Cocktail of the Week: Ginger Sparkles (and Stuffed Dates)

18 Apr

I was in Chicago a couple weekends ago to celebrate the impending nuptials of one of my oldest friends. I wanted to make a special cocktail for her during the visit, so I asked her what kind of cocktails she liked.  She said: sweet, gingery and citrusy, and based on this I came up with this little cocktail, which we heartily enjoyed.  She brought along goat cheese stuffed dates with walnuts, the recipe for which I’ve tried to approximate.

Ginger Sparkles (makes 4)

  • 4 slices fresh ginger
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • juice of one lemon
  • prosecco
  • spicy ginger beer (we used Bleinhem’s)
add sugar, water and ginger to a small pot and heat until boiling.  reduce heat and simmer for at least 1/2 hour.
meanwhile, take a small strip of ginger and rub it around the rims of 4 cocktail glasses.  do the same with a slice of lemon.  push rim-down into a plate of sugar to create a sugar rim.
after the syrup has cooled, add 1/4 oz to each of the glasses.  Squeeze 1/4 lemon into each glass as well.  top with prosecco and a splash of ginger beer.
Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates with Walnuts
  • 1/4 cup fresh goat cheese (about 2 ounces), softened
  • 12 walnut halves
  • 12 large Medjool dates
  • Coarse sea salt for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat goat cheese by hand until smooth.

Make a slit lengthwise in each date, and remove the pit if necessary. Fill each date with a heaping teaspoon of goat cheese mixture.  Add a walnut half to top of each date.

Bake for 7 minutes or until just browned.

Sprinkle with salt just before serving.


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