Ginger beer has to be one of the best summer thirst quenchers ever. I can’t think of anything better than enjoying a pitcher of iced ginger beer and sharing a family BBQ on a warm summer’s eve. Real ginger beer requires a starter culture and although it’s equally delicious, it needs some advanced planning.
So here is a fabulous shortcut for getting fantastic results in no time. By the time the BBQ has warmed, your ice-cold ginger beer will be ready to drink!
Ginger beer first originated in mid-18th Century England and was originally made as a fermented alcoholic beer. It was made using: ginger, sugar, water, and a unique combination of cultures, known as the ginger beer plant. These days, what we call ‘ginger beer’ is actually a complete misnomer. Most commercial ginger beer contains no alcohol and is enjoyed as a soft drink.
Ideally, your ginger beer should have a strong ‘ginger’ taste and the flavour should be hot and spicy, unlike its milder cousin, ginger ale.
Easy Ginger Beer Recipe
What you need
- 150g/5oz of fresh ginger
- 4 tablespoons muscovado sugar
- 2 to 3 lemons
- 1 litre/1¾ pints of sparkling mineral water
- sprigs of fresh mint, zest or slices of lemon or lime
What to do
Leave the skin on and grate your fresh ginger into a large bowl and then add your sugar. Using a veggie peeler, remove the rind from two lemons and add this too. Follow this by adding the squeezed juice from all three lemons. Then grabbing a pestle, use this to press and squash the pulpy mixture so that the flavours are released together. Now it’s time to add your sparkling mineral water to the bowl. Then allow the whole thing to infuse for 15 minutes. If necessary, add more lemon juice or sugar to taste before pouring the ginger mixture through a sieve and into a pitcher. Finally, add plenty of ice, some sprigs of mint (if you have any to hand) and garnish with zest or wedges of lemon or lime.
Dark and Stormy Cocktail
What you need
- 55 ml/ 2 fl oz Goslings Black Seal Rum or other dark rum
- 150 ml/ 4 fl oz homemade ginger beer
- Juice of half a lime
- Lime wedge or zest to garnish
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