When it comes to drinks, I only like tea and water.
This is what I said moments before drinking my first Mezcal Mule, cousin to the more widely known Moscow Mule, on the outdoor patio at Tomato Bros. in Clarkston. It’s not that I necessarily dislike the taste of juice or coffee or whatever else, I just don’t know why I’d bother.
But all of this was before the Mezcal Mule and the ginger beer it contained. And now I have three items on my list of drinks that are worth the hassle.
In my new-found drink ardor, I went online and learned that making ginger beer was almost as easy to do as going to the store to buy some. So, that’s what I did. The results were so good, I named it the Official Summer Drink of 2018.
Ginger beer isn’t beer. It’s like a ginger ale that has the ginger turned up to “11,” or like kombucha (except that it tastes good), it’s fizzy and just slightly sweet with that hearty little kick ginger always delivers. I’ve decided it’s a health drink, whether or not the health professionals agree.
Yes, it’s fermented with yeast — that’s where the fizz comes from — so it has some alcohol, but in minimal amounts, at least according to both the internet and my body.
Making ginger beer takes less than 30 minutes of effort, but it’s over a three to five day stretch so you need to do some planning. Once you do, you’ll be able to sit out on your deck in the evening and sip ginger beer too, we can be summertime beverage twinsies.
There’s more than one way to make it right, but here’s what I did:
Homemade Ginger Beer
(30 minutes, plus two to three days for fermenting)
Serving size: 2 liters
¼ cup ginger, peeled and grated
¼ cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
9 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
In a large saucepan, combine ginger, lemon juice and cream of tartar with 4 cups of water. Heat it to a full boil. Remove from heat and stir in sugar until dissolved.
Add 5 cups of water to the mixture and let it sit out on the counter until it has reached room temperature.
Stir in yeast, cover the pot with a kitchen towel and put it in a dark place for three hours.
Cover a large pitcher with cheesecloth or another fine strainer and pour the mixture in, straining out the ginger bits. Then pour the liquid into two clean 2-liter plastic bottles. Plastic is key, do not use glass as there is the potential for the bottle to explode.
Store the bottles in a dark, warm room for two or three days. Two days will give you a sweeter brew, three days a drier one. Open the cap to release pressure a couple of times a day. Be careful, these bottles can hold a lot of pressure. To reduce the chance of the room getting a ginger beer bath, place the bottles in a plastic storage bin or other covered container.
When brewing is complete, refrigerate the ginger beer for a of couple days to bring out the ginger flavor. Enjoy as is, add other juices and flavorings or add it to a mixed drink.
(Recipe from theroastedroot.net)