When the weather starts to cool I start craving strong gingery flavors. Ginger is a very fallish root, don’t you think? This is another recipe that is a bit time consuming, but worth it. I drink this when I want something a little sweet or in lieu of alcohol when I am on yet-another-health-kick. That said, it’s great with booze too. Don’t aim for perfection when grating the ginger root. I generally do a sloppy peel and throw it in the Cuisinart, or use a box grater. If you go this route, be sure to steep the mixture for about 35 minutes instead of the recommended 30. I’ve cut the sugar in half because I thought it was a bit sweet; I also added some cardamon for a bit more depth. Now, let’s all pretend we are setting sail for the Caribbean.
Receta’s Ginger Beer- Adapted from the Spice Necklace by Ann Vanderhoof
- 8 cups water
- 3 cloves
- 1/2 tsp. cardamon
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 lb. ginger root, peeled and grated
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 Tbs. lime juice
- club soda
- lime garnishes
- In a medium sized saucepan, bring 2 cups water to a boil with the spices. Remove from heat and leave to steep for about 30 minutes.
- Add remaining 6 cups hot water to grated ginger. Leave to steep for about 30 minutes.
- Remove spices from the boiled water and stir in sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer just until sugar has thoroughly dissolved, stirring occasionally.
- Strain ginger water, squeezing ginger until it is quite dry, then discard.
- Combine spiced sugar water, ginger water and lime juice. Allow mixture to settle (so sediment sinks to the bottom), then strain through a fine sieve, pour into bottles and refrigerate.
- When ready to serve add ice and ginger beer concentrate until the glass is ⅔ full. Top with club soda.
Makes approx. 2 quarts of ginger beer concentrate
** Dark and Stormy: This drink originated in Bermuda, where it is traditionally make with dark rum. Combine 2 oz. of dark rum with 4 oz. of ginger beer concentrate and a splash of soda. Serve with a wedge of lime.