Ginger and Cucumber Spritzer

November 11, 2013

“White wine spritzer” feels so seventies, doesn’t it? I wasn’t even born in that decade but spritzers surely make me thing of fondue and flares. I picture ladies at backyard BBQs, wine spritzer in hand and a whole lotta hair. Personally I’d never order one when out, let alone make a spritzer at home. What a bummer…

Let’s try and freshen up that image!

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Usually I’m in the “wine is so good by itself, why jazz it up?” camp. But when asked to develop a recipe for Taylors Wines I felt like celebrating the almost warm days that are creeping in and creating a sunshine drink. Call me dreamweaver.

Reaching for Taylors’ chardonnay I instantly knew I wanted to add some cucumber to the mix, inspired by a new lady friend and mentor in my life who serves water with strips of cucumber and lemon, which is just so far out. As a ginger fiend, I thought it’d make a lovely addition to the spritzer and so I made a homemade ginger syrup. It’s a simple assembly, but so right on – white wine, soda, ice, cucumber, ginger syrup and candied ginger pieces. Lovely.

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This ginger and cucumber spritzer is both warming, from the ginger, and refreshing, from the chilled wine and cucumber. I quite fancy it as a friendly drink enjoyed with a dose of afternoon Summer sunshine, you know? Or perhaps you’ll stay inside and make it a lazy day, spritzer in hand and some cheesey fondue goodness as you watch The Godfather.

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Can you dig it?

Ginger and Cucumber Spritzer

Makes 2 & 1/2 cups

You will need to begin this recipe an hour before you want to serve the drink.

Ingredients

For the ginger syrup (inspired by Joy The Baker):
40g fresh Ginger
1/2 cup White Sugar
2 cups Water

For the spritzer:
1/3 cup Ginger Syrup
1 cup Taylors Chardonnay, chilled (add an extra 1/4-1/2 cup if you prefer a stronger wine flavour)
100g Cucumber, plus extra for serving
1 cup Soda Water, chilled
1 handful Ice Cubes

Optional: Candied Ginger (from when you made the ginger syrup)

Method

1. First, make the ginger syrup. Peel and slice the ginger into thin rounds. In a heavy based saucepan, add the ginger, sugar and water. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer, cooking for ~30 minutes until it begins to reduce, thicken and become a syrup. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, remove the ginger slices and place on a piece of baking paper, allowing them to cool. Pour the syrup into a jar, allow to cool and then store in the fridge. You can make a double (or triple!) batch if you wish, adding more or less ginger as you desire. You can also add more sugar, as is traditionally done, however I find this quantity of sugar sweet enough. The ginger pieces work well in this drink, enhancing the flavour of the ginger syrup, however I also fancy the ginger pieces sprinkled on top of ice-cream or nibbled just as a they are.

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2. Next, assemble your spritzer! Put the ginger syrup (and a few ginger pieces, if you desire a stronger flavour) in a pitcher. I couldn’t find my clear glass pitcher and so went with a jar. I think it’s pretty, though not terribly functional. Add the wine and stir. Slice the cucumber diagonally (~ 1/2cm in size) and place in the pitcher. Allow to infuse for ~30 minutes if you wish, this will help enhance the cucumber flavour. To serve, add the soda water and ice.

Extra sliced cucumber goes down a treat when serving this spritzer. You’re drinking salad!

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Giveaway!

To get you in the mood for sunshine and spritzers, Taylors Wines are giving away two bottles of their great wine to two super lucky readers – this Chardonnay 2012 featured above and their Pinot Gris 2012. How fabulous is that?!

Taylors are an ace company, producing lovely wine in South Australia’s Clare Valley. I hear that Clare Valley is a gorgeous region. I like that Taylors has a recipe page on their website where you can search for recipes to match your wine. I particularly love the look of this Eggplant Parmagiana to go with their Eighty Acres Shiraz Viognier 2012. And look, they even have a cheese fondue recipe to go with your Chardonnay. Taylors, you’re so right on.

To win, all you must do is leave a comment below, telling me your favourite thing about wine, why you adore it. I will also accept entries if you tell me your favourite seventies movie. This competition is open to Australian readers only and winners must be of legal drinking age (and be able to provide proof of age by scanning and emailing your ID). The winners will be announced in one week, on the 18th November 2013.

