What is it?
Ginger beer is one of the best kept non-alcoholic secrets in beverage. You are probably familiar with ginger ale (an airline favorite), but ginger beer is a very different beast. Ginger beer is typically made using natural ingredients in an artesian way, whereas ginger ale is produced using industrial processes. Ginger ale ends up tasting like Sprite with ginger syrup added, whereas ginger beer can be very complex, bursting with ginger flavor, and often with small pieces of ginger floating in the liquid visible to the human eye.
How is Ginger Beer made?
How exactly is ginger beer made? For that we refer to Bundaberg, an Australian producer whose delicious ginger beers are imported into the United States and elsewhere. In Bundaberg’s case, local ginger root is dried and ground into a course flour. This is mixed with cane sugar from Queensland and water and then heated, creating a “wort” similar to that used in traditional beer brewing. The wort is fermented with yeast, and then matured, creating a concentrated ginger beer, which will be diluted with water, sugar, and citric acid before being carbonated and bottled.
Ginger beer can be a little tough to find, you best bet being higher end grocery stores or beverage specialty stores. Once you do find it, however, you will be hooked for life!
The Dark and Stormy
The “Dark and Stormy” is a classic cocktail that is known as “Bermuda’s National Drink”, and it is a favorite cocktail of the Wine Mutineer. It is best enjoyed in the summertime, and is a great drink to order when you feel like making life easy on the bartender, as it only requires two ingredients. Here is the Mutineer Magazine recipe for a Dark and Stormy:
– Fill a rocks or Collins glass up with ice.
– Fill glass up 80% of the way with ginger beer.
– Float1 1/2 oz. Goslings Black Seal Rum on top of the ginger beer. (Any Caribbean dark rum will work, but Goslings is the classic choice)
– Serve with a cocktail straw or stir stick.