This homemade ginger liqueur tastes so elegant that people will not believe you made it yourself. It can compete with Domaine de Canton on flavor—for less than half the cost and only 20 minutes of work. The steeping time is very short, so this is a perfect DIY holiday gift...if you can bear to part with some.
Peeling ginger with a spoon allows you to navigate the curves and bumps more easily than using a peeler. Store as you would any liqueur—no refrigeration is required. This should keep for a year, but if it develops off flavors or a cloudy appearance, discard it.
2 oz ginger root
1 vanilla bean
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups brandy
1. Peel the ginger and cut it into thin slices. Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise.
2. Bring the ginger, vanilla, sugar, and water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until ginger is soft—about 20 minutes. Let the syrup cool. Do not strain yet.
3. Zest the orange and place the zest only in a sealable glass container along with the syrup and brandy. Seal and shake, then let this mixture steep for one day.
4. After one day, remove the vanilla bean and let the mixture steep for an additional day.
5. Strain mixture through a coffee filter into your bottle or jar for storage. Let it sit for one more day before using to let flavors mellow.