Best Ginger Beer (2024)

Introduction: Best Ginger Beer

There's nothing more refreshing than an ice cold ginger beer. That spicy and tart bite that ginger has is perfect for quenching thirst on a hot day.

However, no matter how many different types of ginger beer I try, I find all store-bought ginger beer to be more sweet than tart, and none of them are spicy enough for my tastes - even the ones that are labelled "extra spicy". There's a serious gap in the market for spice-heads like me for ginger beer that has great bite, but also tart and refreshing.

Taking matters into my own hands, I made what my taste buds consider the best ginger beer around. And, it was easy enough to make in large batches so I never have to run out!

Step 1: Recipes

There are recipes that involve fermenting in the bottle to achieve carbonation, but I wanted more control over the potency of my ginger beer, both in terms of flavor intensity and carbonation. For these reasons, the easiest way to make ginger beer is to first make a syrup and then simply add soda water to make the drink to your liking.

The ingredients are very simple for ginger beer, and you can modify them to suit your tastes.

Essential ingredients:

  • Lots of ginger root
  • Lemons
  • Sugar (about 2 cups)
  • Water

For a tastier beverage, add:

The kitchen equipment you'll need is also fairly basic:

An alternative to adding canned soda water is to use a home soda water maker, which allows you to mix all the ingredients together in the bottle and then carbonate it. If you're serious about homemade drinks a sodastream is a must!

Step 2: Shred Ginger

To maximize the ginger taste we'll need to shred the ginger root, this will increase the surface area of the ginger and impart the most potent taste.

I used a cheese grater, as they are easy to use and everyone has one. Feel free to use a food processor or just a kitchen knife to prepare your ginger. The smaller the bits, the more surface area your ginger will have.

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I very rough estimate is 1 root for every liter of syrup you'll make. You really can't go wrong with more ginger, so don't worry about overdoing it. Also, the ginger isn't what makes it spicy, so it'll never be too "hot" if you add more ginger.

Step 3: Combine Ingredients

Transfer the grated ginger into a saucepan and squeeze in the juice of a large lemon. It won't matter if the seeds fall into the pot, since it'll all be strained through a cheesecloth later.

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Add in 2 cups of water to the saucepan. We're looking for enough water to cover the ginger completely, too much water will make the syrup more diluted.

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Add 1½ cups of white sugar to the saucepan. This will make a modified simple syrup, if you prefer a sweeter drink feel free to add more sugar, or substitute brown sugar for white sugar.

Add in 1 teaspoon of cream of Tartar. Adding cream of tartar to simple syrup inhibits the natural tendency for granular sugar to recrystallize, there's also a side benefit that the cream of Tartar gives a smooth mouth-feel finish to the drink. While not required, it's an ingredient that once you use you'll understand why.

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Adding peppers is an optional step, but it's what takes regular ginger beer into the most intense flavor you've ever had. If you're not satisfied with store-bought ginger beer and think the flavor is lacking, this is the cure.

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Cinch the spice bags closed and place both bags into the saucepan with the rest of the ingredients.

Give the mixture a good stir to ensure ingredients are mixed well, then turn on the heat.

Step 4: Boil + Rest

Heat the mixture to a boil and then turn off the heat.

Stir by hand to ensure even distribution and allow to sit undisturbed for an hour to cool and steep.

Step 5: Strain

After an hour the mixture should be cool and the ingredients thoroughly steeped.

Gather a large mixing bowl, a strainer, and cheesecloth to strain the cooled mixture.

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Place the strainer into your large bowl and then place a double layer of cheesecloth into the strainer. Pour the cooled ginger mixture into the cheesecloth strainer and completely empty the saucepan.

Allow the ginger mixture to drain for a few minutes, then gather the edges of the cheesecloth and pull together, tightening around the grated ginger.

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Gently squeeze the cheesecloth to remove as much liquid from the grated ginger as possible, then discard the cheesecloth and grated ginger bundle.

Step 6: Bottle Syrup

Clean the glass bottles with warm soapy water and rinse thoroughly.

Using a funnel, fill each glass bottle. Make sure to stir the syrup between pours to ensure an even mix, as the syrup may settle.

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I like using glass bottles to store my syrup as it looks very smart, and there's no carbonation which would be unsuitable for sealed glassware. These resealable glass bottles are great for keeping the syrup fresh and tightly sealed.

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Once all bottles are filled, store in the refrigerator. Syrup will keep for about 3 months.

Step 7: Mix Yourself a Drink

Add syrup to your favorite glassware, then top off with soda water.

Start with about an ounce of ginger syrup and increase dosage to suit your liking after diluting with soda water.

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This tart, spicy, gingery syrup is a great refresher. By having it in syrup form you can easily modify the intensity to suit your tastes.

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This recipe can be easily modified to suit your tastes. Try brown sugar for a darker and more sweet syrup. Or, try a few other twists to make this syrup your own signature drink.

