West African Ginger "Beer"

This is from "Kwanzaa", by Eric V. Copage, William Morrow, 1991. It was printed in the Washington Post a few decembers ago.

Copage's version:

2 Quarts Water

1/2 Pound Fresh Ginger Root, thinly sliced

1/2 Cup fresh Lemon Juice

1 Cup Honey

Ice Cubes


"In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups of the water with the ginger (don't bother peeling it), and simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and honey, and let cool completely.
Strain the ginger mixture into a large pitcher, and add the remaining 1-1/2 quarts water. Add the ice cubes, and let stand until well chilled before serving. Yes, it is very fine with a little rum sneaked into the glass, but it's not de rigueur."

Variation: I generally crank the ginger up to a pound or so. I also boil longer, 30-45 minutes. For better surface area, I shred the ginger in a salad shooter or food processor. I also strain into the pitcher, BEFORE adding the honey and lemon.