Don’t Scoff at the Spritzer

This lemongrass/ginger spritzer came to mind as I planted a batch of lemongrass in the garden this week. We still have a few bags of frozen lemongrass stalks from last year – fears of running out through the winter proved unfounded, as I only used a few. Of course, it’s probably not the winter that needed getting through, but the spring – in this period of growth before I can harvest anything from the newly-planted. If you have a spot for lemongrass, I highly recommend it. Like most grasses, it grows big and beautiful, and a small clump in the spring can turn into an enormous mound by the fall.

For this alcohol-free mocktail, I boiled a cup of sugar with a cup of water, along with a few slices of fresh ginger and about four stalks of lemongrass, roughly chopped into one-inch pieces (and slightly macerated.) After about fifteen minutes, I strained the mix and poured it into a container for the fridge. It’s possible to leave the ginger and lemongrass in the water for longer – the longer you leave it, the stronger the tincture becomes.

Once cool, add a small amount (maybe ¼ cup) to a glass filled with ice. (A little of this simple syrup goes a long way.) Top with a generous pour of club soda, and garnish with a frozen lemongrass stalk (it need not be frozen, mine just happened to be.) A perfect accompaniment for the sunny days to come.

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