Our family generally doesn’t drink soda unless someone is sick or traveling that’s when Ginger Ale comes in to play. In fact I don’t think Claire has ever had Coke.
Last month my daughter went off to Gold Country, Nevada city to be exact. They left in modern cars but were dressed in 1849 garb, bonnets and bloomers! They each have a character to become during the trip and some have family units to be pretending with. They studied scripts and history of each family and character and they have to actually play that character the whole time!
One of the items the teacher asked for was homemade ginger beer, I eagerly raised my hand like a student with ants in her pants….”oh, oh pick me, pick me!” I have never made ginger beer but at that moment remembered I have a huge amount of ginger in the freezer sealed up like astronaut food in a Foodsaver bag. I really need to use that up and I thought and this would be a perfect way. So I set to work, the teacher supplied me the old-fashioned amber jugs to fill, I had the ginger and a large pot so I was all set up to make the brew.
The first thing was a bit tedious, peeling about a pound and a half of ginger….the fact that is was slightly frozen made it easier and also annoying because my hand kept going numb. Once that peeling part was done the recipe is a breeze.
It came out very tasty but needed more fizz. The next time I think I will try the yeast method of fermentation it may yield a fizzier result. The flavor was amazing and my daughter loved it. The ginger beer was destined to be consumed at the Saloon, served by the Bar keep (a parent dressed up) Unfortunately the kids didn’t get any because I also made enough root beer for everyone, but that is a whole other blog post! (The chaperones loved the ginger beer.)
The Gold Country experience is supposed to be as authentic as possible and the trip,was perfect except for the rattlesnakes in the tent and the wax fire! I guess it was a a lot more authentic than they’d hoped for. All 20 kids and chaperones ended up in a hotel in Downyville but still had a great time.
You can make individual servings or mix up a large batch for a crowd!
- 3 cups ginger, peeled and chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- About 1 liter chilled seltzer or club soda
Add ginger to a perforated pasta pot, add water until just covered, simmer, partially covered, 30 minutes.
Meanwhile dissolve sugar in another pot with water, stir and cook on medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Set simple syrup aside to cool, chill.
Remove from the heat and let steep, covered, about 30 minutes.
Lift ginger pot out of water and press ginger to remover water and discard the ginger pieces. Add lime to ginger juice, let juice come to room temperature and then chill in a covered jar until cold.
For individual drinks:
Use this a guide but prepare to your own taste
1/4 cup ginger juice syrup
1/4 cup simple syrup
3/4 cup seltzer