Thursday, May 23, 2013

How I am getting invited to your Memorial Day Weekend parties ( key words: my homemade Ginger Beer)

Since summer is coming, I want to make sure you have the best thirst quencher on hand for all your upcoming summer soirees and poolside fetes. And when I share it with you, you will invite me to all your fabulous parties. (Plus, I am a rather kick-ass DJ when necessary.)

A few summers ago while home in Seattle, I found myself sipping upon a Moscow Mule. Do you know this beverage? Amazing. Comprised of vodka, lime juice, ginger beer, it became my go to beverage if I was opting for liquor. Ginger beer is not actual beer but a jumped up and far more flavorful sister of ginger ale. There are several brands we used at home: Goslings, Barritts, Fever Tree and diet versions of the first two. I happily sipped it the following summer until upon ordering it in one of our favorite restaurants, I noticed an immediate difference in that my beloved Moscow Mule had an upgrade, a kick, an improved personality. The reason: house made ginger beer. Tell me more! House made ginger beer is hands down better than store purchase. However, I failed to get the lowdown on how to create such a concoction at home. The next time we were in, our favorite bartender was absent. I asked our less favorite bartender for the general 'how to' to which he replied 'it is virtually impossible to make ginger beer at home."

Virtually impossible?

You know people are making liquid nitrogen ice cream, right? And nitro siracha on tuna tartare. I mean virtually impossible is a pretty strong position.

So I went to University of Google and tried 4 or 5 different recipes to discover that what he meant by 'virtually impossible' was 'actually rather easy and should be shared with all your friends and mixologists'.  I like my ginger beer with a little sass and attitude so after several versions, my final version includes a secret ingredient: Chinese Five Spice. YUM.

Here is what I am working with:

JennyMac's Homemade Ginger Beer




1 1/4 pound of fresh ginger minced in food processor. Minced well.
 Split minced ginger between the two pitchers. Add to each:
1 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
Juice from one lemon
1/2 tsp Chinese Five Spice (if you are strong and like it with a little 'how you like me now.'
Fill remainder of vessel with hot water.
Stir, stir, stir.

Let cool to room temp (at least an hour) and add 1 tsp of yeast. You can use brewers yeast if you have it.
Let it sit overnight and then strain. 

Mix with any variety of delicious liquids for a perfect summer elixir. If you want my Moscow Mule recipe, by all means since I will be sipping it at your pool:

1 shot fresh lime juice
1 shot vodka
1 shot soda water over ice in a single bucket glass.
Top w/ ginger beer. Sip and enjoy and start penning me your thank you note. 

I just made a big batch for the beach this weekend. Have a fantastic long weekend if you are celebrating and remember the reason for this holiday season.

3 comments:

Brian Miller said...

just added it all to the grocery list for this week...i'm on it....very cool recipe...

The Savage said...

For this I heart you big time, Jenny. I heart you big time.

Helena Halme said...

I was there with you wishing to make my own home made ginger beer until you mentioned yeast...as a Finn I know what a difficult customer yeast can be. So you're invited to mine as long as you bring the ginger beer! I'll provide the vodka and coffee (oh that's the title of my novel too - what a co-incidence!). Sorry, it's getting late over here in the UK...

Great to have this recipe, seriously I will try to make it.

Helena xx