This invigorating thirst-quencher begins with something every good bartender should be able to make: a simple syrup. Also known as bar syrup, simple syrup is used in chilled drinks calling for a dash of sweetness. Regular granulated sugar can be slow to dissolve in a cold liquid, but simple syrup, an easy mixture of sugar and boiling water, blends in smoothly and easily. For drinks made with clear liquids like gin, use a granulated sugar in the simple syrup. But for dark rum drinks or this Carrot-Ginger Beer, use a brown sugar for a deeper, richer flavor. This recipe uses fresh mint leaves as an aromatic in the simple syrup. Steeping an aromatic in the simple syrup is an easy way to add another layer of flavor to your drink. You can also try using lemon or lime zest or vanilla pods. Once you have added the aromatics to the syrup, remove the pan from heat and allow the mixture to steep for about half an hour. Pour the syrup through a wire mesh strainer and discard all solids. If you have extra simple syrup, keep it in an airtight container in your fridge for up to a week. This cocktail is perfect for the warm summer days, so keep some of the minty syrup on hand.
1 cup water
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
6 large mint sprigs
1/2 cup cold-pressed carrot juice
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from about 2 limes)
6 ounces spiced rum, divided
3 cups chilled ginger beer, divided
mint sprigs and shaved carrots, for garnish
How to Make It
Combine 1 cup water, 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar, and 6 large mint sprigs in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high, stirring just until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, and cool completely (about 30 minutes). Discard mint sprigs.
Combine mint syrup, 1/2 cup cold-pressed carrot juice, and 1/4 cup fresh lime juice in a pitcher, and chill until very cold, about 2 hours.
For each serving, pour 6 Tbsp. of the mixture over ice in a 12-oz. glass, and stir in 3 Tbsp. spicedrum. Top each with 3/4 cup chilled ginger beer. Garnish with mint sprigs and shaved carrots.