The Portuguese brought ginger to Africa, while the Spanish established themselves in the West Indies, allowing them to trade with Europe in the 16th century.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a perennial plant native to India and China, where it has been grown for over 3,000 years. It was brought to Europe by Arab merchants and given the name zenj. It was one of the first oriental spices brought to the Old World.
The Chinese and Indians cultivated it not only for the rhizome, but also for its many medicinal benefits, as it is antioxidant, digestive, and anti-inflammatory. It also aids in nausea relief.
It was thought to be a powerful aphrodisiac plant during the Middle Ages. Ginger, like chili, provides molecules that prevent aggression in the brain and, as a result, it diffuses endorphins, which cause a feeling of well-being.
It is primarily used in the Western world to make ginger ale or ginger ale, as well as gingerbread. Ginger beer has recently made a comeback thanks to cocktails. Ginger is a flavor enhancer that is used in many cocktails, including the Moscow Mule (ginger beer, vodka, and lemon juice) and the dark’n stormy (ginger beer, rum and lime).
Africa, particularly Nigeria and Sierra Leone, produces about 12% of the world’s ginger. It is widely used in the preparation of ginger beer and ginger juice, a popular drink known as gnanmankou, gnanmankoudji, ginger, or djindja.
African ginger has a distinct flavor that distinguishes it from other varieties grown around the world. It has a full body and a camphor flavor. It has a citrus flavor in India, while it is sweet and citrus in Australia, making it ideal for confectionery.
For the ginger syrup
- 200 g de azúcar extrafino (caster)
- For the ginger syrup
- 125 ml of water
For the ginja beer
- ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
- Ginger syrup (recipe below)
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1.8 l of water
- In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the ginger, sugar, and water and stir until the mixture boils and the sugar dissolves.
- Turn off the heat and set aside for an hour to allow the mixture to cool.
- Cool the mixture after filtering (discarding the ginger pulp pieces).
- Stack a funnel on top of a large plastic bottle.
- Add the ginger syrup, lemon juice, and water after the yeast has been sprinkled on top.
- Shake the bottle with the cap on until the yeast dissolves.
- Place the bottle in a shady, room-temperature location, such as a pantry, away from direct sunlight, for 48 hours.
- The ginja beer is now ready to drink, but it must be refrigerated to prevent further fermentation.
- CAUTION: During fermentation, open the bottle every day to allow excess gas to escape; otherwise, the bottle may explode.
- Serve with ice.
Syrup of ginger
Cerveza de Cristal
- The fermentation process continues, as it does with any brewer's yeast beverage. Refrigeration slows but does not completely stop the process.
- It should be noted that ginger beer is a perishable beverage that should be consumed within 10 days of purchase.
- The sediment settles to the bottom of the bottle as the drink ferments. Before drinking, the drink can be filtered.
Amount Per ServingCalories 76Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 32mgCarbohydrates 20gFiber 0gSugar 12gProtein 0g