I fancied a nice cool drink the other night, but I’m fed up with cola, lemonade and juices. I prefer a “drier” soft drink, and one that doesn’t make you want to scrub your teeth immediately after drinking. So I decided to make myself some ginger beer.
“Hang on, why didn’t you just buy some ginger beer?” I imagine you asking me. Well, most commercially produced ginger beer is far too sweet and not gingery enough for my taste, that is why. And I was bored.
So, here’s what I used to make a delicious ginger beverage:
2 litre bottle of still mineral water
large chunk of root ginger (you need 1½ to 2 tablespoons of grated ginger)
1 cup of sugar
¼ teaspoon of dried yeast
You’ll also need a grater to grate the ginger, and a plastic funnel. I didn’t have a funnel, but you really need one. Trust me on this.
“Hey idiot, why did you buy a bottle of water instead of using tap water?” Well, you need a two litre bottle to make the ginger beer in, and London tap water isn’t the nicest in the world. So I spared no expense and spent 18p on a bottle of Sainsbury’s Still Table Water and killed two birds with one stone. If you already have a clean two litre bottle, and your tap water is ok, then feel free to use that. Or try a nice expensive mineral water if that sort of thing tickles your fancy.
Now that’s out of the way, here’s what I did next:
1) Lay all your ingredients out to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.
2) Realise you’ve forgotten the yeast, so get that too.
3) Decant the water into a suitable temporary container (skip this step if you are using tap water)
4) Using a plastic funnel, pour the sugar into the bottle. (if you don’t have a funnel fashion one out of paper like me)
5) Add the dried yeast to the bottle.
6) Now, grate the ginger until you have between 1½ and 2 tablespoon’s worth. I used 2 tablespoons because I really like ginger, but feel free to vary this according to your tastes. Also, you may wish to cut the skin off before grating. I’m lazy so I left it all on.
7) Next, extract the juice from one lemon.
8 ) Mix the grated ginger and lemon juice together in a cup or other suitable piece of crockery.
9) Next you need to add the ginger/lemon mixture to the bottle. This is where a plastic funnel comes in really handy. for some reason paper funnels don’t work so well once wet.
10) Now, you need to add the water to the bottle. Fill it up until it is about ¾ full, then put the cap on and shake the bottle until all the sugar is dissolved.
11) You then need to top the bottle up until there is approximately a one inch gap at the top. This gap is to prevent explosions once the yeast gets to work.
12) Put the cap on the bottle as tightly as you can, then place the bottle somewhere warm. I put mine in my airing cupboard. You’ll need to leave it for 24-48hours to let the yeast go to work. Once the bottle is very hard, and can’t be squeezed, the ginger beer is done. It took 24 hours for my batch to be ready.
13) Place the bottle in the fridge overnight. This halts the yeast and stops the bottle exploding. You really don’t want to leave that bottle in a warm place for any longer than 48 hours.
14) Once the ginger beer is chilled, pour it into a glass and enjoy. I sieve mine when pouring so I don’t have any lumps of ginger in the drink.
And there you have it. 2 litres of delicious ginger beer for around 90p and very little effort.