Cheat’s Ginger Beer

1 May 2012

It’s a public holiday in Germany today, so the husband and the boy are both off from work/ nursery. We’d had another scorcher of day forecast, and we thought what better weather for a refreshing jug of home made ginger beer. However, actually brewing some would mean having to wait at least 24 hours, so we should have started sooner (like yesterday), and there’s always the danger of it exploding if you don’t do it right, so here’s our non-brewing cheat’s version. I guess technically it’s not ginger beer at all, just a ginger drink. But it doesn’t really matter, because it tastes very good and was just what we needed to cool down.


  • 150g root ginger, frozen
  • 2 lemons, preferably organic as you’ll be using the peel
  • 4 heaped table spoons dark brown sugar (e.g. muscovado)
  • 1 litre sparkling mineral water

You’ll also need a jug that holds at least just over 1 liter; a a fine grater, e.g. one of those multi sided cheese graters that has different ‘settings’; a colander or a sieve, and a muslin cloth to line it with.


  • Finely grate the root ginger. It’s ok to leave the skin on. The trick with freezing it first is that it’s much easier to grate, so we always keep our ginger in the freezer.
  • Finely grate the outer layer off the lemon peel, i.e. just the yellow part. The easiest way to do this is to just take the whole lemon and rub it over your grater. Be careful not to press too hard or you’ll end up grating the white pith off it too.
  • Put the grated ginger and lemon peel, along with the sugar and the juice from both the lemons into a bowl. Mush it all together well with a wooden spoon, and leave for 30 mins for the flavours to mix.
  • Add half a litre of your sparkling mineral water and leave for another 10 mins.
  • Place your sieve over your jug and line it with the muslin cloth. Carefully start to pour your mixture in. You can use a wooden spoon to mush the mixture against the muslin and help push it through.
  • Top up your jug with the remainder of the sparkling mineral water.
  • Garnish with a sprig of mint, if you fancy, and serve poured over ice.

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