This Ginger drink is very easy and quick to make and I definitely think it is perfect for any weather and any occasion. To be honest I haven't really heard much about this drink even though I am West African but apparently it is a popular drink in that region- therefore there are various ways to make it. This recipe is more of the Gambian way to make it. Although it is called ginger beer as well, it is very much non-alcoholic! The first time I had this West African ginger juice was from my Sierra Leonean 'Aunty' and it is quite a refreshing drink!
One good thing I like about this drink is how you can't go wrong with it in the sense that you can adjust it easily if you feel like something has gone 'wrong'. For example, if you felt like the ginger taste is too strong for you, just dilute with more water until you get the right taste for you. But I prefer having the strong ginger taste but that's just me. But don't worry if that's not you, I will explain in the recipe further how to adjust it to your taste.
In terms of meals to pair this drink with, I would suggest not pairing it up with spicy meals. I made that silly mistake! Whilst I didn't feel the effect during the meal, the aftermath wasn't so great. But would I do it again? Yes! I'm a lover of spice/heat 😂. But whatever you pair it up with is up to you. It is also good on its own! I love ginger, like I eat it raw from time to time, yes that's how much I love. So this drink is an absolute fave now. Let's get into the recipe.
- 0.5kg of Ginger
-4 cups of water
-2 large lemon
-1 cup sugar
-1 tsp Vanilla extract
-1/2 cup pineapple juice (optional)
-Cloves (optional )
-Mint leaves (optional)
- 2 Large/Medium sized bowls
-Manual juicer (if you don't have one that's fine- I will explain alternative method in the process section below)
1) Wash the ginger and then peel of the skin. Cut up into small-medium size chunks to help with the blending process.
2) Pour the ginger into the blender and add the water in as well and then blend.
3) Wash the lemons and then cut in half. Using your manual juicer, squeeze the lemon juice out but making sure that the seeds do not go into the juice. If you don't have a juicer, just squeeze the lemons with your hands into a bowl. But make sure to also take out the seeds.
4)This next step can be done in two ways depending on how strong you want to start of your juice with. I will explain both methods separately below:
4a) If you want to start it off with a strong taste: place your cheesecloth over a bowl. Pour the blended ginger in and then take the ends of the cheesecloth together and then squeeze out the ginger juice. The add more water to the mixture if it is too strong for you at this stage. Remember you are still going to add sugar and other ingredients so you can wait to add those in first before adding water to adjust to your taste.
4b) This other method is adding about 3-4 cups of water into the bowl. Then place cheesecloth over the bowl and pour the blended ginger in and then take the ends of the cheesecloth together and then squeeze out the ginger juice. To get more juice, you can pour back the ginger pulp into the blender, add a bit more water in and blend again. Then pour back into the cheesecloth in the bowl and then squeeze out the juice again. You can repeat the re-blending of the ginger pulp again if you want more juice or a less stronger taste. The more you repeat, the less stronger the juice will be.
Note: if you don't have a cheesecloth, you can use a strainer instead. You might just need to strain the juice a few times in order to get rid of the pulp/bits.
5) Then add the lemon juice, vanilla extract, sugar and pineapple juice (optional) into the ginger juice. Stir altogether and then have a taste to see if you need to add more sugar to sweeten it up more or if it is too sweet or the ginger taste is too strong then add water to adjust to your preference. I used pineapple juice in mine so it meant having to use less sugar as well.
6) Place the strainer over another bowl then pour in the juice- this is to remove whatever pulp that is left in the juice.
7) Then pour into whatever container you want to store it in the fridge or serve with ice to drink immediately! You can also add the cloves in at this stage to but it is optional. Something else that I like to add is mint leaves too- but again this is optional! Enjoy!
Check out the reels section of my Instagram page for a quick video showing the process here.
Any questions, feel free to send an email or message on any of my social media platform.