Jim Hillibish: Make your own ginger beer
Ginger beer was brewed in the field by the British Army in the mid-1700s. In a pinch, it replaced grain beer, a much more complex process.
GB is enjoying a comeback of sorts in the U.S., this time as a cocktail mixer and the main ingredient in the venerable Moscow Mule.
Two versions are sold, fermented (lightly alcoholic, 4 percent) and soda pop (infused with carbon dioxide.)
Most of the imports come from England, where Crabbie’s is king of the 4 percenters. Bermuda exports Barritts, a zesty ginger soda often coupled with Goslings Black Seal Rum to make the Dark and Stormy, the island’s national drink.
1 ginger root
1 zest of lemon
2 ounces cream of tartar
1 1⁄2 pounds sugar
1 gallon water
2 teaspoons baking yeast or 1 envelope
Grate ginger root. Place in large pot. Pour over boiling water and add all ingredients except yeast. Stir until sugar and cream of tartar dissolve. Cool, then add yeast dissolved in 2 tablespoons lukewarm water. Cover for 6 hours, then filter first through a metal strainer then through cloth. Bottle and cap tightly, sealed. Keep in a dark, cool (60-degree) place for two weeks. Chill before opening.
1⁄2 ounce lime juice
2 ounces vodka
6 ounces ginger beer
Twist of lime
Mix lime juice and vodka in a Collins glass and add two ice cubes. Slowly pour in ginger beer. Garnish with lime twist.