Ginger beer is one of my favourite summertime beverages. Too bad the store-bought versions contain a ridiculous amount of sugar! My version here is a delicious and healthy option that will still satisfy your sweet tooth.
Traditional ginger beer is made with yeast and is fermented over a number of days, but this version is much simpler. Double (or quadruple) the recipe to share at a summer beach party, or to store in a pitcher in the fridge.
My friend John Watson (of Imagemaker Photographic Studio; he took the pic above) is a huge fan of this ginger beer. He first enjoyed it (er...obsessed over it) during the many photo shoots for my first book, Vegan Vitality. In two days we'll be shooting for my third book, and we joked that this ginger beer should be included in our photography contract.
Here's how much concentrate I made for John's visit (the end result is twice as much ginger beer, once sparkling water is added):
...I think we should be good!
Here's how to make your own:
Homemade Jamaican Ginger Beer
1 cup fresh ginger, grated or chopped in food processor
2 cups pure apple juice
2 tbsp agave nectar
Chilled sparkling water to taste (4 – 6 cups)
Scrub ginger under running water (you don’t need to peel it). If using a grater, grate ginger. If using a food processor (much faster!), first cut ginger into one-inch pieces, then pulse in food processor.
Cut lemon into quarters. Squeeze juice into medium saucepan and place squeezed slices into saucepan.
Add grated or chopped ginger, apple juice, and agave nectar, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
Using a fine sieve or mesh tea strainer, strain concentrate mixture into a pitcher or punch bowl and allow to cool. Add between 4 and 6 cups chilled sparkling water, depending on your flavour intensity preference. Alternatively, serve ginger concentrate and sparkling water separately and mix to taste.
Makes 3-4 servings.
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