Herb of the month - September 2010


Zingiber officianale Rosc.

Ginger is one of my favorite "herbs". The hearty and spicy root is used in herbal preparations to harmonize other herbs in the formula, great to settle the stomach and alleviate vomiting. Drink it when you have a cold and you are feeling more cold, have a cough with phlegm, along with achey neck and shoulders. Try it in a chew, fresh in some bubbly water, or as a tea if you have morning sickness. Or do what we do in our house, add it to everything we put garlic in! A Homemade Ginger Ale Recipe for you to try!

Homemade Ginger Ale two ways

Here are two recipes for homemade ginger ale I tried recently. One is for the impatient (me) and the other for those, who don't mind waiting few days (sometimes me) and then be rewarded with truly home-brewed ginger ale or you could even call it a ginger beer. It does have small amount of alcohol and superb, intense gingery flavor. Spicy and very refreshing, would definitely make a great cocktail mixer. It makes Gin and Ginger sound very good all of a sudden.

To make Ginger Beer you will need:

  • 1c sugar
  • freshly grated ginger root (1 1/2-2 tablespoons), use the fresh ginger root you can find, it really makes a difference
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1/4tsp baker's yeast
  • cold fresh spring or filtered water

Special equipment:

  • clean 2L plastic bottle, funnel, patience

Through a funnel add sugar and yeast to a plastic bottle. Mix grated ginger root and lemon juice and then transfer it to a bottle, add water to fill it half way and shake well to mix all ingredients. Add more water, leaving about an inch head space, screw the cap on and shake again. You can also mix all the ingredients in a jar and then transfer to a plastic bottle (as I did). Leave in a warm place for about two days and then transfer to refrigerator, to stop fermentation process. Refrigerate overnight. Pour it trough a strainer and enjoy!

Ginger Ale, an instant gratification version:

  • 1 cup fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • club soda
  • juice of one or two limes, juice from half lemon
  • mint for garnish

Combine ginger, sugar and water in a saucepan. Simmer slowly for 10 minutes, until sugar is dissolved and ginger is softened. Strain warm syrup and allow to cool. Fill a tall glass with ice, add 1 part(used 2oz shot glass) of ginger syrup and 3 parts of club soda. Squeeze lime and lemon wedge into glass. Use more syrup if desired. Garnish with mint. Stir and enjoy the zing.

From Crumpets and Cakes website: www.crumpetsandcakes.blogspot.com