I don’t really feel very summery today, even though it’s hot outside, and the sun is shining. Even though I can hear my neighbour’s kids playing outside, and my kitchen is filled with tomatoes and berries, I feel kinda wintery and lazy. Luckily, this ginger brew is good for both hot summers and cold winters (though in the winter I’d be inclined to heat it up a little).
Ginger brews are an amazing electrolyte replenisher for hot summer days. Unlike regular electrolyte drinks that are laced with corn syrups, the lacto-fermentation process eats up most of the sugar (depending on when you drink it) and what remains is a delicious, refreshing, gingery, bubbly brew that is rich in enzymes, electrolytes and beneficial bacteria for your intestines. Perfect for hot summer days, or for sun-stroke, or when one is overheated and thirsty, but water can’t be stomached in large amounts.
1 inch of ginger per day, for at least a week.
water– enough to fill a biiig mason jar.
1/8 cup sugar per day. I use regular organic sugar. It’s not white sugar, it’s not brown sugar, it’s more of a light honey coloured sugar. It works. White sugar works too though.
Chop up one inch of ginger, and throw in mason jar. Add water, about a quarter of the way up, and add sugar. Leave it out somewhere– I leave mine on top of the fridge. Each day, for a week, continue to add an inch of chopped ginger and some sugar. After about a week, when you open the jar, it will start fizzing.*
If it smells amazing, then taste it. If it tastes amazing, you’re there.
Now for the fun part:
You can make any kind of soda with this “starter”– it’ll ferment a massive jar full of liquid in about 24 hours, though the longer you leave it, the more sugar is fermented out and the better for you it is, but I have been drinking mine constantly because it tastes so good and is just so good for you.
To make ginger beer: Top up the big jar with water, more sugar, and more ginger (approximate amounts– I used about 3 inches ginger, 1/2 cup sugar), and leave out for 24 hours, now you have a big jar of ginger soda.
To make nettle beer: Brew a strong nettle infusion (use dried or fresh nettle leaves in a jar, pour boiling water over the top, and leave out for 8 hours. Strain.), add sugar and ginger and some lemon juice.
To make lemonade: add ginger, lemon juice and sugar.
The options are endless.
*For the record, I forgot mine a couple of times during the week. It still turned out wonderfully.