I've been thinking for a while that I wanted to start using ginger more with my cocktails, and the experiments I've made with Stone's ginger wine have been lacklustre at best. Instead, I decided to go right to the source with fresh (or candied) ginger.
I came up with something that struck me as quite tasty indeed:
The Montoursville Special
3oz rye whiskey
1/2oz Luxardo Maraschino
1/2oz dry vermouth
1/2oz sweet vermouth
2 dashes orange bitters
3-5 pieces chopped/torn ginger (fresh or candied)
Chop or tear the ginger into pieces large enough for your strainer to keep the bits out of the drink. Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Shake vigorously and strain carefully into a cocktail glass.
I loved the way the orange played off the spice of the ginger, while the rye/maraschino/vermouth corpus of the drink maintained each of the flavours distinctly.
I'm naming this The Montoursville Special after a guy who's pretty special to Yankees fans around the world: Mike Mussina. Sadly, The Moose decided to hang up his glove just 30 victories shy of 300, which may mean he won't make the Baseball Hall of Fame. But we'll always remember the great games, the classy sportsmanship, and the professionalism that Mike brought to The Cathedral of Baseball.
Godspeed, Mike. Here's to you!