Quick Note: I really have been meaning to post this for several days now & just never got around to it (just in case you may be wondering why in the world I’m still talking about Christmas in 2012) *grins* Happpyyyy New Year!!!
On Christmas Day in many Caribbean islands, including my own (St. Vincent and the Grenadines) there are certain things that are must haves in the home! No ifs, no buts, no maybes. Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without them. Ginger Beer is one of them. Now, this ginger beer prolly wouldn’t be like anything you’d think it’d be because it’s totally non alcoholic. Every Caribbean island does theirs a little differently, for example, Jamaica. They add yeast to their ginger beer. Trinidadians (who offers the recipe I like best) add lime to their ginger beer. Vincentians basically use ginger, water and sugar. Some people leave their “beer” to ferment in a cool dark place while others put theirs out in the sun. Some people sweeten the drink before fermenting. Some after. I guess it’s all up to the individual and their preferences. Regardless of the array of spices/ingredients used and methods employed, one thing is for sure – the ginger is a throat (and sometimes ear) burner. This is ginger beer, it has a bite that is not for faint hearted (I’m just teasing….or am I?). Really though, it is not to be likened to ginger ale or one of these “soda-like” drinks you may have had. This drink has a real kick and burn. You sip it. Swallow it. Exhale and then you feel the burn (sometimes, through your ears). However, if it’s any comfort to you, this ginger beer is also quite refreshing & addictive.
1lb fresh ginger
8 cups boiling water
1 1/2 cups sugar (or to taste) (I used both granulated & dark brown sugar)
one tablespoon of lime juice
1. Wash and remove the skin from the ginger.
2. Chop the ginger and blend in a little water. I wanted to do it the way my grandmother and mother did it, so I grated it on a grater. They would use the smallest side of the grater to grate but I used the 3rd largest. Much easier.
3. Add ginger to a vessel and then pour boiling water into the vessel. I used an old Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice (sterilized) bottle. Give it a good shake once you’ve covered it.
4. Put in a dark place, or in the fridge or in direct sunlight for a few hours. I put mine in a cool, dark place for 48 hours. When that was done. I strained it into a glass mug-jug, added a squeeze of lime, a teaspoon of whole cloves and then sweetened the drink.
5. Serve chilled or with ice cubes. I poured myself a glass and pictured that I was back in the Caribbean waiting to be served my large plate of “Christmas food”.
Bye For Now…..