With current mini heatwave the East Coast is experiencing, after downing umpteen glasses of water, I paused to think of drinks that might taste better while keeping me hydrated.
I perused my cookbooks and noticed a title that I have yet to mention here, A Country Cook's Kitchen by Alison Walker (Rizzoli New York, March 2012).
Under Liqueurs and Cordials, she offers a range of recipes from Wild Plum Brandy to Lemon Barley Water.
I picked her Ginger Beer recipe.
Once the ginger has fermented, drink within a couple of days.
Preparation 20 Minutes plus standing
Makes about 2 cups
2-inch piece of fresh ginger
4 teaspoons cream of tartar
2 and 1/4 cups granulated sugar
zest and juice of 1 lemon
4 quarts boiling water
1/2 tablespoon dry yeast
1) Roughly slice the ginger and put into a large bowl with the ream of tartar, sugar and lemon zest. Pour in the boiling water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Let stand until hand-hot.
2) Add the lemon juice and yeast. Cover; let stand in a warm place for 24 hours.
3) Skim and strain the liquid through a cheesecloth-lined strainer into sterilized swing-stoppered glass bottles.
4) Leave for 2 to 3 days, checking daily to make sure the ginger beer is not too fizzy, loosen the caps if the liquid looks too fizzy to avoid the bottles exploding.
Store in the fridge and use within 3 days.
(* Recipe from 'A country cook's kitchen ' by Alison Walker published by Rizzoli New York, March 2012, Photos by Tara Fisher, reproduced with permission, all right reserved)