A Glass of Class: Ginger Limeade
|May 26, 2011||Posted by Laura under Entertaining, Recipes|
I worked my way through graduate school by waiting tables at The University Club, an impressive brick building right on the library mall on UW-Madison’s campus. I used to describe it to people by saying, “You know that building that nobody knows what it is? That’s where I work.” It was a pretty sweet situation for me. The work was easy, my boss was hilarious, and I got half-price portobello mushroom sandwiches and all the ginger limeade I could drink.
Ginger Limeade was the U-Club’s signature drink, and in those days my co-workers and I considered it a cure-all. Late nights spent churning out 15-page papers or living it up on State Street would melt away into pleasantly tart mornings. The first sip was better than coffee, and felt far more virtuous. Instantly soothed and awakened I would think, “Next time I’ll start early. I’ll go straight to the library after work.” or “Next time I’ll just have one Manhattan, and then go straight home to bed.” Refreshed, I’d shuffle off to the table of Wednesday regulars who’d been tipping a dollar since the sixties, and weren’t about to raise the amount now, no matter how full I kept their water glasses.
Summer is peeking around the corner now, and reminding me of lazy afternoons on the U-Club veranda. I figured it was time to try my hand at a home-made version of my favorite summer drink.
- a two-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- juice of four limes (about 1/4 cup)
- 3 tablespoons simple syrup*
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the ginger slices and reduce heat to a simmer. Let it bubble gently for 15 to 20 minutes, and then strain out the ginger slices and chill.
Combine 3/4 cup of your chilled ginger tea with the lime juice. Add three tablespoons simple syrup (or to taste) and stir well. Serve with ice, and garnish with a lime wedge.
*To make simple syrup, mix 1 cup water with one cup sugar, and stir constantly as you bring the mixture to a boil. Continue stirring until sugar is completely dissolved. This makes two cups, but it’s almost summer, so you’ll definitely find a use for it.