Update: the winners are Carly & Merowyn! Carly for her comment on both the wine love and her 70s movie love – Grease IS the word – and Merowyn for that just truly epic poem 😉 Congratulations, ladies! I’ll be in contact via email.


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Cheers.

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Heidi xo

 

 

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  • Carly Findlay November 11, 2013 at 7:21 am

    This looks so fabulous! I like wine because it makes me feel grown up. While I might just be drinking moscato, a glass in my hand makes me feel very early 30s.
    My fave 70s movie is Grease, of course! A wella wella well uh – tell me more…

    • Heidi November 14, 2013 at 3:27 pm

      I now have the opening theme song in my head & I’m not mad at all x

  • InTolerant Chef November 11, 2013 at 8:26 am

    Lovely recipe indeed Heidi, I’m a big fan of the spritzer for sure!
    My favourite thing about white is how you can match it with food to enhance both the dining and drinking experience.

    • Heidi November 14, 2013 at 3:27 pm

      well said, lady x

  • Yasmeen @ Wandering Spice November 11, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Dreamweaver! Love it. I am also a ginger fiend and love the sound of this. Alas you know I sadly cannot drink much wine so I will kindly step aside for others to get in on the giveaway, but still, I love what you’ve done here!

    • Heidi November 14, 2013 at 3:27 pm

      oh thanks, lovely! x

  • Katherine Ryan November 11, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    I love wine for the complexity and depth it can give food, either by cooking with it or pairing it with a complementary dish.

    • Heidi November 14, 2013 at 3:28 pm

      it’s so fun to match, isn’t it? x

  • Georgie November 12, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    I love wine because I can share it with friends and it feels more celebratory than spirits.

    • Heidi November 14, 2013 at 3:28 pm

      you’re right, it’s so nice to share a bottle with friends x

  • Girl Who Cooks November 14, 2013 at 7:10 am

    Well, wine is simply a drink for all occasions. I couldn’t celebrate without champagne, eat duck without pinot, snuggle up by the fire without a shiraz. This does make me seem like an alcoholic… But I have several open bottles as I’ve food matched but only poured two glasses…….

    • Heidi November 14, 2013 at 3:29 pm

      haha no, you don’t sound like an alcoholic at all, you clearly just appreciate wine! I hear ya x

  • Megan November 14, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    I love wine because it goes good with books.

    • Heidi November 18, 2013 at 11:30 am

      It so does! x

  • Merowyn November 14, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    OH MAN

    I was going to write a comment on this the other day because I am loving the photos sick, they are gorgeous!!!! But I was on my phone, then I forgot… THEN YOU TOLD ME THERE WAS WINE TO BE WON…

    Ok, so the above is not my entry but the following is:

    I – It’s so delicious, yum, yum and compliments amazing food to not drink it would be just ridiculously rude!

    L – Lovely crisp notes of a Chardy oh yay! It’s Friday so have it with fish OK!
    O – Open the bottle, let it breath, pop the cork – you’re a wine dork!!!!
    V – Variety! Abundant! So many blends! The choice it never ends!!!
    E – Easily the BEST thing to go with cheese, WINE IS THE BEES KNEES!

    W – Why not have a tipple of a sparkling Moscato? It’s better than a rotten tomato!
    I – I’ve never met a wine that didn’t please, unless it was corked, oh no! Just leave!
    N – Never unwelcome, it will always have a place
    E – embedded in my heart, now have a glass, post haste!

    THAT’S MY ENTRY!
    A WINE POEM!!

    Ahhhahahahaahahaaa

    I hope you enjoyed it 🙂 🙂 🙂

    OH AND DID YOU NOTICE THE WAY THE LINES SPELT OUT “I LOVE WINE”… yeahhhhh… poetry master!!!

    • Heidi November 18, 2013 at 11:30 am

      Epic x

  • Lindi Phillips November 18, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    I have just made your ginger and cucumber spritz OMG it’s amazing that will be very high on my summer drinking list. Back to my favorite wine l love my Merlort and also a good rounded
    Shiraz can never go past a sparkling Shiraz you could say I’m a red girl.
    One of my favorite movies of the 70’s is Godspell it was a rock opera and a friend finally tracked down a copy for me last year lwas so excited.

    • Heidi November 19, 2013 at 2:24 pm

      So happy you made it, Lindi! Love a good sparkling shiraz x