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Ginger Beer & The Dark ‘n Stormy

Brewed Ginger Beer originated in Yorkshire, in England, in the Eighteenth Century. Mildly alcoholic, it was usually drank by itself, but could be mixed with other potable spirits to strengthen the drink up. It was made using the same techniques as other beers, yeast added to sugar to spark fermentation, but over the decades became the non-alcoholic version we enjoy today. The British Navy would transport large quantities as it expanded the empire around the world, and the practice of mixing with dark Demerara or Guyana rum began to become popular, as the rum ration for the Navy enlistees included 2 ounces a day. Sometime after the 1860’s, Goslings in Bermuda began distributing its blended dark rum and the rest is history. Soon, Goslings would make its own ginger beer to market with its rum, but for those of us who prefer fresher products, we’d rather make our own.

The process of brewing ginger beer today can be accomplished three ways. First, the easiest way, is to combine freshly juiced ginger with lemon juice, sugar and carbonated water. The second involves adding yeast to this product and letting it ferment. The third involves a strange organism called the “Ginger Beer Plant.” The “GBP” is a complex symbiotic organism consisting of a yeast and a bacteria. It is a gloppy, gelatinous substance that ferments any sugary product in much the same way as Kombucha. Today, we will be going the easy route.

 

Ginger Beer

  • Julienne unpeeled ginger and run through an industrial juicer:

  • Strain the juice so it is free of any leftover peel or debris
  • Mix:
  • 1 part Ginger Juice
  • 1 part Lemon Juice
  • 1 part 2:1 Simple Syrup
  • 5 parts Distilled Water (or bottled)
  • Taste and adjust if necessary

Now, there are two ways to go about the carbonating…. First, you can add carbonated water instead of distilled and either drink right away or bottle the ginger beer. Second, you can add water as above and carbonate yourself. This time, we’re taking the more complicated path.

I could go into great detail about how to build a carbonation rig, however someone has already gone through the trouble, so check out Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s post here. Then, you will need bottles, caps, and a capper. If you are living in southern Connecticut, you can pick some up at Maltose Express in Monroe on rt 25. If not, or if you’re lazy, you can buy on Amazon, as well.

So, now that you know how to carbonate, simply add your carbonated ginger beer to your 187mL wine bottles:

and cap off using your capper:

Product PhotoLike any fresh product, there will be some settling in the bottle, so gently agitate before opening to ensure a consistent product.

Now you can use your ginger beer to make a Dark ‘n Stormy (picture at the top of the page.)

Dark ‘n Stormy

  • Fill tall glass with ice
  • Add approximately 3oz of Ginger Beer
  • Float .25oz of Fresh Lime on top of Ginger Beer, and a little simple syrup if u like it sweeter
  • Float 1.5oz of Goslings 151 Rum on top of Lime. (The 151 is a MUUSSSTTT HAAAVVVEE. Really makes the drink worth drinking)
  • Add a Lime Garnish and enjoy!!

HAPPY SPRING!

 

 

 

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Falernum?

Falernum is a sweet syrup, originating in the Caribbean, most likely in Barbados. It can be alcoholic, or non-alcoholic, and its ingredients are sometimes argued over for hours. Everyone has a different recipe, some only slight variations from others, most to suite the individual tippler’s personal taste. But no one can argue that a properly made falernum isn’t a staple of tiki and rum drinks everywhere.

I have combined what I think are the best parts of two recipes: 1. Jeffrey Morgenthaler, Bar Manager, Clyde Common, Portland, OR, and 2. Rick Stutz over at KaiserPenguin,, and tweaked a few things from there. Those sites offer a wealth of information that I can only begin to scratch the surface of at this point, but I’ll list out my preferred recipe, and you can take it from there.

 Adam’s Falernum

8oz Wray & Nephew Rum

6oz Smith & Cross Rum

Smash up and macerate in above rum mixture for 24 hours:

2 tablespoons whole cloves
1 tablespoon whole allspice berries
1 whole nutmeg
2 star anise

add:

zest with a microplane 6 limes

2oz julienned fresh ginger
Macerate for another 24 hours

Strain through moistened cheesecloth

Add 10oz water to leftover solids and steep for a few minutes.
Strain solids and mix water with an equal part of simple syrup (1:1) made with turbinado sugar.

 

Use your Falernum Syrup to make the infamously delicious Chartreuse Swizzle:

Chartreuse Swizzle

1.5oz Green Chartreuse

1oz Fresh Pineapple Juice

.75oz Fresh Lime Juice

.75oz Falernum

 

Shake with ice and strain over crushed ice in a tall glass or tiki glass.

Garnish with a bright, vibrant sprig or two of mint!

 

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