Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr
Home-made non-alcoholic ginger drinks are common throughout much of Africa, especially Western Afican. In Central Africa, West African shopkeepers often sell their homemade ginger drink, sometimes in recycled vegetable-oil bottles. These ginger drinks are much stronger than any ginger ale soda. They can be enjoyed chilled over ice, or diluted with cold water
- 3 -4 inches fresh gingerroot (not ground ginger)
- 2 limes, juice of (or similar amount of lemon, pineapple, or grapefruit juice)
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 whole cloves (optional) or 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
- 1 gallon water
- Carefully remove and discard the ginger root's outer layer.
- Pound the ginger root to a pulp and place in a large ovenproof glass mixing bowl or stainless steel container.
- In a teakettle heat six cups of water to a boil.
- Pour water over the ginger, cover with a lid or a clean cloth.
- Put the mixture in a warm place. A sunny spot on a tabletop in front of a window is a good place on a hot day; an oven that has been slightly heated then turned off is a good place on a cold day. Wait one hour.
- Place a clean cheesecloth or a paper towel in a strainer and pour the the mixture through it into a large jar or pitcher (or two jars or pitchers as necessary).
- Squeeze the cloth to extract all the liquid from the ginger root. Mix in the citrus juice, sugar, and spices.
- Fill the jar with lukewarm water to make a gallon.
- Return the mixture to a warm spot and wait another hour.
- Strain the ginger beer once more and refrigerate until chilled. Serve over ice.