Ginger beer is a staple drink in Sierra Leone, as it is in all of West Africa. Ginger is often grown in their subsistence gardens. Ginger has been around for centuries dating back to 500 b.c. It is widely known for its medicinal properties. It has been used for digestive issues, nausea, to calm coughs. It is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and even used to prevent cancer. Ginger beer has a wonderful spiciness to it that makes a lovely drink.
Ginger Beer is a nonalcoholic drink. It is different from ginger ale as it has a much spicier ginger flavor. It is really easy to make if you have a blender. In Africa, you will see women pounding on ginger using a mortar and pestle to make the ginger beer without appliances. It is flavored with sugar and lime and could easily be made plant paradox compliant using a substitute sugar like stevia and sparkling mineral water.
Did you know that Sierra Leone is known for its abundant seafood along its Atlantic Coast? It has a marshy wetland along the coast that is perfect for harvesting oysters which we enjoyed grilled with this ginger beer.
Please note that when you let the ginger beer rest, the thick ginger paste will settle at the bottom of your jar. It is up to you whether you want to shake it up for more heat or not. I found the flavor excellent and plenty spicy without doing that.
If you would like more authentic recipes from Sierra Leone to enjoy your ginger beer with, then please check out "Our Journey to Sierra Leone". There you will find an authentic Cassava leaf stew recipe as well as a ginger cake for dessert.
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Ginger Beer from Sierra Leone
- 6 ozs ginger root peeled
- 2 quarts water hot
- 3/4 cups Sugar
- 2 limes juice of
- 2 cloves optional
- Peel and cut the ginger into pieces
- Add about 1/2 cup of water into the blender with the ginger and blend into a thick paste.
- Put the ginger paste into a glass bowl and top with hot water.
- Add in the sugar, lime and cloves if using.
- Pour this mixture through a sieve or cheese cloth into jars or bottles and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour or longer. Enjoy cold and you can choose if you want to add the hotter, settled ginger at the bottom for a spicier affair.