Here at Nick’s Cove, we have found ourselves in the middle of a Tomales heat wave over the last several days. Anybody who lives more than 5 miles east of Tomales would consider five consecutive days of temperatures in the mid 80’s with a refreshing fog layer rolling in just after sunset just plain pleasant.
Not on our bay.
People are going to extremes to beat the heat. The local farmers are wearing short sleeved shirts, tourists are driving Highway one with the tops of their rented convertibles down and not wearing a winter coat. The oysters are panting and I recently overheard a local fantasizing about what life would be like with air conditioning in their house.
Personally, I couldn’t offer a better way to cool off than with an ice-cold beverage. The newest member in our cocktail list family is just that. We are starting with a house-made ginger soda for its known health benefits, a shot of St. George Breaking and Entering Bourbon to soothe the frayed nerves that a heat wave can bring on, and a squeeze of lime just in case scurvy is concern. There we have it: Horse Feathers.
What really makes the drink unique is our Ginger Soda. Our house recipe is really pretty simple: fresh ginger, lime zest, lemon grass, agave nectar and a little citric acid. The ginger syrup that these ingredients produce sings summer and refreshing to me and I have found it to be quite a versatile cocktail ingredient. To make our ginger soda, we just mix one part syrup to two parts club soda. The ginger soda on its own is a great afternoon cooler that hits the spot without being overly sweet.
Nick’s Cove Ginger Syrup
In a blender add:
1 1/3 cups water
5 ounces peeled fresh ginger
Puree the Ginger until it’s smooth and transfer to a small non-reactive sauce pan.
Add 1 ½ tablespoons citric acid (commonly found in the canning section of grocery stores)
1/3 cup chopped lemongrass (about one stalk)
Grated zest of 2 limes
1 cup agave nectar
Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to gentle simmer. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain the mixture through fine stainer or cheese cloth. Cool and enjoy!