I've been dabbling with simple ciders in the past few years. I've been particularly enjoying those made with honey as an adjunct - I'm not sure whether it should be classified as a honey cider or a cyser, but to my uneducated palette, it's delicious. Big honey aroma, with just a hint of sweetness.
What I'd like to do is introduce some spice character to it, specifically ginger. Is there a "preferred" method of adding ginger or other spices to a cider or mead? I've done some looking around but haven't seen much consensus.
Using fresh ginger root has a certain aesthetic appeal, and I'd love to go that route - but I can imagine the result being vegetal or astringent if I don't handle it right, or if it goes in too early.
Anyone who's been down this road or a similar one, I'd love to hear what you found to work.
My current simple-as-I-can-make-it method for a nano batch:
+ 2.5 quarts pasteurized apple juice (I use Simply Apple)
+ 12 oz honey from the hippie aisle of Fred Meyer
+ Mangrove Jack's cider yeast
+ One month in primary, many months in bottle (I've made it up to a year so far)
EDIT: I ended up trying the approach from Evil Zymurgist's answer.
I think I either pasteurized the ginger too long or at too high a temperature, because it had a "cooked ginger" taste for the first few months. However, a few months later, it tastes great!