Ginger is a common ingredient in my soda recipes. I love the spicy bite of ginger so much it’s hard for me to resist adding it. (Even if it has to be a minor component when it can’t be the star of the show, like my sparkling strawberry lemonade.)
But today I want to do something for the hot spicy spice fanatics – and that is to provide a simple recipe for ginger beer that gives you both the heat of ginger (primarily “gingerol”) and the heat of peppers (“capsaicinoids”).
Whether drunk straight up or as a mixer (I love Infused Spirits “Mango Habanero Vodka” but this is also great in a Dark & Stormy or with bourbon), you’re going to appreciate this soda! (At least, going in ;))
So with no further ado, let’s do this…
This recipe is for a one-liter bottle of ginger beer.
You will need:
- Liter fliptop bottle
- Fine mesh strainer (small)
- Medium/small saucepan with cover & wooden spoon
- Measuring cups & spoons
- Bottling funnel
- Ginger bug starter culture (usually ready in 5-6 days)
- 3.75 cups filtered or distilled water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 75g ginger, grated
- Hot pepper(s) of choice, stems removed & halved
- 1/4 cup strained ginger bug culture
Note on peppers: People’s preferences and tolerances vary wildly; if you aren’t sure for yourself, I recommend starting with a jalapeno (red is hotter than green) or maybe two. If you know you can handle stronger, go for a couple serranos or scale up to a habanero or scotch bonnet (these are all commonly available grocery-store hot peppers). If you’re a true hot head, go with your super hots, I know you’ve got some!
Add-ons (here’s some other stuff I put in mine):
- Juice of 2 clementines (if you don’t do this, add an additional 1/4 cup water to the recipe)
- 1 tsp cloves, coarsely crushed by hand
- Pinch of whole grains of paradise or allspice
- Feel free to include another pepper (poke a hole in it with a toothpick), whole in the soda bottle for dramatic effect
1.) Rinse then grate the ginger. Combine it in the saucepan with the water, sugar, hot pepper(s), and any add-on spices (don’t add the clementine juice just yet).
2.) Bring the liquid to a boil, stirring periodically. As soon as it reaches a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
3.) After the allotted time, remove from heat, and allow to cool to room temp. Add the clementine juice and give a good stir.
4.) Strain the wort (sweetened liquid) through the mesh strainer several times. Clean off the strainer of its debris each time. The liquid should now be free of all visible solids and pulps. Alternately, pass the wort through a cheesecloth.
5.) Strain the 1/4 cup ginger bug culture so there is only liquid. Then transfer the liquid culture to the fliptop bottle using the bottling funnel.
6.) Now transfer the wort to the bottle using the bottling funnel. Leave around 3″ headspace between the bottle’s mouth and the liquid. (Recommended to pour the wort from a spouted container or measuring cup.) There may be some excess wort (which you can promptly enjoy).
7.) Seal the bottle and allow to stand at room temperature for three days. (As I write this a freeze around the US is brewing so I suggest finding a relatively warm location if possible.)
8.) Transfer to the fridge and allow to stand overnight. The soda will then be ready at any point.
Did you make an excruciatingly hot version or put your own awesome twist on it? Post your creations on our Insane Facebook group.
Want to support the continued development of this ad-free, cookies-free site and help with my dream of selling my own line of fermented products and sauces? Become a Patron! or make a one-time donation!