When it comes to cocktails, we’re all about intense flavors—and it doesn’t get much more intense than ginger. Ginger beer and ginger ale have their place in the drinking world. But when you really want to dial up the flavor, nothing’s better than a pure shot of ginger juice.
If you have a juicer, just run a bunch of ginger on through; it won’t take more than a minute. (A pound of ginger yields about six ounces of pure ginger juice.) No juicer? We got you: Cut up a pound or so of ginger, add to your food processor or blender, then add just enough water to cover the blades. Pulse until the ginger starts to blend—add a little more water if necessary—then blend until pulverized. (It won’t be super-smooth, you’re just breaking it up as much as possible.) Press through a fine mesh strainer, keeping the juice and discarding the fiber.
Whichever method you use, you’re left with a pure, powerful ginger juice that’ll last ages in the fridge (essentially forever in the freezer) and will add a bright spark to any cocktail you like. Try a ginger margarita, a ginger G&T, a ginger whiskey sour, a ginger ’75—or one of these three great summer cocktails.
A classic Dark & Stormy is nothing more than Gosling’s rum and Gosling’s ginger beer, with a lime garnish. But that’s a pretty sweet combination; we much prefer upping the ginger and adding lime juice. The resulting drink is bright and bracing, not nearly as sugary, and lets you appreciate the rum and the ginger in all their glory.
Instructions: In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine 1 1/2 ounces of dark rum (we’re using Mount Gay Black Barrel), 1 ounce of fresh lime juice, 1/2 an ounce of ginger juice, and 1/2 an ounce of simple syrup. Shake that all up, strain it into a tall glass with fresh ice, and top with 1 ounce of ginger beer. Float another 1/2 ounce of dark rum on top. Garnish with a lime wedge.
Ginger Diamond Collins
Gin and ginger are a natural pairing, so we’re combining them in this take on a Tom Collins… with Champagne. (So in a way, it’s closer to a French 75, but it’s all semantics.) This A+ brunch drink goes down like a tall glass of ginger lemonade, despite its considerable strength; you’ve been warned.
Instructions: In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine 1 1/2 ounces of gin (we recommend a great London Dry like Beefeater), 1/2 an ounce of fresh lemon juice, 1/2 an ounce of ginger juice, and 1/2 an ounce of simple syrup. Shake that all up, strain it into a tall glass with fresh ice, and top with 2 ounces of sparkling wine. Garnish with a thin lemon slice and a nice mint sprig.
Tequila, Ginger, Basil
The sharp bite of tequila pairs perfectly with the sharp bite of ginger. But rather than opt for a margarita variation, we’re trying something different: slightly aged, slightly weightier reposado tequila, ginger and lemon, and then basil for a bright herbal element. Summery, refreshing, and sophisticated.
Instructions: In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine 2 ounces of reposado tequila (Patrón Roca is a stellar choice), 1 ounce of fresh lemon juice, 1/2 an ounce of ginger juice, and 1/2 an ounce of agave syrup (that’s agave nectar, dissolved 1:1 in hot water). Add 5 basil leaves to the shaker. Shake that all up, double-strain it into a rocks glass (through the strainer in the shaker and a fine mesh strainer) with fresh ice, and drop 5 big dashes of Angostura bitters on top. Garnish with a big fresh basil sprig.
This story originally appeared on Foodandwine.com.