Love your ginger? You’ll need a lot of it–that’s 2 1/2 lbs. pictured above, to make this uber-strong ginger beer. I found it necessary to have plenty of soda water and ice on hand, and I especially liked it with a shot or two of Canadian whiskey added . . . perfect for the hot weather that’s finally arrived here in Seattle.
I’m traditionally not much of soda drinker. I only buy two kinds. My apartment is impossible to cool down even with all the fans going, so I always have a case of Fresca on hand (fun fact: Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President of the U.S., loved Fresca so much he had a button installed on the desk in the Oval Office which would summon his military aide to bring him the drink), and the occasional 4-bottle case of Reed’s Ginger Brew, a spicy, honeyish gingerbready soda I love, even though it’s a bit pricey. Home-brewing ginger beer was made popular by the British in the mid 1700s, and so I figured if the Brits can do it, then so can I. After nearly killing my blender to make this, the potent result is such that if I make it again, I’ll have a party in the works to share it around, since it doesn’t work for me as a daily soft drink…well, and like I mentioned, I’m not much of a soda drinker. But I do love ginger, and if you do, too . . . then you’ll find this delicious. Let the cocktail hour begin!
Jamaican Ginger Beer (from jam it, pickle it, cure it by Karen Solomon)
- 2 1/2 pounds fresh ginger, roughly peeled
- 4 cups water, divided
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from 8 to 10 limes)
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups of sugar
In a blender or food processor, liquefy the ginger and 2 cups of the water for 3 minutes, then strain the juice into a large bowl or pitcher. Transfer the ginger pulp back to to the blender or food processor, add another cup of the water, and liquefy again. Strain again, adding the liquid to the first batch. Again transfer the pulp along with another cup of water, liquefy again, and add to the liquid. Press on the solids as much as possible to squeeze out as much of the juice as you can.
Once the ginger has given up all that it’s got, discard the mashed solids. Add the lime juice and 2 1/2 cups of the sugar. Mix well and taste. Add more sugar, a little at a time, until it reaches your preferred sweetness.
Refrigerate up to 3 weeks. Shake before serving.
Makes about 8 cups.
p.s. Happy Anniversary, Cookrookery!
A year ago, Chris, Daniel, and I embarked on our separate culinary journeys and brought them together here. While our predilections and processes may differ, I’d say our appetites and passion for food complement each others’ well. I hope all of you, our loyal readers, have picked up some memorable flavors along the way. I raise my glass of ginger beer in toast to another year of great taste! -Matt