Zingy and refreshing, this Ginger Beer is perfect to enjoy in the sunshine, served over ice. Pack a bottle in your picnic basket, give it as a gift to a friend or serve it at a dinner party as an alternative to wine.
Over the years, this recipe has evolved and been fine-tuned through dinner parties, gifts, carnivals, picnics and Groundnut dinners. The sliced fresh ginger offers a powerful kick of healthy spice without bitterness, the cloves give warmth and depth, the lime juice is sharp and bright, and using golden syrup instead of sugar offers a smooth texture and round flavour that binds the drink together.
Peel the ginger. Using a spoon to scrape away the skin rather than a peeler or knife allows you to navigate in and around awkward areas of the ginger to reduce waste. Cut the ginger into 2mm-wide slices
Put the ginger, cloves and water into a large pot. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 1 hour.
While the ginger is cooking, halve the limes, squeeze their juice and put to one side. Discard the skins.
Remove the pot from the heat and strain the liquid through a sieve into another large pan to remove the ginger and cloves. While it is still hot, add the golden syrup and stir well. Leave to cool to room temperature.
Add the lime juice and stir well. Strain the mix through a muslin cloth or fine sieve and decant into sterilized bottles.
Refrigerate the ginger beer and serve chilled, over ice.