I've guarded my Ginger Beer recipe rather jealously, but today I thought I'd put it up for any and all to make. To my mind, its the best ginger beer out there, spicy, complex and with just the right amount of kick. Combined with some Gosling's Black Seal Rum and a little lime it makes a wonderful Dark and Stormy, one of my all time favorite cocktails. Here is the recipe-
1 Ginger root
1 Lemon, zest only
2 oz Cream of tartar
1 1/2 lb Sugar
1 gallon boiling water
1 packet bakers yeast
1) Grate the ginger root (I use a box grater) and then place in a large stockpot.
2)Add all ingredients except the yeast
3) Stir until sugar and cream of
tartar is dissolved and then allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
4)Add yeast which has been
dissolved in a little lukewarm water.
5) Cover tightly for at least 6 hours (I usually go overnight).
6) Filter (I use a chinois, but a coffee filter or cheesecloth would work too).
Bottle and cap tightly. Make sure to use screwcaps. Plugs will blow off. Place in dark, cool (basement?) place for one to two weeks. Chill fully before drinking.
Tonight, I'm flying down to Sacramento to spend one last visit with one of my dearest friends and a great bartender, Richard DellaPenna. Richard taught me a lot about the craft, and about life in general. If you get a chance, make yourself one of these and pay tribute to old friends. I'll never forget Richard, he is truly one of the finest people I've ever known. This one is in his honor;
The DellaPenna Cocktail
2 oz Pisco
1/4 oz fresh lemon juice
1/4 oz simple syrup
2 dashes orange bitters
3 oz Ginger Beer
Build over ice, mix to combine, and toast to a good friend, then savor.
I'm off for the weekend.