West African Ginger Beer
Published by Amistad
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.
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.
Total Timeunder 2 hours
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Five Ingredients or LessYes
Mealbrunch, dinner, lunch
Taste and Texturespiced, sweet, tangy
Type of Dishnon-alcoholic beverage
- 2 quarts water
- ½ pound fresh ginger, thinly sliced
- ½ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup honey
- Ice cubes
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.
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.
1991 Eric V. Copage