Inspiration: As regular readers here may already know, I am easily inspired by anything with the word “ginger” attached. So when the new Travelling with Thermomix cookbook arrived in my mailbox by surprise (!) I was keen to try the Ginger Beer recipe from its Australian pages. (But not without first tweaking…)
About Ginger Beer: With all due respect to the many Thermomix fans from Down Under who visit here daily… I’m not sure how much ownership their country can claim for this beverage. Traditional fermented ginger beer is made from GBP (Ginger Beer Plant) — a glutinous mass of symbiotic bacteria and yeast that, under the right conditions will ferment to give ginger beer its particular zing, effervescence, and alcoholic qualities. With proper attention the active “plant” mix can be safely bottled without fear of explosion. While this method takes a bit of time and some special supplies, many of us who enjoy the drink for its gingery character are just as happy to drink a non yeasted, unfermented, non-alcoholic ginger beer made instantly, by Thermomix.
The recipe below is my spin on the Thermomix Ginger Beer recipes that appear in both EveryDay Cooking (EDC, p.26) and Travelling with Thermomix (p.246) available from Thermomix demonstrators and distributors everywhere. (The two “official” recipes are very similar but the EDC version uses 2-3 times the quantity of ginger, resulting in a much stronger drink!)
What’s different about this recipe? Ginger beer is widely available as a commercially-made soda pop, but the heavy sugar content of these holds no appeal to my savoury-biased palate. I hoped to create a drink that more closely resembled beer in both taste and appearance. Something less sweet, more gingery, and altogether more serious — something to stand in for beer but without the alcohol. Even so, not really a drink for the kiddies either, due to its edgier tones. All I did was substitute molasses for the required sugar while at the same time reducing the sweetness content by half. (If molasses can’t be found where you live, use brown sugar for a close second.) The result? An easy-peasy, dark amber, foamy, stout-like beer substitute — in less than a minute. Deep full bodied flavour with bitter leanings. Served immediately, it comes with a nice creamy head that is pleasing to the eye and the lips. Satisfies like a cold beer. Sip it all day long and still drive safely. Love it.
- 2 lemons (peeled, pith removed, seeded)
- 80-100 g fresh ginger root (peeled/sliced)
- 90 g molasses (substitute brown sugar if needed and adjust to please sweeter palates by increasing to 140 g)
- 1000 g soda water or carbonated mineral water
- Put lemon, ginger slices and molasses into Thermomix jug and process 20 seconds/speed 8.
- Add 300-400 g soda water and mix for about 4-5 seconds/speed 8.
- Insert simmering basket into the jug and use as a strainer while pouring contents into a pitcher or bottle. (For a more clear drink, filter a second time through a finer mesh.) Add remaining soda water to dilute. If not serving all the ginger beer immediately, keep the concentrate in a jar or bottle in the fridge and add your soda water to each glass as needed. I prefer this without ice or garnish for a most beer-like experience. Others may prefer to garnish with lemon/lime, and serving over ice.
- According to Wikipedia, ginger beer can be mixed with beer to make one type of shandy, and with dark rum to make a drink (originally from Bermuda) called a Dark ‘N’ Stormy.
- When mixed with vodka, ginger beer is the main ingredient in the Moscow Mule cocktail (not my favourite, but maybe yours?)
- Some people use limes instead of lemons…
- see a short thread about making Ginger Beer Plant from our friends on the Thermomix forum.