homemade ginger beer

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:

  1. calms upset stomachs
  2. good for sore throats and coughs
  3. treats nausea, particularly sea/motion/morning sickness
  4. acts as an antihistamine and aids in treating allergies
  5. 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
  1. Put the grated ginger, sugar, cream of tarter and 2 cups of the cold water in a large saucepan.  Bring to a boil.
  2. 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).
  3. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
  4. Add the remaining water and let the liquid cool to room temperature.
  5. Sprinkle in the yeast, stir it in, the leave the mixture for several hours covered well with a clean dishcloth.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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”



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