You can take one more nostalgic look back at winter before the summer heat begins by celebrating National Gingerbread Day on June 5. In addition to baking your favorite gingerbread treats, celebrate the day with new recipes and lore about gingerbread.
Things You'll Need
- Fresh ginger
- Cinnamon powder or sticks
- Vanilla beans
- Crystallized ginger
- Simple syrup
- Sparkling water
Start National Gingerbread Day with pancakes or fresh fruit served with homemade gingerbread syrup. To make the syrup, heat 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, a 4-inch piece of diced fresh ginger and your favorite gingerbread spices to taste, such as cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, nutmeg and allspice. Simmer for about 10 minutes until the syrup is thick. It thickens further after you remove it from the heat.
Snack on crystallized ginger to celebrate the history of gingerbread. When the word "gingerbread" came into vogue in Medieval England, it simply meant "preserved ginger."
Hasten an unmarried female friend's wedding by giving her a gingerbread "husband" to eat on National Gingerbread Day. English village women used to eat gingerbread husbands at fairs to ensure that they would meet and marry their true loves.
Create refreshing non-alcoholic ginger drinks by adding fresh ginger juice to your favorite summertime drink recipes, such as fresh lemonade. Make a quick version of ginger ale by adding ginger juice and simple syrup to sparkling water. For gingerbread ale, add your homemade syrup from Step 1 to sparkling water.
Tell the story "The Gingerbread Man" or "Hansel and Gretel" to a child in your life on National Gingerbread Day. Serve gingerbread refreshments during the story to fully celebrate the day.
Mix up a gingerbread martini by shaking or stirring ½ oz. of your homemade ginger syrup with 2 oz. vodka and ice. Strain into a martini glass. Serve with a freshly shaved piece of ginger. Add a cinnamon stick if you're feeling festive.
Tips & Warnings
- You can use the fine side of a box grater, a ginger grater or a garlic press to juice ginger if you don't have a juicer.
- Use whole spices, such as cinnamon sticks and whole cloves, in your gingerbread syrup if you want a clear syrup.
- Experiment with adding other liqueurs to your gingerbread martini, such as Amaretto or Kahlua.
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