Old-fashioned ginger beer recipe

This is a quick recipe for traditional ginger beer - the perfect drink for a picnic in the sun. Serve with crust-off sandwiches filled with canned red salmon, light mayonnaise, a squeeze of lemon and cucumber slices.

Makes just under 2.5 litres Takes 20 minutes to make, plus overnight standing, 12-36 hours' fermenting and chilling


  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 unwaxed lemon, thickly sliced
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 3/4 tsp dried fast-action yeast


How to make old-fashioned ginger beer

1. Put the ginger, lemon, sugar, cream of tartar and 750ml cold water into a large pan over a medium heat. Slowly bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add 1.5 litres cold water and sprinkle over the yeast. Cover with a lid and set aside in a cool place overnight.

2. The next day, sterilise the bottles by cleaning them in hot soapy water. Rinse and set aside.

3. Strain the ginger beer through a nylon sieve and divide between the bottles - leave a 5cm gap at the top to allow for the build-up of gases. Screw on the lids tightly and leave in a cool place. Check every few hours, unscrewing the cap a little as the pressure builds up, to allow the gases to escape.

4. The ginger beer is ready to drink when fizzy, which will be within 12-36 hours, depending on how hot the weather is. Chill, then serve with plenty of ice and drink within 3 days (don't drink if it smells old and yeasty).

Tip: You'll need 2 x 1.5-litre plastic bottles. Never use glass bottles as the pressure builds up and they will explode!

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Contributed by delicious. magazine

Contributed by delicious. magazine

Monday 07 January 2008
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