My beverages of choice? Water and wine. Every once in a while I can get into a good beer, and I'll drink pretty much any cocktail mixed by the geniuses behind the bar at Restaurant Eve. But when I grab something to drink, it's almost always either a tall glass of ice-cold water, or a spot of vino.
If I'm going to indulge in other liquid calories, I want something interesting, something that makes me go "hmm." I want something refreshing and zippy. I definitely want some lime. And I want there to be something delicious around the rim.
Enter Tamarind Ginger Fizz, the most quaffable drink of spring (and summer...) and only the second drink to take up real estate on NDP. (Remember the first one? Boy was that fun.) It checks all the boxes on my drink checklist: intrigue (the tamarind), refreshing and zippy (lime, seltzer, and mint), and something delicious around the rim (an addictive blend of chili, sugar, and salt). Also, it's beautiful. Isn't it?
I can imagine serving this on a warm afternoon on my deck. If I had a deck, that is. Still, I can imagine drinking this at my kitchen table, peering out the window, after a long hard day of making this drink and taking its beauty shots. It's the sort of drink that feels luxurious all by itself -- deck optional.
Surprise! This is yet another fabulous recipe from Food52, my new go-to source for fun things to make. And guess what? The Food52 editors have selected my rhubarb shortbread recipe as a finalist in last week's "your best rhubarb" contest! I'm on a roll, y'all - give this lady another win! If you've got an account, go vote for me now. If you don't, make an account. It's quick and easy, and it'll be the best thing you do for your cooking life this year, guaranteed.
Tamarind Ginger Fizz adapted from wanderdash on Food52
note: I had sweetened tamarind pulp (homemade), which is about 2/3 tamarind and 1/3 sugar, so I changed the proportions here to about 1 cup tamarind pulp and 1 cup sugar. I still found it very much on the sweet side. If you're using unsweetened tamarind pulp, I recommend starting with 1 cup sugar, which you'll use to make the ginger syrup, and then adding more to the final drink if it isn't sweet enough.
3/4 cups ginger, peeled and roughly chopped 1 1/2 cups sugar 1 cup water 3/4 cups tamarind pulp 1/4 cup lime juice, freshly squeezed 1 cup mint, stems removed 6 sprigs mint, for garnish 1.5 liters seltzer water 1 wedge lime
For the rim sugar: 2 tablespoons sugar 1 tablespoon kosher salt 2 tablespoons chili powder
In a small saucepan, combine ginger, 1 cup sugar, and water. Bring to a boil over high heat, and cook about 5 minutes, until ginger has softened and syrup has thickened. Transfer to a heat-safe container, and refrigerate until ready to make the drink.
Meanwhile, make the rim sugar: combine chili, salt, and sugar with a fork until uniformly distributed.
When ginger syrup has cooled, combine half of it in a pitcher with tamarind and mint leaves. Muddle the mint in the pitcher to break up the leaves slightly.
Slide a lime around the rim of each glass, then dunk glasses one by one into the rim sugar, moving them back and forth to evenly coat them. Squeeze the lime into the pitcher and toss the wedge in.
Add the seltzer to the pitcher and mix well. Then pour the drink into glasses, holding the solids back with a spoon. Garnish each glass with a sprig of mint and serve.