I'd love to know what you come up with, so share your results in the comments below.

Happy making!

Best Ginger Beer (2024)


Which ginger beer has real ginger? ›

Reed's Original Ginger Beer

This world-famous, Jamaican-inspired recipe is crafted with REAL fresh ginger root, natural fruit juices, honey and spices.

Is ginger beer good to drink straight? ›

Packed with flavor, it's good enough to be enjoyed on its own, or mixed to make a variety of different co*cktails. But let's set one thing straight – the key ingredient to a great Moscow Mule is a good ginger beer, not ginger ale!

How healthy is ginger beer? ›

Drinking ginger beer can help reduce inflammation, promote digestion, relieve nausea, and even help in the prevention of cancer. Ginger beer is a less-sweet alternative to ginger ale, and the popularity has skyrocketed among Americans, especially millennials.

Why is ginger beer so expensive? ›

It is expensive to do it, and ginger juice makes such a big component that to make it it's our highest cost per production beer that we make.

What ginger beer do bars use for Moscow Mule? ›

Bundaberg Ginger Beer: The Aussie original, this brand has become more and more ubiquitous in recent years as the go-to option in most bars when you order a Moscow Mule. Made with cane sugar and Australian ginger, Bundaberg can attribute much of its popularity to the fact that its taste is extremely balance.

Does Canada Dry have real ginger? ›


Does Schweppes or Canada Dry have real ginger? ›

VERIFY looked at the ingredients list of Seagram's ginger ale and found that the soda contains “ginger extract with other natural flavors.” Schweppes, Canada Dry and Great Value ginger ale do not include ginger in their ingredient list and instead only say “natural flavors.” According to the FDA, “natural flavors” can ...

Is there real ginger in Fever Tree ginger beer? ›

Carbonated Water, Sugar, Ginger Root, Natural Ginger Flavoring With Other Natural Flavorings, Tartaric Acid, Ascorbic Acid. Carbonated Water, Fructose (Fruit Sugar), Ginger Root, Natural Ginger Flavoring With Other Natural Flavorings, Tartaric Acid, Natural Flavorings, Ascorbic Acid.

Is ginger bad for fatty liver? ›

Fortunately, ginger is a food that has all the elements needed to prevent and treat liver problems. Experts suggest that ginger supplementation represents a new treatment strategy for NAFLD by improving the body's antioxidant activity, reducing inflammation and insulin resistance.

Is ginger beer bad for your stomach? ›

Goldman. “If a person has bloating, gas or indigestion, the carbonation and sugar may make it worse. Even diet ginger ale can be harmful because our bodies may not digest artificial sugars as well.” The same can be said for ginger beer.

Which is healthier, ginger beer or ginger ale? ›

Ginger beer and ginger ale do not differ greatly in terms of nutritional values. Ginger ale is the lighter option, with 125.1 calories and 32.3 grams of sugar per can (12 fl oz). Ginger beer is a bit heavier but nevertheless very close to ginger ale, with 140 calories and 35 grams of sugar per can or bottle (12 fl oz).

Why is ginger beer so high in sugar? ›

Yeast starter

This is kept for a week or longer, with sugar regularly added, e.g., daily, to increase alcohol content. More ginger may also be added. When finished, this concentrated mix is strained, diluted with water and lemon juice, and bottled.

Does ginger beer affect blood pressure? ›

Several studies in both humans and animals have shown that ginger consumption can lower blood pressure levels in certain ways.

Is ginger beer full of sugar? ›

Much like other soft drinks, ginger beer can be high in sugar. Some brands contain up to 38 grams of sugar per serving. However, there are sugar-free and diet versions available for those who are monitoring their sugar intake.

Why is Bundaberg ginger beer so good? ›

Bundaberg Ginger Beer is traditionally brewed over 3 days using real ginger, whereas ginger ale is often a version of carbonated water that's flavoured with ginger syrup. Brewing is what gives a great Ginger Beer that zingy, 'smack in the face' kind of flavour, in comparison to its somewhat tame friend, ginger ale.

What is the original ginger beer drink? ›

Original ginger beer is brewed by leaving water, sugar, ginger, optional ingredients such as lemon juice and cream of tartar, and GBP to ferment for several days, converting some of the sugar into alcohol. GBP may be obtained from several commercial sources.

What is the best ginger beer for a Kentucky Mule? ›

What is the Best Ginger Beer for a Kentucky Mule? We did a blind taste test of many brands of ginger beer. Most taste similar and are very sweet and more zesty or spicy than regular ginger ale. The brand that stood out to us as the most delicious was Fever-Tree with the most effervescent and unique flavor.

Is ginger beer better than ginger ale for Moscow Mule? ›

In a pinch, ginger ale will work as a substitute for ginger beer in a Moscow mule, however the citrusy, zingy flavor that the ginger beer normally brings will be a lot more muted. Ginger ale will make your Moscow mule a lot more sweet and bubbly.

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