Like most of the people in the upper Midwest, I can’t believe the weather we are having. We’ve had almost a full week of 70-80° temperatures and it’s barely the middle of March. Of course, we’re all holding our breath, just waiting for winter to make one last bid for supremacy. We watch the news religiously expecting to hear that the season’s worst blizzard is heading our way and that this weather is nothing but a short tease before we are plunged back into sub zero temperatures.

That doesn’t mean that I haven’t been out, enjoying this early preview of summertime. It seems that every day our neighborhood is infused with the aromas of people grilling out and watching the kids play outside in their shorts makes me think that the end of the school year is right around the corner, not Spring Break.

To celebrate this early taste of summer I created a new cocktail. Well, okay, I hate to say “created” as someone, somewhere has probably come up with this flavor combination before, but it’s new to me. You will need to make a couple of things first though. You will need to make the Ginger Lime Syrup and Homemade Sweet and Sour Mix, both recipes follow the main recipe. The Ginger Lime Syrup I originally created as a flavoring syrup for homemade soda and while it makes an okay Ginger Ale, it makes a much better mixer for cocktails. But if you have a Sodastream, or another such carbonator, give it a try. Of course you could use store bought sour mix, but why? It tastes nasty and leaves a strange aftertaste in your mouth. Besides, it masks all the other wonderful flavors in this drink.

While, technically this drink really would be considered a Collins because of the addition of soda to top the drink I’ve called it a “Sour” which I’m sure will annoy those sticklers out there. Either way its still a good drink. I also haven’t added the egg white, which is often customary in a classic sour and which gives a “Sour” its creamy smoothness.

Gingered Bourbon Sour
makes 1 drink

2 oz. Bourbon, your favorite brand (whiskey would be fine also)
2 oz. Ginger Lime Syrup, recipe below
3 oz. Homemade Sour Mix
Club Soda
Lime, or Lemon slices

Fill a highball or Collins glass with ice. Pour in the Bourbon, ginger syrup and sour mix. Give a quick stir then fill with club soda and garnish with lemon or lime slices. After finishing the first one, enjoy another, and maybe another…only if you aren’t planning on driving anywhere!!

Ginger Lime Syrup
makes approximately 3 1/2 cups

2 cups Water
1 1/4 cup Sugar, granulated
3/4 cup Light Brown Sugar
3 oz. fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tsp. Coriander seed, lightly cracked
3 Limes
1/8 tsp. Salt

Combine water, sugars, ginger and coriander in a sauce pot, bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, covered. Remove from heat and allow to steep 10 minutes more. Meanwhile zest and juice the limes. Add the zest and salt to the ginger mixture and steep 5 minutes longer. Strain and cool. Once room temperature add the lime juice and refrigerate until ready to use. Will hold for 2 weeks.

Homemade Sweet and Sour Mix
2 cups Lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 1/2 cups Simple syrup (1:1 water to sugar ratio)
1/2 cup Water
1/3 cup Lime juice, freshly squeezed
1/3 cup Orange juice, freshly squeezed

Combine all ingredients and strain to remove any pulp and/or seeds. Refrigerate until needed. Will last for about 1 week, but tastes best within a day of making.