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Ginger beer, a potent blend of ginger and spices, can easily be made at home.

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The artisanal soda maker's favourite brew is ginger beer, a potent blend of ginger and spices with roots dating back to the 18th century.

While there are dozens of varieties available commercially it's easy to make ginger beer at home. The syrup can be added to cocktails, alcoholic or otherwise, diluted with soda and charged directly.

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Cooper Tardivel, head bartender at Hawksworth Restaurant at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia in Vancouver, offers his recipe for ginger beer and two delicious drinks that make the most of it.

Ginger Beer

3 ounces sliced ginger

1 cup sugar

1.5 cup water

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

0.5 teaspoon mace

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0.5 teaspoon allspice

– Combine ingredients, bring to a simmer, hold at temperature for 30 mins. Let cool. Strain into clean glass, refrigerate. Two-week shelf life.

– A la minute Beer: Add carbonation to syrup with a soda syphon or an ISI compressed gas charger: Use a 3-to-1 ratio of water to syrup.

Dark 'N Stormy

2 ounces Goslings Black Seal Bermuda Rum

1 ounce fresh lime juice

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– Build over ice in Collins glass.

– Top with house ginger beer.

– Garnish with lime wheel.

Kalamansi Fizz

2 ounces organic pomegranate juice

0.75 ounce kalamansi honey syrup (1 to 1 to 1 kalamansi juice, honey, water)

0.25 ounce fresh lemon juice

– Shake/strain over ice in a Collins glass.

– Top with house Ginger Beer.

– Garnish with lemon oil aromatic.

Source: Cooper Tardivel, head bartender Hawksworth Restaurant at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, 801 West Georgia St., Vancouver

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