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Last night I had a spontaneous girls night out with one of my fav gal pal”s Mel, and since it seems harder and harder to get out these days (let alone going out less in an effort to save $$), we decided to hit a new hot spot. So we made our way to Street in Hollywood, Susan Feniger”s (one of the “hot tamales” and co-owner of Border Grill) new foodie restaurant. This inspired new restaurant showcases the food of street vendors throughout the world, who create some of the most inspired food that excites the palate with unexpected flavors and exotic ingredients. And the food did not disappoint and completely delivered on this diverse and high flavored promise.

Given that it has been a while since I had a GNO, Mel and I decided to be radical and dine at the bar and we were instantly drawn into this urban, minimalist dining/bar experience. While the food impressed (and I will talk more about the delightful food experienece in a later post), it was one of her signature drinks that knocked my socks off–the Canton Ginger Kick– because it was an explosion of flavors in my mouth–ginger, sugar, lemon, vodka–YUM! Being a wine and champagne girl, I rarely go for the cocktails, but when I sat down at the bar and saw the candied ginger beautifully displayed on a bamboo stick, I was in. This is such a refreshing, tasty, Asian inspired cocktail and I loved every drop of it. Every sip teased my palate with a zingy ginger kick, its one of those drinks that tastes so good you can barely taste the alcohol (and then suddenly you are feeling mighty fine :-). It is made with Canton Ginger Liqueur, vodka, lemon, ginger simple syrup and candied ginger as an accent and I have graciously provided the recipe below.

So feel free to make it yourself (there are alot of steps, but it is SO worth it–however I might just buy the candied ginger from Trader Joes to make it easier) or you can go to Street for the full monty experience–shimmy up to the bar, eat the unusual but tasty curried rice krispie treat balls they give you at the bar (its their version of bread btw) pay sixteen bucks for a pro to make it, sip and enjoy with the other trendy foodies. Either way its one of those things you gotta try at least once, its THAT good and I will be drinking it all summer–DEE-LISH! Have any other great summertime cocktails? Please post and share!

Ginger Goddess
Canton Ginger Kick Cocktail
Servings: 2 cocktails
Ginger syrup and candied ginger
1/2 pound peeled ginger, sliced crosswise, very thinly
2 cups water
2 cups sugar

1. Heat the oven to 200 degrees. Place the ginger, water and sugar in a medium, heavy-bottom saucepan and stir gently to moisten the sugar. Place the pan over medium-low heat and cook for 30 minutes to allow the ginger to steep as the sugar dissolves; watch that the sugar does not color or burn. Remove from the heat and drain, reserving the candied ginger pieces.

2. Allow the syrup to cool, then cover and refrigerate until needed. This recipe makes about 2 1/2 cups of ginger syrup.

3. To dry the candied ginger, spread the pieces out in a single layer on a parchment- or silpat-lined baking sheet. (To use the candied ginger as a garnish, thread a few pieces each on bamboo skewers or toothpicks and place the skewers on the sheet.) Place the sheet in the oven and bake for 1 hour. Turn the oven off but leave the sheet inside and allow the ginger to dry out overnight.

4. Powder the dried candied ginger by placing the slices in a spice or coffee grinder and grinding them to a fine powder. Store in a sealable plastic bag until needed.
Cocktail and assembly
Ginger powder
1 lemon wedge plus 1 ounce lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon), divided
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
3 ounces ginger liqueur, such as Canton
2 ounces vodka, such as Charbay
1 teaspoon ginger-infused syrup
Splash of soda or sparkling water
2 quarters fresh lemon (or lemon twist for those who like less citrus) for garnish
Candied ginger on bamboo skewers or toothpicks for garnish
1. Place the ginger powder onto a shallow dish or small plate. Wipe the rim of two double-rocks glasses with the lemon wedge, then turn each glass over onto the ginger powder to evenly coat the rim.
2. Divide the lemon juice and fresh ginger slices evenly between the two glasses. Muddle or gently crush the ginger well in each glass. Add ice to each glass and pour over the ginger liqueur and vodka. Top each glass with a splash of soda and stir once.
3. Garnish the rim of each glass with a lemon quarter or twist and candied ginger skewer. Serve immediately.
Note: Canton Ginger Liqueur and Charbay Vodka can be found at good liqueur stores. The candied ginger recipe yields more powdered candied ginger than is required for the recipe. Store the powder in a sealable plastic bag in a cool, dry place; it should keep for several weeks. The recipe also yields more candied ginger than is needed for the recipe; the syrup will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.
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