I’m a big fan of ginger beer. I love that it has a bite and it isn’t too sweet. It probably also helps that I associate it with good times and great weather.
Let’s get you started on building some fun associations of your own…
Homemade Ginger Beer
Makes about 4 quarts
2 1/2 pounds fresh ginger, roughly peeled
4 cups water, divided
1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 8 limes)
2 1/2 to 3 cups of granulated sugar
Club soda/seltzer water
This is a lot of ginger, so you may want to enlist a helper or two for peeling, like I did.
Dump the ginger pieces in a blender or food processor with 2 cups of water and liquefy. Strain the juice into a large bowl or pitcher.
Transfer the ginger pulp back to the blender or processor, add another cup of water, then liquefy again. Strain again, adding the juice to your bowl or pitcher.
Repeat the step once more…ginger pulp, 1 cup of water, blitz, and strain. Use your hands to squeeze the last of that goodness from the ginger pulp and release as much juice as possible.
Discard the ginger pulp. Then, add lime juice and 2 1/2 cups of sugar to the ginger juice. Stir well and give it a little taste. It will have a really nice bite. If you need more sugar, add just a little at a time until you reach the desired sweetness.
Pour about 4 cups into your serving pitcher. Add an equal amount of club soda. Stir and serve.
If you aren’t ready to drink immediately, hold off on adding the bubbles. Just store covered in the refrigerator. It will keep well for 3 or 4 weeks. Shake or stir before serving.
I think ginger beer is a great nonalcoholic beverage to serve during the summer, but it is also pretty great in some cocktails…
Dark N’ Stormy
Makes 1 drink
2 oz dark rum (I like Gosling’s best)
1 tsp ginger simple syrup
3 to 4 oz ginger beer
1 – 2 lime wedges
Fill an old-fashioned glass with ice. Add rum and ginger syrup. Stir. Top with ginger beer. Squeeze lime wedge(s) over the drink and drop them in.
Makes 1 drink
2 oz vodka
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
4 oz ginger beer
lime wedge for garnish
Pour vodka and lime juice into an ice-filled tall glass. Top with ginger beer and stir. Squeeze the lime wedge over the drink and drop it in before sipping.