Home Caribbean Jamaican Ginger Beer Recipe – That Girl Cooks Healthy

Jamaican Ginger Beer Recipe – That Girl Cooks Healthy

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two glasses of ginger beer and jug

Kiss goodbye to the store brought kind and learn how to make real Jamaican ginger beer using fresh ginger. This the non fermented version but it’s still so tasty and thirst quenching. A great drink during the holidays or anytime of year.

two glasses of ginger beer and jug

If you have always wanted to make the Caribbean version of ginger beer than look no further because this recipe is what you need in your life.

two glasses on a teal plate

This beverage is a childhood favourite of mine, it is a recipe that was made by my mother and grandmother. As a food blogger I am absolutely elated to be sharing a recipe that I am fond of and hopefully have my readers fall in love with it too.

Just like the infamous Sorrel Drink ginger beer is drunk mostly during the holiday season. However, you can drink it throughout the year if you wish. I love to whip up a huge pitcher when the weather is sweltering with a handful of ice.

Is Jamaican style ginger beer alcoholic?

Good question! Unless you have decided to press the “jump to recipe” or couldn’t be bothered to read the entire post then you won’t know the answer and will probably be disappointed because you failed read through or comment saying “isn’t how you make ginger beer” “there’s no fermentation” (yup! There’s always someone). 

In spite of the name ginger beer isn’t actually beer or an alcoholic beverage that’s not how Jamaicans or other Caribbean islands make it. Instead we sort of hopped on the bandwagon of the British and re-invented a strong spice infused soft beverage call it “ginger juice” if you will.

With that said, don’t get me wrong some Jamaicans do carry out the fermentation process and use chewing sticks as per tradition but overall it’s more of a soft, child friendly drink.

Jamaicans are more inclined to add rum (the preferred alcohol) to their freshly made ginger beer if they want to give it a slight kick.

glass of ginger beer without the jug

Homemade vs store brought 

One clear distinction between homemade and store brought ginger beer it is NOT Carbonated. I repeat it is NOT emphasis on carbonated.

Sorry folks! That bubbly ginger drink isn’t authentic at all and it’s not different then when I highlighted this with my Ginger Cake recipe.

Although I will be the first to admit I do enjoy the taste of it, it’s not a true representation of the Caribbean. Go to any Caribbean persons household and you won’t find the ginger beer “bubbly”.

Instead it has a VERY strong taste in ginger and made with spices.

Ingredients you will need

ingredients for jamaican ginger beer

How to make Jamaican ginger beer

steps 1-8 making the ginger beer

  • Peel the ginger
  • Either grate the ginger (grating is best as it brings out the flavour) or chop it up and blend with 1/2 cup of water (add more if required)
  • In a large pot add the ginger, cloves, cinnamon stick, rice (if adding) and water.
  • Simmer on low-medium heat for 5 minutes (this heats it through without destroying it’s properties and without cooking it).
  • Remove the pot from the stove and allow to cool (if you are using granulated sugar stir it in now) and add the lime juice.
  • Cover the pot and either store in a cool place or refrigerate for at least several hours or up to a week (the longer you leave it to rest the stronger it will taste).
  • When you are ready to serve, strain off the juice into a cheesecloth or extra fine mesh strainer
  • Stir in your sweetener, rum/essence (if using) and vanilla (add more water if it’s too strong or just adjust to taste).

Carbonated version

If you want to make a carbonated version then you will need some sparkling water (preferably natural occurring) and some of my Homemade Ginger Syrup

How long does the ginger beer last?

I usually serve mine within 48 hours of making it but you should be able to store it in your refrigerator for 7-10 days maybe longer, just keep and eye on it, as soon as you’ve made it.

What can you do with the leftover pulp/peel?

Use the pulp for compost if you are into gardening or use it to make boiled ginger tea. The pulp can be used to add to your favourite smoothies.

pouring ginger beer into the glass

Notes and tips

  • I would recommend peeling the skin of the ginger because it yields a slight bitterness to it.
  • I prefer to use a liquid syrup like agave or maple instead of granulated sugar
  • For best results, completely chill and serve with ice
  • If you want to ferment your ginger beer you will need to use yeast, I don’t a recipe for this technique as that isn’t the way my family do it nor do I care for making it alcoholic.
  • This recipe is child friendly and safe for drivers for drink
  • Make sure when you are heating up the ginger mixture the heat is very low to retain its properties.
  • Traditional Jamaican style ginger beer is made using Jamaican chewing stick. Outside of the Caribbean, this is difficult to get so I often omit using it. If you have some then include with the spices.
  • Feel free to add whatever spices you want I keep it basic with cloves and cinnamon sticks
  • If you cannot get whole spices use dried about 1tsp of cinnamon and 1/4 tsp of cloves.

Other thirst quenching drinks you may like

**Don’t forget to comment below and star rate if you have tried my recipes. Let’s be friends and engage on Facebook and Instagram I also like to pin on Pinterest, where you can find more amazing recipes.**

two glasses and jug of ginger beer

Jamaican Ginger Beer Recipe

Kiss goodbye to the store brought kind and learn how to make real Jamaican ginger beer using fresh ginger. This the non fermented version but it’s still so tasty and thirst quenching. A great drink during the holidays or anytime of year.

Print Pin Rate

Course: Smoothie and drinks

Cuisine: Jamaican

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Servings: 10 people

Calories: 386kcal

Instructions

  • Peel the ginger

  • Either grate the ginger (grating is best as it brings out the flavour) or chop it up and blend with 1/2 cup of water (add more if required).

  • In a large pot add the ginger, cloves, cinnamon stick, rice (if adding) and water.

  • Simmer on low-medium heat for 5 minutes (this heats it through without destroying it’s properties and without cooking it).

  • Remove the pot from the stove and allow to cool (if you are using granulated sugar stir it in now) and add the lime juice.

  • Cover the pot and either store in a cool place or refrigerate for at least several hours or up to a week (the longer you leave it to rest the stronger it will taste).

  • When you are ready to serve, strain off the juice into a cheesecloth or extra fine mesh strainer

  • Stir in your sweetener, vanilla, rum/essence (if using) (add more water if it’s too strong or just adjust to taste).

Notes

  • I would recommend peeling the skin of the ginger because it yields a slight bitterness to it.
  • I prefer to use a liquid syrup like agave or maple instead of granulated sugar
  • For best results, completely chill and serve with ice
  • If you want to ferment your ginger beer you will need to use yeast, I don’t a recipe for this technique as that isn’t the way my family do it nor do I care for making it alcoholic.
  • This recipe is child friendly and safe for drivers for drink
  • Make sure when you are heating up the ginger mixture the heat is very low to retain its properties.
  • Traditional Jamaican style ginger beer is made using Jamaican chewing stick. Outside of the Caribbean, this is difficult to get so I often omit using it. If you have some then include with the spices.
  • Feel free to add whatever spices you want I keep it basic with cloves and cinnamon sticks
  • If you cannot get whole spices use dried about 1tsp of cinnamon and 1/4 tsp of cloves.

Nutrition

Calories: 386kcal | Carbohydrates: 85g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 181mg | Potassium: 1882mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 179mg | Iron: 3mg

 



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