DIY Game Day Ginger Beer Cocktails
Freshen up your drinks at this weekend’s party with this DIY Ginger Beer concentrate. From a Moscow Mule to a Dark ’n’ Stormy, to your favorite non-alcoholic sips, let your friends revel in the quality and flavor that accompanies homemade ginger beer. The really wonderful thing I’ve found is that with the concentrate, you can add as much or as little ginger to your beverage as you like. Sometimes with mixed drinks, I like a little more ginger flavor than I find in bottled store-bought ginger beer, and this DIY recipe is simple perfection.
The recipe calls for easy ingredients, and just a few kitchen tools:
- 1/4 pound of ginger
- 3/4 cup of sugar
- 3/4 cup of water
- 3 tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon
- small saucepan
- box grater
- measuring cups and spoons
- rubber band
- fine mesh strainer
- glass container
Begin by grating the ginger on a plate, so you can easily capture the shavings and the juices that emerge from the root. No need to peel the ginger in advance. I opted away from using a blender or food processor to grate the ginger, but go that route if you’re making a large quantity.
Transfer the ginger and its juices, as well as a 3/4 cup of white sugar and 3/4 cup of water into a small saucepan. Stir it over low to medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Creating a simple syrup concentration with the ginger in the pan helps to infuse the flavors.
Remove the concentrate from the heat, and allow it to steep with the ginger for another hour. During this time, attach a piece of double layer cheesecloth atop a measuring cup with a rubber band.
After the concentrate has infused to perfection, pour it on top of the cheesecloth and into the measuring cup.
Remove the cheesecloth from the measuring cup, and squeeze the grated ginger to remove any remaining liquid (I got an extra 1/4 cup out of the squeeze!).
Pour the concentrate through a fine mesh strainer to capture any lingering ginger gratings that may have sneaked through.
Add three tablespoons of lemon to your concentrate (the juice of roughly 1 lemon), and transfer the concentrate into a jar for storing, and chill in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. The batch I made measures approximately 24 tablespoons of concentrated syrup.
Here are a few recipe ideas to get you started:
Mix 6-ounces of sparkling water with 3 tablespoons of ginger beer concentrate. Alcohol is optional (if you’re looking for that, try a shot of vodka or spiced rum). Serve over ice. (For bonus flavor, stock flavored sparkling water for your mixed drinks).
Try 3 tablespoons of ginger beer concentrate mixed with 6-ounces of soda – like Pepsi or Coke – and serve over ice.
For a delicious and flavorful Moscow Mule, try 2-ounces of sparkling water, 2 tablespoons of ginger beer concentrate, 1-1/2 ounces vodka, and 1/4-ounce lime juice.
Go Dark ’n’ Stormy with 2-ounces of sparkling water, 2 tablespoons of ginger beer concentrate, 2-ounces of dark rum, and a couple dashes of bitters.
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