A Ginger Beer Bonanza

I had to fight to get on CityTV’s Breakfast Television, not because I suck, but they aren’t really interested in “cocktails” and booze – one of those things I suppose they’d like to avoid promoting at 7:00am, which makes tons of sense. So, when I pitched the idea of non-alcoholic “awesomeness” to celebrate summer, like the 3 ways of making super spicy and refreshing gingerbeer, producers jumped outta their chairs. Wicked. Co-Host Dawn Chubai and I had a 4 minute “teaser” on ginger this morning:

Gingerbeer 3 ways: (all of these recipes are tried, tested and true – good luck!)

1) Syrup to Soda

3 LBS ginger, peeled
2-3L cold water
125mL lemon juice
200mL black-strap molasses OR turbinado sugar simple syrup

In a food processor:
Puree in a food processor with water as needed. Add a total of 2L cold water, and bring to a simmer. Let stand overnight in the fridge. Following day, drain with cheesecloth to remove excess ginger fibers. This is now the time where you can control the strength of the ginger flavour and experience. Typically, I would add around 500mL – 1L extra cold water depending on who my “audience” is. I really enjoy the super duper bite of ginger, so I’ll leave this entirely up to you. Add the lemon and simple syrup to taste. To make ginger beer to order, 2 oz syrup to 3 oz soda + 3 oz gingerale. You may find, based on your taste, that you’d like to add either more lemon/lime juice and/or sugar.

2) Syrup to Siphon – makes one siphon canister.

2.50 oz freshly extracted ginger juice
7.00 oz organic cane juice or turbinado sugar simple syrup
4.00 oz lemon juice
20.00 oz cold water
1.00 oz lauren’s homemade grapefruit, szechuan peppercorn, fennel seed bitters (optional)

In a heavy duty juicer:
Juice the ginger root in small pieces, carefully. Ginger is super fibrous so you must exercise patience, and caution or you’ll get mad and break your juicer. Be gentle but firm.

A siphon typically holds about 32-34 oz of liquid, so that’s your marker. Close the lid tightly, charge with 1x CO2 cartridge. Shake the canister vigorously, and leave in the fridge overnight. The next day, re-shake canister hard, pull the trigger “gently” into the glass. Now you’re off to the races. This recipe doesn’t even need to go into a siphon – it’s so good on it’s own.

3) Bottle Fermentation

I’ve got to give credit and a high-five to Jeffrey Morganthaler for this recipe, it’s perfect. See his recipe below, as well as a link to his site for more delicious treats.

Makes one x 16-ounce bottle of ginger beer
champagne yeast – found at homebrewing supply stores
16-ounce “EZ” flip-top bottles – found at homebrewing supply stores
1 ounce ginger juice
2 ounces fresh lemon juice, finely strained
3 ounces simple syrup
10 ounces warm water (cold if using the soda siphon)

Fill each bottle with 16 ounces of your mixture and add roughly 25 granules of champagne yeast. Seal the cap securely, shake well, and store for 48 hours – no more, no less – in a warm, dark place. After 48 hours have passed, refrigerate immediately to halt the process.

**note – care must be taken so that glass bottles don’t explode. Don’t be crazy, if you’re unfamiliar with the correct way to use live yeast and ferment product your own product, please use a plastic bottle!

Cocktail Recipes: (omitting the alcohol in these recipes will make excellent mock-tails as well!)

Dark and Stormy

1.50 oz Gosling’s Black Seal Bermuda Rum
0.75 oz lime juice
4.0 oz homemade gingerbeer (either syrup, siphon or bottle fermented)
Build in collins or sling glass.

Gin Gin Mule

Muddle 4 mint leaves (slap hard, and tear)
2.00 oz Tanqueray or Plymouth Gin
0.75 oz lime juice
1.00 oz simple syrup
Top with homemade gingerbeer (either syrup, siphon or bottle fermented)
Build in collins or sling glass.

Sunny and Clear

2.00 oz Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum
1.00 oz orgeat almond & flower syrup
0.75 oz lime juice
1.50 oz pineapple juice
Top with gingerbeer (either syrup, siphon or bottle fermented).

Be creative – ginger is so easily paired with the following flavours:
Fruit, Vegetables, Booze, Hot Weather, Cold Weather.

Additional notes about ginger:
- same family as cardamom, galingal and tumeric – these are other amazing flavours that everyone should be exposed to
- ginger is not only an antinflammatory, but it also reduces the pain associated with arthritis, lowers cholestrol and thins the blood therefore reducing the risk of heart disease
- destroys the ovarian cancer cells & skin cancer cells
- used as horse suppositories during WWII (random, but what the hell)
- high levels of calcium and potassium – prevents your skeleton from spontaneously shattering, and midnight quad muscle spasms
- subtropical climates have the ginger root budding into beautiful yellow and pink flowers which are also edible

MIRACLE ROOT!

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About Lauren Mote

Lauren has been an intricate part of the food industry for many years. Whether it’s behind the bar, in the kitchen, tasting and learning about wine, or sitting with her laptop writing food stories and reviews at the local coffee house, it was clear at an early age that Lauren’s professional and personal life would be completely consumed by the joy and passion of edibles.
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