One of my father’s favorite treats was a ginger snap cookie — or should I say cookies! M&Ms had nothing on this zesty treat – my dad could never eat just one ginger snap.
He had this old green recliner with a former sewing basket as an end table. I would come home from my retail job at Lazarus to find him snacking away.
Then he would reach into the familiar brown paper ginger snaps bag he kept on his makeshift end table, pull out a cookie and hand me one.
Years later, long after the green chair had met its demise in West Virginia and Dad and Mom had moved to Texas, my father still had a penchant for ginger snaps. Even in his last days, when he wasn’t eating much else, you could always coax him with ‘a few ‘snaps.’
All About Ginger
Maybe it’s the zest, or maybe because it’s something my father and I shared, I love the taste of ginger. You can nearly always find fresh ginger root in our house. The rhizome of the plant Zingiber officinale, ginger is consumed as a delicacy, medicine or spice. Often associated with Asian dishes, in Western cuisine, ginger is traditionally used primarily in sweet foods. It can also be steeped in boiling water and made into a tea. (see our recipe for Ginger Tea in Ginger…Not just the Mary Ann Alternative)
Harking back to the mid-fourteenth century the word “ginger” could be from Old English gingifer, from Medieval Latin gingiber, from Latin zingiberi, from Greek zingiberis, from Prakrit (Middle Indic) singabera, from Sanskrit srngaveram, from “srngam” or “horn” + vera– “body,” so-called from the shape of its root. Etymology tells us the word was readopted in Middle English from Old French gingibre (Modern French gingembre) meaning “spirit, spunk, temper.”
Perhaps even the name “Jennifer” is derived from it. Seems it is also a bit of a slur used to deride people with naturally red hair, since according to Tim Minchin, “Only a Ginger can call another Ginger, Ginger.”
Given I find redheads (including Tim Minchin) attractive, I do not understand that one at all!
But I digress.
Last month we taught you how to make your own fancy French Ginger liqueur. After discovering Frank Plusk’s Asian Lemon Drop Martini, and making my own fancy French ginger liqueur, I set about to come up with some new ginger-inspired cocktails, so without further ado…here’s a new cocktail recipe to create with your own DIY Fancy French Liqueur.
Ginger Napoléon Sunrise
1/2 ounce Domaine de Canton
1/2 ounce Mandarine Napoléon Grand Cuvee Liqueur
1/2 ounce DIY Ginger Liqueur
2 ounces fresh-squeezed Orange Juice (we prefer Blood Orange)
Squeeze orange, and combine it and other ingredients over ice, shake, strain and pour into a martini glass.
Enjoy at a classy Summer Sunday Brunch or while watching the less reverent Tim Minchin in Season 6 of Californication.