On the tongue / Hawaiian production of ginger root was once at 15 million pounds per year, says Bill Tocantins, the man behind Elixir G, a very powerful concentrate that is made with an enormous amount of fresh ginger root from the Big Island. According to him, fresh ginger production is now less than 2 million pounds per year.
“With a plant disease that constantly threatens the crop, and China flooding the market with cheap ginger, it’s now more difficult than ever for [Hawaii’s] farmers to make a living,” he says.
Elixir G is a non-alcoholic cocktail mix that’s made in small batches in Santa Monica, Calif, where Tocantins claims the company uses more than 5,000 pounds of fresh Hawaii-grown ginger root directly from island farmers.
Although restaurateurs island- and nation-wide covet Hawai’i’s ginger, Hawaii’s farmers simply can’t meet national demands. In 2003, for example, Hawaii produced 6,545 metric tons of fresh ginger, while the nation imported another 26,103 metric tons from China, Brazil and Thailand.
“We hope Elixir G can help bring those numbers up again,” says Tocantins.
Awarded the Best New Beverage and Best in Show by the Western Food and Hospitality Expo in LA, I was curious about how it tastes, and whether or not there’s truth behind the old adage, a little goes a long way, and too much starts tasting like the Foot Locker.
Before adding an entire ounce of the elixir to my Gingerita, as the recipe on the back of the bottle suggests, I took a hard look at its ingredients, and was pleasantly surprised to find only three edible elements, all of which are pronounceable: pure cane sugar, fresh ginger and lemon juice from concentrate. Blended with a cup of ice, two ounces of top-shelf tequila and two ounces of sour mix, I enjoyed, by far, the best Gingerita I’ve had.
If Elixir G is really as “versatile” as Spirits Critic, Michael Hepworth of [DailyOlive.com] claims, then I wanted to find out how it worked as a marinade. On fish.
• 4 salmon fillets
• ¼ C. olive oil
• 3 T. soy sauce
• 2 scallions, chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, chopped
• 2 t. Elixer G (the secret behind the sauce!)
Whisk. Bathe. Grill.
The experiment worked with an added bonus–an unexpected, lovely caramelization with a light, ginger sweetness, like a stocking stuffer for the tongue.
There are no preservatives, no chemicals or dyes, and its shelf life lasts a year after it’s opened.