Entertaining guests in my home is when I am happiest. It’s all in the details and it’s easy to take a basic mixed drink and make it into a signature cocktail. One of the best ways to do so is by making an infused simple syrup. The warm flavors of star anise and ginger are perfectly in season and make for a crowd pleaser. Mix in some whiskey and a splash of ginger beer and you’re ready for a party.
How to my THE STAR:
1 T infused syrup (recipe follows)
1 1/2 oz (or about 3 T) whiskey
3 oz ginger beer
Pour syrup and whiskey into a shaker with ice, give it a good shake. Pour into a sugar rimmed glass and top with ginger beer and a garnish. This also works nicely as a classic cocktail in a highball with ice.
For the simple syrup, combine the following in a small saucepan: 1 cup of sugar, 4-5 pieces of star anise (full stars or the equivalent), a large thumb sized piece of ginger, grated (even more if you like it spicy!) and 2 cups of cold water. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and cool completely. Strain out the solids. Store syrup in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.