I may have been one of the few kids in the world who liked going to restaurants with salad bars. Actually, I loved it. While a light, tangy, delicately boozy Lemon Ginger Vodka Vinaigrette probably wouldn’t have been my first choice of dressings when I was a kid, I loved building a “pretty plate” to suit my mood then as much then as I do now.
Generous drizzles of both Ranch and French dressings were what I considered the salad equivalent of frosting on the cake. It kept the croutons and bacon bits from falling off the lettuce. Such was the rationale of my salad-loving youth.
My tastes have changed a bit since then… I actually prefer a lot more veg in my salads these days. And while a good, gloppy dressing definitely has its place in my world (heaven help me when a chunky, scratch-made blue cheese happens to cross my path), I try to dress my salads with lighter, brighter notes now.
Enter, this Lemon Ginger Vodka Vinaigrette recipe. It was inspired by my summer beverage crush on 5 Infused Vodka and remains one of my quick and simple faves.
#AD Note: The fine folks at 5 Vodka provided some of their wonderful product so I could keep coming up with recipes to use it in. But for the record, all opinions and genuine fondness for the product are my own. I would say great things about 5 Vodka even if they hadn’t given me free booze because it’s really, really good.
It was love at first sip… Lemony deliciousness with an unmistakable gingery warmth. It was perfect just poured over the rocks, but I couldn’t help but think about all the other beautiful ways it could be used in the kitchen. So, I came up with several easy-breezy recipes that feature 5 Vodka’s Lemon Ginger Liqueur that’ll take a dinner party from Happy Hour to Dessert!
If you’d rather, you can certainly make a mixture of vodka and simple syrup to use in place of 5 Vodka’s Lemon Ginger Liqueur. Of course, I don’t have the brilliant recipe that the 5 Vodka people use to make their liqueur, and I can’t promise that a homemade version will provide identical results. But, here’s a great homemade simple syrup recipe and tutorial that’ll show you exactly how to make your own.
If you prefer an alcohol-free option, I’ve provided options for that in the recipe below.
By the way, if you want to make this lemon ginger vinaigrette in advance, or find you have extra on hand, just cover it and pop it in the refrigerator for up to a day or two. It’s wonderful the next day, and it makes a great marinade for chicken, fish and vegetables.
Some very vinaigrette-y salad suggestions:
- Romaine lettuce, Spring Mix, and/or Spinach
- Golden Berries (shown here… Totally amazing!)
- Red and orange cherry tomatoes
- Sweet Peppers
- Red onion or shallot
- Purple and/or green basil leaves
- 2 ounces 5 Lemon Ginger Vodka or sweetened lemonade
- ¼ cup Canola or Extra Light Oliver Oil
- 2 – 3 tablespoons white vinegar (use more for a thinner, tangier dressing)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest (from about ¼ - ½ a fresh lemon)
- ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon fresh ground pepper, or more or less to taste
- Add a pinch of salt if you like, but allow flavors to marry first, and then season to taste.
- Combine all ingredients in a glass, non-reactive bowl and allow flavors to marry at room temperature for about 30 minutes before dressing salad or using as a marinade.
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts – especially when you try our recipes! Please leave a comment below, and don’t forget to be social!
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