One of my favorite cocktails is a Moscow Mule. Vodka, lime, and ginger beer. Throw in a little mint and I’m in heaven. After drinking way too many terrible ginger beers (ranging from too sweet to not even close to enough ginger flavor) I have concluded that THE BEST ginger beer is Fever Tree. There is no comparison to any other brand, it’s not too sweet and it is incredibly gingery. There is ginger sediment in the bottom of each bottle, what more could you want?! The only down side to Fever Tree is the price, it can get expensive! Especially if you go on a Moscow Mule kick and want one (or three!) every weekend! So, I decided to make my own ginger beer. My goal was to make it as similar to Fever Tree and I could, which meant TONS of fresh ginger. I googled recipes and tinkered with it a couple times before settling on this recipe. You must love ginger to do it my way, because most other recipes call for about ¼ of the ginger that I use. Get your box grater ready and stretch out your arms because you are in for about 20 minutes of nothing but ginger grating…
First, you make a ginger syrup & you will need:
For the ginger beer you will need:
- The ginger syrup from above
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 6-7 cups filtered water
- Box grater
- One 2L plastic bottle or two smaller bottles equaling about 2L
- Grate the ginger on your box grater using a small grate size. If you want to peel the ginger, you can. I do not peel it because you will strain the ginger syrup later which removes the skin pieces anyways. Also peeling all that ginger takes too long! If you don’t have a box grater, you can certainly use a microplane.
- Grate about 1 cup of ginger. Once you have finished with the ginger, add 1 cup of white sugar and 2/3 cup water to a small pot and bring to a boil. Let the sugar dissolve and turn off the heat. Put your grated ginger into the pot and let it steep for an hour.
- After 1 hour, pour your ginger syrup through a strainer. Make sure to squish down the ginger solids to extract all the good ginger juice! You should end up with about 1½-2 cups of ginger syrup.
- Squeeze the 2 lemons and add the juice to your plastic bottle.
- Add 1 teaspoon of yeast to the bottle.
- Pour in the ginger syrup.
- Fill the remainder of the bottle with filtered water. Leave a few inches at the top because this brew WILL fizz when opened.
- Put the lid lightly on your plastic bottle (don’t screw it on too tightly).
- Gently tip the bottle to combine all the ingredients and then store in a cool dark place for 2-3 days.
This ginger beer does require a little babysitting. EVERY DAY (at least once, preferably twice) you need to “burp” your ginger beer. Put the bottle in the sink and SLOWLY twist the lid off to release the carbonation. If you forget to do this, the bottle could explode and leave you with a sticky gingery mess. All that time and muscle spent grating the ginger will be lost!
After burping, return the ginger beer to it’s dark space for another day or two, remembering to burp it every day.
I let mine sit for 3 days which guarantees a drier ginger beer. Two days will give you a slightly sweeter ginger beer.
After 2-3 days, put your ginger beer in the fridge to prevent further fermentation. You don’t need to burp it every day once it goes in the fridge. It will stay fizzy for weeks! Drink it by itself or add vodka and lime for a Moscow Mule.