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African, Caribbean
West African Ginger Beer Recipe-10368

Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Comments: 0


(West Africa and Caribbean)

Honey gives this version an elusive sweetness, tempering the spicy sharpness of the fresh ginger. There’s no reason to peel the fresh ginger (in this or any other recipe) unless the esthetics of the skin bother you. If you insist on peeling, a vegetable peeler does a quick and efficient job. Yes, it is very fine with a little rum sneaked into the glass, but it’s not de rigueur.

Yield: Makes about 2½ quarts, 10 servings


  • 2 quarts water
  • ½ pound fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup honey
  • Ice cubes


1. In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups of the water with the ginger, and simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and honey, and let cool completely.

2. Strain the ginger mixture into a large pitcher, and add the remaining 1½ quarts water. Add the ice cubes, and let stand until well chilled before serving.


Ginger beer is a favorite drink in West Africa and the Caribbean, where it floats from island to island in slightly different forms. Audie Odum-Stallato created her version from one she had in West Africa. “I love the way the pepperiness of the ginger in this drink plays on your tongue,” she says.

© 1991 Eric V. Copage

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

124kcal (6%)
4mg (0%)
0g (0%)
0g (0%)
0mg (0%)
0mcg RAE (0%)
7mg (12%)
6mg (1%)
0mg (2%)

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