Ginger Beer (Africa)
From: “The Africa News Cookbook, African Cooking for Western Kitchens”. This recipe produces a strong concentrate that can be diluted with equal parts water or sparkling water for drinking, but many people like it just as it is, over ice.
SERVES 16 , 1 gallon
- 16 ounces fresh ginger, peeled and ground to a pulp (a couple of large handfuls)
- 8 cups boiling water
- 1-2 limes, juice of (can also use pineapple or guava juice)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 8 cups cold water
- 1 cup sugar (to taste)
- ice, to serve
- water (optional) or sparkling water, equal parts to serve (optional)
Place ginger pulp into a large, heat-proof container that is enameled or made of glass or stainless steel.
Cover with 8 cups of boiling water. Cover loosely with a cloth and set aside in a warm place.
After an hour or so, strain the liquid through a cloth, squeezing pulp to extract all the flavor.
Stir in lime or desired fruit juice, cinnamon stick, half the cloves and 8 cups of cold water.
Let liquid sit another hour, in the sun if possible. *This allows the starch from the ginger to settle.
Pour mixture gently through a cloth to strain it, trying not to disturb any sediment at the bottom. Strain again if necessary.
Stir in remaining cloves and sugar, then transfer the ginger beer to a jar and refrigerate.