(45 minutes + cooling time, serves dozens)
Inspired by a classic Sri Lankan cocktail made with ginger beer, lime, and arrack, a bourbon-like liquor derived from coconut flowers.
3 packages unflavored gelatin
1/4 c. ginger juice
1/4 c. lime juice
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 c. ginger beer
1/4 c. arrack
powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
butter (for greasing the pan)
green food coloring (optional)
1/2 c. culinary crystals (optional)
crystallized ginger, chopped fine (optional)
crystallized lime, cut into thin wedges (optional)
1. Empty gelatin packets into bowl of stand mixer (whisk attachment), with ginger juice and lime juice. Stir briefly to combine.
2. In a small saucepan (a bigger one will be heavy and hard to hold steadily at a later stage) combine water, granulated sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Cover and cook over medium high heat for 4 minutes. Uncover and cook until the mixture reaches soft ball stage (240 degrees if you have a candy thermometer), approximately 8 minutes. Watch carefully to ensure it doesn’t overheat.
3. Add ginger beer and arrack, which will reduce the temperature; continue simmering until it returns to soft ball stage / 240 degrees. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from heat; if it continues, it will swiftly turn into hard candy.
4. Turn mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. (Be very careful with the sugar syrup, as it is scaldingly hot and will burn you badly if it gets on your skin.) Once you’ve added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high.
5. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 minutes. Add food coloring, if using, during this stage.
6. While it’s whipping, butter a large 9 x 12 pan and dust with powdered sugar. Prepare an oiled spatula.
7. Turn mixer to low and add culinary crystals, stirring for a few moments to blend. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly (and swiftly) with an oiled spatula.
8. Top with crystallized ginger and lime if desired, pressing in slightly. Dust the top with enough of the remaining powdered sugar to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
9. Turn onto a board, cut into squares and dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining powdered sugar, using additional if necessary. May be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks, or frozen.