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Icy Lemon-Ginger Vodka Cocktails

  • TOTAL TIME: 20 MIN plus 4 hours freezing time
  • SERVINGS: makes 8 drinks
  • MAKE-AHEAD

These slushy, potent cocktails are easy to make in batches. They're also ideal for parties because most of the preparation can be done in advance.

  1. One 3-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  2. 2 cups water
  3. 1 1/2 cups sugar
  4. Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  5. 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  6. 8 cups crushed ice
  7. 2 cups vodka
  8. 8 mint sprigs, for garnish
  1. In a small saucepan, combine the sliced ginger with the water and sugar and bring to a simmer over moderate heat. Simmer for 5 minutes, then let the ginger syrup cool slightly. Transfer to a blender and puree. Strain the syrup into a large, shallow glass dish. Stir in the lemon zest and juice. Cover and freeze the lemon-ginger syrup until firm, at least 4 hours.
  2. Let the frozen lemon-ginger mixture stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. Chop the mixture into large pieces. Put half of the pieces in a blender, add 4 cups of crushed ice and 1 cup of vodka and blend until slushy. Pour the vodka cocktail into 4 glasses, garnish each with a mint sprig and serve. Repeat with the remaining frozen lemon mixture, ice, vodka and mint sprigs. Serve at once.
Make Ahead The lemon-ginger mixture can be frozen for up to 1 week. Notes Peel the ginger's thin and delicate skin by scraping down the root with a metal teaspoon. A spoon maneuvers around the nubs more easily than a pairing knife.