Making your own ginger beer is simple; you just need to be careful when you're bottling it. Use thick plastic screw-top bottles (not glass) and leave plenty of room for expansion to avoid nasty explosions. This version is non-alcoholic, but you can always add a splash of aromatic dark rum for a refreshing Dark and Stormy. You'll need to begin this recipe nine days ahead, then, after the ginger beer has fermented, drink it within two weeks.
- ¼ tsp dried yeast
- 3 tsp ground ginger
- 3 tsp caster sugar
- To serve: lime wedges and mint
Lemon and ginger syrup
- 440 gm caster sugar (2 cups)
- 40 gm ginger (8cm piece)
- 60 ml lemon juice (¼ cup)
- 1Combine yeast, ½ tsp ground ginger, ½ tsp sugar and 125ml room-temperature water in a jar, cover with muslin and secure with kitchen string. Each day for 5 days, add ½ tsp sugar and ½ tsp ground ginger and stir to combine. The mixture will start to foam a little after day 1 and then expand day by day.
- 2For lemon and ginger syrup, on day 5, stir sugar and 3 litres water in a large saucepan over medium heat to dissolve sugar, bring to the simmer and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, finely grate ginger into a small sieve and press to extract juice. Add juice to syrup with lemon juice and stir to combine.
- 3Strain ground ginger mixture through a muslin-lined sieve into lemon and ginger syrup (discard solids) and stir to combine.
- 4Pour into sterile plastic screw-top bottles (see note), leaving a 5cm gap. Seal with lid and store in a cool place until fermented (4 days). Refrigerate until required, then serve over ice with lime wedges and mint.
Note To sterilise plastic bottles, rinse thoroughly with plenty of boiling water.