The health benefits of ginger root are well documented, but did you know that you can also use it to make delicious beverage treats for both kids and adults? I recently learned how to make ginger ale for the kids and ginger beer for grown-ups. The results are delicious and the preparations are a cinch.
Dry ginger was invented by an American apothecary by the name of Dr. Thomas Canterll. This homemade version is rich in probiotics and beneficial enzymes, and is healthier than the store-bought kind.
Ginger ale can help with:
1. Place the sliced ginger and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
2. Once it has boiled, reduce the heat to medium-low heat and cover the pan.
3. Allow it to simmer for an hour, then remove the lid and let it continue simmering for another 30 minutes.
4. Turn off the heat and strain the ginger out.
5. Add the lemon juice and honey and stir until mixed, then allow it to cool down completely.
You now you have Ginger syrup – add it to a cup of carbonated water and enjoy your homemade ginger ale!
Ginger beer (alcoholic)
Ginger beer has its roots in the Victorian ear, originating in Yorkshire, England, mid-18th century. Ginger beer is a delicious and spicy alcoholic beverage that can easily be prepared at home.
1. Stir the yeast into the warm water until it fully dissolves.
2. Add a tablespoon of fresh, grated ginger, a tablespoon of sugar, the lemon juice, and stir it all.
3. Pour into a clean glass jar (leave some room at the top) and cover it with a clean, dry towel, then secure it over the jar with a rubber band.
3. Place the jar in the warmest place in your house.
4. Add a tablespoon of grated ginger and a tablespoon of sugar every day for about a week. Don’t forget to return the towel when you’re done. After a week you should see small bubbles forming on the surface. You can keep adding ginger at this stage if you want a stronger flavor.
5. You can now bottle the concoction. Make sure you are using clean, plastic bottles, as glass bottles may explode from the fermentation pressure. Boil enough water to fill each bottle ¾ of the way, then dissolve sugar into the water until it’s very sweet, let it cool down until it’s lukewarm.
6. Strain the ginger jar with a cheesecloth into a container and add about a cup of the liquid into each clean bottle, then add the sugar water until each bottle is ¾ full and stir. Remember, the yeast will consume much of the sugar, so the result will not be as sweet as the water.
Seal the bottles tightly and place back in the warmest spot in your house. Squeeze the bottles once a day to see the compression rate. Once the bottles are hard, unscrew the cap just enough to release small amounts of pressure, but do not release all the pressure.
After about a week and a half, open up a bottle and taste it, if it’s not fizzy enough for you, wait for 3-4 more days with the rest. You can now add more lemon or sugar if you feel like it needs it, but be sure to consume the bottle within 24 hours. Enjoy!