Green ginger wine recipes.
Inspired by a question on Reddit we’re going to take look at an interesting ingredient – green ginger wine. It’s usually considered a crusty old kind of drink that, at least in my younger days in Scotland, old barflies would add to their whisky. It would invariably be Crabbie’s brand but there are certainly others such as Hutchison’s and Stone’s – the latter being the choice in England. Green ginger wine is made from wine, ginger, various fruits, herbs and spices all slightly fortified with a neutral spirit to 13.5%ABV. Hang on a second – doesn’t that sound a bit familiar? Ha! Suddenly it all makes sense – green ginger wine is Scottish vermouth! Sounds to me like it must be Let’s Rehabilitate an Old Ingredient time, so grab some green ginger wine and let’s go to work. If you’re in a place where green ginger wine isn’t on the supermarket shelves (usually in the bottom corner covered in dust) try your local bottle shop or Chinese grocery (yes, really). Apart from the three recipes below try using green ginger wine as a substitute for dry or white vermouth in other recipes.
Named for its inventor, Colonel MacDonald, this drink is usually just a roughly equal mix of blended Scotch and Crabbie’s thrown together in a glass. Apparently it’s popular with golfers which makes sense as it would be a suitable mix to put in a hip flask to fortify oneself against the elements. Let’s bring it up to date just a little with that crazy newfangled invention – ice.
2oz Scotch of choice.
1oz Crabbie’s (or another) green ginger wine.
Stir with ice and strain into a DOF glass containing a big block of clear ice.
Garnish with a slice of ginger (optional).
Toast Colonel MacDonald.
This is one of my own recipes. In Glasgow a fizzy soft drink is often known as “ginger” – presumably because at one time the only such drink was ginger beer. “Singin’ ginger” is slang for a strong alcoholic drink – most likely a bottle of “Buckie“. We can do better than that, right? While this looks like it should be a stirred drink I’ve discovered that if you can get it very cold it has a wonderful crisp quality worth sacrificing a little clarity for. I fine tuned the recipe after I took the photo so your Singing Ginger won’t be quite so green – or big.
1.5oz gin (I used Blackwood’s because it’s also Scottish – and delicious).
1oz Lillet Blanc (if unavailable use a white/blanco/bianco vermouth)
1oz Crabbie’s green ginger wine.
Shake hard with ice and strain into a well chilled champagne coupé.
Garnish with pickled sweet ginger on a bamboo skewer (optional).
Toast Cha Burns (1957 – 2007) of The Silencers who played a tune called Singing Ginger.
Scotch Sitting Room
I based this on an Old Fashioned and just ginged it up a touch. Not bad, if I do say so myself.
Scotch Sitting Room
2oz single malt Scotch whisky of your choice (I chose Glenfiddich 12 year old).
2 teaspoons of green ginger wine.
1 teaspoon rich honey syrup.
2 dashes Angostura bitters.
Stir with ice and strain into DOF glass containing a big block of clear ice.
Garnish with a lemon twist (optional).
Toast Ivor Cutler (1923 – 2006) who wrote and performed Life in a Scotch Sitting Room.