp citrusy bite actually that makes ginger so special so let´s do all we can to preserve it and further it into our drinks, so if anyone has more ideas of how to do that in ginger-syrup making i would like to hear it.

Maybe someone knows why fresh ginger flavour is so shortlived?

Here is a drink with some bite from the ginger and the slightly bitter orangey flavour from Aperol to accompany the wonderful round herbal flavours of the lovely gin from Martin Miller.


* 2 oz Gin (Martin Miller`s)
* 2-3 pineapple chunks
* 1/2 oz ginger syrup
* sprinkle of fresh lime
* 1 oz Aperol
* Tonic, to top

Muddle the pineapple, and ginger syrup. Add gin and aperol, shake with ice. Double-strain into a  glass with crushed ice and fill up with more crushed ice if needed. Top with tonic.

How do you make your ginger syrups ?

Sugarcane bar



  1. I just read another article about making ginger syrup that says to add lemon juice (they say 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, 1/2 cup thinly sliced ginger, and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice) after the syrup has cooked and cooled. I wonder if the lemon juice helps preserve the ginger taste longer?

  2. Sandra, it sure is a win! also candied ginger can be used as cocktail garnish. But why do you tenderize the ginger for so long, does it get better if slow cooked? most recipes i see cooks the ginger for about 30 mins.

  3. I have been making crystallized ginger because I love it. My dad snacks on it, I use it in cookies, it’s just the most wonderful flavour.
    Well, after my fresh ginger’s been tenderizing in the slow cooker in a simple syrup for 6-8 hours, I am ready to proceed with the drying and sugaring. The syrup remaining in the slow cooker is extra. I used to discard it. No more! Now I keep it in the fridge in a closed container and reuse it for my next batch. At the moment I have about 3 cups of syrup I’ve used twice and it’s so rich and flavourful I cannot begin to tell you. I came online to find out what kind of drinks I can use it in because it will be in cocktails tomorrow, trust me. About 7 cups of peeled, freshly sliced ginger have simmered in this for at least 16 hours. A win/win process! Eat the ginger as candy; put the syrup in your drink!

  4. What about using both grated ginger and fresh lime? i need to try that, thanks for the tip.



  5. I have to admit, that my ginger syrup doens’t live long, before it’s used in some nice cocktails. But just like then I make ginger tea, I like to boil the ginger for a long time to make it stronger. My ginger syrup is boiled for 10-15 mins with a lot of ginger. Sometime I add a bit fresh limejuice, makes it real sharp. I dont really follow a recipe, and I add sugar a long the way to adjust it.

    But good tip about muddling fresh ginger to the syrup, i’ll try that next time!

  6. AK – pressed ginger juice sounds very tasty to me but here there´s nothing like that to buy in my country..i would need to press my own;-)

    Tony and Darcy – Ginger tincture – i`ve been thinking of that actually, not necessarily to replace ginger syrup but as something to use to add a ginger flavour. I have a 88% vodka, its not 90 or higher but close to 90..I hope that will do?

    I`ll be on the lookout for your ginger post on AOD.

  7. I’ve been doing some research on this, and the breakdown of the ginger oils is caused by sucrose and hydrolysis. I’ll have more info soon in a post at AoD.

    One simple way is to make an ginger tincture using a high proof alcohol. Vodka will work, but 90% alcohol or higher is better.

    When a drink calls for ginger syrup, just add simple syrup and a squirt of the ginger tincture.

  8. Lately I think I have mostly muddled the ginger on my drinks at home. Also I always keep some ginger tincture for the times when there is no syrup or fresh ginger at the house (or for lazy days). The tincture is not as nice as the fresh muddled or the syrup but it´s a fun ingredient to have, and easy to make.

  9. The Violet Hour in Chicago uses pressed ginger juice for their ginger syrup (2:1 sugar to ginger juice), which makes it incredibly spicy. I’ve tried it and it’s wonderful! You can get fresh ginger juice at a lot of health food stores with juice bars.

    It also lasted a decent amount of time, too.

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