recipe

Made From Scratch: Ginger Beer

ginger beer

Don't you just hate it when you google random recipe ideas and you come across sites of an adult nature? And you're doing it in public so people see you doing this? While innocently looking up recipes for my 1 kilo bag of fresh ginger, I inadvertently came across what I thought was a ginger lovers site. It turns out to be a site for people who are hot for 'sexy redheads'. I was trying to find something exciting to do with the ginger beyond the usual ginger beer cordial that I make Mr NQN every week but alas, the internet well ran a bit askew that day.

Absolutely no offence should be taken by redheads, I am about to confess that I am quite fascinated by red headed children. I can't get enough pictures of Amy Poehler's baby. Speaking of ginger, my flame haired friend Joan Holloway tells me of a story of when she was young and her grandmother had a cat with the same ginger fur. The cat, jealous of its similarly tressed new rival sat above the cot and tried to push and swat at baby Joan. Clearly, there was to be room for only one redhead in that household.

Made From Scratch: Ginger Beer

Is that not the best expression on a baby, ever? Source: Suri's Burn Book.

Anyway, I'm babbling, clearly a little surprised at my little introduction to the world of ginger lovers. This recipe is for the other ginger lovers out there (although by no means are they mutually exclusive). Unable to find anything else to make for Mr NQN I simply made more of his absolutely favourite item, ginger beer.

He would drink this entire thing in a day if I let him, it's only that there's quite a bit of sugar in it that I don't. But a glass of this refreshing, chilled gingery drink is worth the minimal effort. You just won't go back to bought ginger beer after this, I promise you. This is the sort of drink that will have you murmuring about how warming and delicious it is and how much more flavour it has compared to shop bought ginger cordial. I only know this because we used to buy it and now Mr NQN doesn't like any of it as much as this. The strength of the ginger is potent and has that wonderfully warming spiciness to it but you can control how much you have by adding more soda water.

If you'll allow me to suggest it, and if it isn't too early to bring up the C word-that is Christmas, this would make a fantastic Christmas present. Undiluted, this makes 1 litre or 2 pints of ginger cordial. Pop it in one of those tall bottles, wrap some festive red and white twine and a label and suddenly people will mistake you for Nigella or Martha. Just probably not Joan Holloway.

So tell me Dear Reader, are you ready for Christmas yet? And will you be making any food for Christmas gifts? Are you a fan of ginger? And would you rather be mistaken for Nigella, Martha, Joan Holloway, Peggy Olson or Betty Draper?

ginger beer

Made From Scratch: Ginger Beer

Makes 2 litres

  • 125g/4 ozs ginger

  • 1 litre/2 pints of water

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1 litre cold soda water

Step 1 - Put a litre of water onto boil. Peel the ginger-I don't bother getting the creases and crevices of it all, just the larger, smooth edges and slice fairly finely to get more surface area exposed.

ginger beer

Step 2 - Add to the water and simmer for about 15 minutes. Then add the sugar and boil for about 5 minutes and then cool. You can serve this warm and diluted with water (or straight which is how Mr NQN likes it). Once cooled, strain and to a glass, add 50% of this ginger cordial and 50% soda water.

ginger beer