Quick and Easy African Ginger Beer
Various ginger drinks are popular not just in the Congo but throughout West and Central African. These non-alcoholic ginger drinks differs from traditional ginger beer as they are not fermented. Where ginger beer is sold in Africa it is often made by the shopkeepers themselves and served in recycled vegetable oil bottles.
1 litre/4 cups water
70g/2 oz Fresh ginger root
125g/half a cup honey or sugar
125g/half a cup lemon or lime juice
A few cloves or a cinnamon stick (optional)
For aesthetic reasons you may wish to peel the ginger, if you do use the back of a teaspoon rather than a knife or peeler as it really does work better.
Bash the ginger with a rolling pin then place in a saucepan. Bring half the water to boiling point and pour over the ginger, leave in a warm place for one hour. Strain through muslin/cheesecloth into a large jug/pitcher ensuring that you squeeze out all of that lovely gingery goodness.
Heat up the rest of the water to around 50°c and mix in the citrus juice sugar/honey and spices (if using). Mix the two together and leave to infuse together for another hour, refrigerate or pour over ice. It works well as mixer and try with gin or rum.
If you like yours with a bit of fizz then either run it through the soda stream or add some mineral water.