The last time I was in San Francisco I met up with my friend Zack Lara and drank his ginger beer. Naturally I was curious how he made it. Instead of just learning I decided to film and share how this magical drink was made. Ginger beer is one of the only “Soft Drink” like drinks I dare go near. It’s great for a bad stomach or a sore throat. I also just love the spicy flavor that it gives you. Here’s the video:
I’m sure the video isn’t enough so here’s Zack’s instructions for making his ginger beer:
Ingredients (makes 1 gallon)
1 lb. fresh ginger root (skin on)
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 teaspoon rum extract (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 quarts water
4 freezer trays ice
Food processor or grater
Step 1: Ginger
- Scrub and wash all ginger. You don’t know where this stuff has been.
- Chop ginger into pieces small enough for your food procesor to handle.
- Use the food processor to grind up the ginger. Grind in batches. You can also use a hand grater. Place ginger and any resulting juice in a large pot.
- Bring to the boil. Turn off the heat. Let cool. The cooling down may take a 1-2 hours. Do not add Ice. The longer you let it cool the more ginger flavor you’ll get.
Step 2: Simple Syrup
- 2 cups of water and add 2 cups of sugar after it boils. Dissolve the solution so that no sugar crystals can be seen.
Step 3: Mix
- When the ginger water is cool, use the strainer to strain it into the mixing bowl. Use a fine rice strainer to roll the ginger. I strain it by rotating in circles to make sure it rolls into a ball and lets it drain. If not just use a bit more vanilla in the recipe.
- Squeeze 1/2 cup lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon of rum (but really to taste), and 1/2 cup of vanilla (but really to taste) into ginger w/ simple syrup.
- Stir well and taste to see if you need more rum or vanilla. If it tastes flat then add more vanilla/rum.
- Once this is done bottle using a 50/50 ratio of soda water to ginger beer. Alternatively store in concentrate form and add soda water when ready to serve. Dont for get to shake lightly before serving.
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