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Sep 12, 2017

Never Buy It Again: Three Ways to Make Your Own Killer Ginger Beer

Dark and Stormy Ginger Beer

One of my favorite cocktail mixers is the spicy ginger beer, used for the summer favorite "Moscow Mule", or evening sipper, the "Dark and Stormy." But I've had enough of the spendy, over-sweetened bottles from the supermarket, so I figured: it's time to make our own. Here are three ways to make an extremely tasty version happen at home. With an affinity for making things, it should be no surprise that I love mixed drinks. There are hundreds of combinations that fit just about any palate, from spicy to sweet, and sparkling light to syrupy dark. With just a handful of spirits and a few mixers, everyone in the room can find something they love.Ginger Beer Concentrate

1. Ginger Beer Concentrate - This is by far the easiest way to make your own Ginger Beer at home. This version is reduced to a syrup that is mixed with carbonated water for that zip of ginger without the wait. If you're in need of a batch of ginger beer in a hurry, this can be completed and pouring in about an hour.

Ingredients - (makes about 32oz of concentrate)

 

  • 1 1/2  cup ginger root
  • 1/2 cup sugar, dissolved in 1/2 cup hot water (simple syrup)
  • 1 cup fresh lime juice
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • 2 tsp aromatic cocktail bitters (floral or spicy)
  • club soda for xixing
  • Flip top glass bottles for storage

 

Start out by roughly peeling the ginger skin off the fresh roots, then cutting it up into rough chunks. Add the ginger and 1 cup of the water into a food processor or blender and blend for about 2 minutes until fully chopped.Peeled Ginger

Transfer the ginger into a mesh bag or fine sieve and squeeze the pulp over a bowl until most of the water has been squeezed into the bowl. Transfer the ginger pulp back into the processor or blender add 1 cup of water and blend again for about 1 minute. Transfer the ginger again to the mesh and repeat once more until all three cups of the water have been pressed through the ginger pulp, discard the ginger.

Add the simple syrup, lime and bitters and mix well. Transfer the mixture to sealed containers (16oz flip tops) and keep refrigerated for up to a month.

To use, mix 3 oz Ginger Beer Concentrate with 6-7 oz club soda for a great tasting Ginger Beer.Ginger Chunks

2. Cold-Pressed Ginger Beer -Like the above recipe, this one involves pressing water through the ginger pulp for a smooth, sweet taste without much of the over-the-top spice. Using yeast to ferment give the fizz without the aid of club soda/sparkling water, but it takes a bit more time and preparation. Expect this brew to be ready in about 3-4 days.

Ingredients - (makes about 64oz)

 

  • 1 1/2  cup ginger root
  • 3/4 cup sugar, dissolved in 3/4 cup hot water (simple syrup)
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 6 cups filtered water
  • 4 tsp aromatic cocktail bitters (floral or spicy)
  • 2 tsp Cuvee Champagne yeast (available at a brewing supply store)
  • 1x 64oz Mason jar with lid (optional bubbler)
  • 4x 16oz bottles with flip top

 

Start out by roughly peeling the ginger skin off the fresh roots, then cutting it up into rough chunks. Add the ginger and 1 cup of the water into a food processor or blender and blend for about 2 minutes until fully chopped.Ginger Pulp

Transfer the ginger into a mesh bag or fine sieve and squeeze the pulp over a bowl until most of the water has been squeezed into the bowl. Transfer the ginger pulp back into the processor or blender add 1 cup of water and blend again for about 1 minute. Transfer the ginger again to the mesh and repeat once more until three cups of the water have been pressed through the ginger pulp, discard the ginger.

Meanwhile, warm 1 cup of water to about 75 degrees, and gently sprinkle in the yeast. Set aside and let hydrate for about 5 minutes.

Incorporate the yeast mix, simple syrup, lemon juice, and bitters, then mix well. Add two final cups of water and mix gently before transferring to a large 64oz container. Either have a lid with bubbler attached to relieve the pressure, or "burp" the bottles at least daily to avoid explosion from pressure.Boiling Ginger

After 2 days, transfer the ginger beer to 16oz bottles and store in refrigerator after 6-8 hours at room temperature. This will stop the yeast activity and keep from building up too much pressure. Use within about a month, and use caution when opening.Ginger Pulp

3. Boiling Water Extraction Ginger Beer -Unlike the first two recipes, this method boils the ginger to really extract out the spicy flavors.  Using yeast to ferment give the fizz without the aid of club soda/sparkling water, but it takes a bit more time and preparation. Expect this brew to be ready in about 3-4 days.

Ingredients - (makes about 64oz)

 

  • 2 cups ginger root
  • 3/4 cup sugar, dissolved in 3/4 cup hot water (simple syrup)
  • 1 cup lemon juice, fresh
  • 6 cups filtered water
  • 4 tsp aromatic cocktail bitters (floral or spicy)
  • 2 tsp Cuvee Champagne yeast (available at a brewing store)
  • 1x 64oz Mason jar with lid (optional bubbler)
  • 4x 16oz bottles with flip top

 

Start out by roughly peeling the ginger skin off the fresh roots, then cutting it up into rough chunks. Add the ginger and 1 cup of the water into a food processor or blender and blend for about 2 minutes until fully chopped.Ginger Jars

Add the ginger and 4 cups of water to a large saucepan and bring to boil for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low and add lemon juice and simple syrup. Simmer for 10 minutes, then turn off the heat and let the mixture cool.

Meanwhile, warm 1 cup of water to about 75 degrees, and gently sprinkle in the yeast. Set aside and let hydrate for about 5 minutes.

Once the ginger mixture has cooled below 75 degrees, add the yeast mix, and bitters, then mix well. Add the one final cup of water and mix gently before transferring to a large 64oz container. Either have a lid with bubbler attached to relieve the pressure, or "burp" the bottles at least daily to avoid explosion from pressure.Filling Jars Ginger Beer

After 2 days, transfer the ginger beer to 16oz bottles and store in refrigerator after 6-8 hours at room temperature. This will stop the yeast activity and keep from building up too much pressure. Use within about a month, and use caution when opening.Ginger Beer

With those options on how to make your own ginger beer, there is really no reason you can't do it yourself. So take an afternoon and a bit of ginger and get your home bartending skills bumped up a notch with handcrafted mixers.

 

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David on Nov 04, 2016:

Hi Alex! You can keep most of the large solids out by pouring until it gets chunky, but the main time to strain is when putting into the bottles. I usually pour it though the filter fabric into a large glass measuring bowl with a handle and pouring spout then into the bottles for less mess. Thanks for reaching out and check back when it's done, would love to hear how it went!
Cheers,
David


Alex on Nov 04, 2016:

What a great idea! I'm making some for my husband's birthday right now. For recipe #3, at what point do you strain the ginger solids? Before fermentation or when bottling? Thanks!


Anonymous on Oct 23, 2015:

i think your numbers are off 1, 2, 2  haha