For today’s afternoon cocktail we’re going to leave out the booze and make something refreshing and bold that everyone can enjoy. Packed with ginger, this mocktail will wake up all your tastebuds and put a little extra kick in your weekend.

To be honest, I probably could use a little break from the alcohol after attending a couple social happy hours downtown last night. I was responsible and cooked up a little meal before hitting the town so I didn’t turn into ‘that guy’ – who, of course, has no relation to me.

It’s been African theme week on the Kitchn, so the flavors from that region have been on my mind. And after seeing all the great posts that have been put together I’m even thinking of venturing out to Aster’s Ethiopian or Cazamance this weekend, both places I’ve yet to try. Ginger is a popular plant that grows in Africa and they use it for several home remedies and medicinal purposes – noting its abilities to aid in digestion, relieve headaches, soothe sore throats amongst many other things. We’re going to be using a lot of it today for this mocktail, and it starts with some gin and juice…oops, I meant ginger juice.

Ginger Juice

Ingredients:

-1/2 lb of ginger

Directions:

Wash the ginger, and use a scrubbing brush to remove any dirt from the skin. Slice up the ginger, skin on, and place in a blender (or juicer).

If you have a juicer, turn it on and BAM!, you’re done. If you only have a blender, add some water to help the blender puree the ginger. Strain the pureed ginger into a bowl using a fine mesh strainer, and working with your hands to squeeze out any juice from the pulp. That’s your ginger juice.

Pear Juice

Ingredients:

-1 pear sliced and cored

Directions:

Get a ripe pear, one soft enough you know its juicy inside. Cut and core the pear, then place in the blender (or juicer) and make juice just like you did with the ginger. Set aside.

The Gingerade

makes one

Ingredients:

-1/2 lime, cut into pieces

-1 tsp sugar (if you have evaporated cane sugar, use it. It’s the bomb.)

-3 oz ginger juice

-2 oz pear juice

-Topo Chico

Directions:

Put the pieces of lime in the bottom of a cocktail shaker and muddle with the teaspoon of sugar. Add your pear and ginger juice (I still want to say gin and juice) then fill the shaker with ice. Give it a good shakedown until things are cold and then strain into an ice-filled glass.

This should fill your glass a little more than half-full (or half-empty if you’re one of those people).

Top the glass off with the Topo Chico and enjoy.

I like this mocktail because it has some of the essence of what I think makes a good cocktail. Herbal, punchy, refreshing, and a little unexpected. I’m about to go make me another before I go play with some Lasers -maybe it is a good thing we’re keeping it real this afternoon.

-Chris



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