This Wild, Old Rhizome...
Its origin is rumored to have sprouted over 4,000 years ago from the lush tropical jungles of Southern Asia. As far back as 500 BC the great Chinese philosopher Confucius insisted this herbaceous spice be present on the table at his every meal, like today’s salt and pepper shakers.
Highly valued for its medicinal merits during the Middle Ages, just one pound of it was worth 1 shilling and 7 pence, approximately equivalent to the price of a sheep.
Sometime in the nineteenth century, Irish barkeeps started putting out small bowls of ground ginger for patrons to sprinkle into their ale (ginger-ale?) for taste. In fact, it has been traded throughout history longer than most other spices.
At it’s “roots”, Ginger is a creeping perennial plant that grows horizontally underground from a rhizome and kicks up a flowering stem that can grow up to three feet high. Usually planted in Early Spring, it is harvested after 9-10 months when its green leaves turn yellow and start to dry.
Cultivated in most tropical and subtropical regions of the world, there are more than 1,300 types of ginger. While many are purely ornamental, the edible varietals produce a spritely range of subtly different flavors.
For instance, India produces 40% of the world’s ginger, which is valued for it’s lemon-like flavor, low fiber and high moisture content. Jamaican ginger is heavily fragrant, displaying soft top-notes of eucalyptus. Chinese ginger is typically lighter in color with a more fibrous body and delicate aroma, and Australia produces the most citrus-like ginger. A&M's favorite Ginger is sourced from the Ivory Coast and imparts a sweeter, earthier snap with an unparalleled heartiness.
Ginger's uses have spread from culinary and beverage additives to message therapy and aromatherapy due to its energizing and stimulative properties. Ethno-botanists have even reported "women in Senegal and Fouta-Djalon use the tubers [rhizomes] of the Ginger plant in the making of belts with the aim of arousing the dormant senses of their husbands." 
Check out this Dark 'N' Stormy recipe featuring A&M's Warm Ginger Elixir, specially crafted with Ginger sourced from the Ivory Coast. Perfect for energizing the senses and keeping the spirits warm!
Valnet, M.D., Jean. The Practice of Aromatherapy, 1990, pp. 135-6.
Dark 'N' Stormy Orchard
- 4 ounces Hard Ginger Apple Cider
- A&M recommends trying The Dirty Mayor from Citizen Cider.
- 2 ounces Dark Rum
- 3-5 drops of Warm Ginger Elixir
- 1 Lime, cut in half for garnish
- Fill glass with ice.
Add Dark Rum to glass.
Top off with Hard Ginger Apple Cider.
Add 2-3 Drops of Elixir.
Garnish with Lime slice.