I have a serious addition for ginger beer. Especially Reed’s Extra Strong Ginger Beer. It’s the most amazing, tongue-tingling, sweet, juicy heat. And when warmed, ginger has an extraordinary aroma. It is native to India and China, but takes it’s name from the Sanskrit word ‘stringa-vera,’ which means “with a body like a horn” – not to be confused with horny body 😉 It’s also ridiculously good for you- here’s the top 5 health benefits attributed to ginger:
- calms upset stomachs
- good for sore throats and coughs
- treats nausea, particularly sea/motion/morning sickness
- acts as an antihistamine and aids in treating allergies
- helps to lower cholesterol levels
So, with no further wasted time, here’s a recipe for making homemade ginger beer.
- 1 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
- 8 oz (about 1 cup) granulated white sugar
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 8 cups cold water
- 1 lemon, cut in half
- 1/2 tsp fast-acting baker’s yeast
- Put the grated ginger, sugar, cream of tarter and 2 cups of the cold water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil.
- Squeeze the juice from both lemon halves into the pan, and add one lemon half. Discard the second half (both halves make it too strong).
- Simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
- Add the remaining water and let the liquid cool to room temperature.
- Sprinkle in the yeast, stir it in, the leave the mixture for several hours covered well with a clean dishcloth.
- Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve or strainer, pressing down on the ginger pieces in order to extract every last bit of flavor.
- Using a funnel, pour into two 1-quart sterilized, plastic soft-drink bottles, leaving a little room at the top for the carbon dioxide to take up room. Make sure the last, yeasty-thick drops of the liquid are divided between the 2 bottles evenly.
- Seal and store in a cool, dark place for 2-3 days, loosening and resealing the tops from time to time to release the pressure of the gas. It should be ready after 3 days.
- Open with extreme caution! The beer will be under pressure from the fermentation process, especially in hot weather. Never point a bottle at someone’s face (including your own).
-adapted from Suzy Atkins book “how to make your own drinks”