But first an introduction in the ginger world (and if you want to see more about ginger and ginger beers check Spicy Root.)
Ginger is part of the Zingiberaceae family, alongside cardamom and turmeric. It is found easily in India, Jamaica, Fiji, Indonesia, and Australia.
The English origin of the word, “ginger”, is from the mid-14th century, from Old English gingifer. The word probably was readopted in Middle English from Old French gingibre (modern French gingembre)
The root can be consumed fresh, powdered, dried as a spice, in oil form, or as juice. For best results it is better to use it fresh. Possible health benefits include relieving nausea, loss of appetite, motion sickness, and pain.
What makes ginger so know besides the health benefits is its popularity in dishes because you can find it in things like tea, chopped or crushed in curries and savory dishes, and dried or crystallised in sweets and confectionery. Foods that contain ginger include gingerbread, cookies, ginger snaps, lemonades, healthy shots ginger ale or ginger beer.
Introduction into Ginger beer- general
You might already be familiar with the spicy taste and fizz of this beverage. You might also know that it is produced by the natural fermentation of prepared ginger spice, yeast and sugar.
Current ginger beers are often manufactured rather than brewed, frequently with flavor and color additives. Ginger ales are not brewed.
Ginger beer and ginger ale
Ginger ale and ginger beer are often mistaken for one another, and while they do share a similar flavor and origin plant, there are a few clear differences. Ginger ale, for one, is usually nothing more than carbonated water that has been flavored with ginger juice or ginger concentrate. The beer, on the other hand, is prepared using active yeast, and it does undergo fermentation. However, this “brewing” process is minimal and few brands have an alcohol content higher than 0.5%. Some companies are changing their approach, however, creating both their ginger ale and ginger beer through artificial means. However, the fermentation process is the main point of separation between these two beverages.
In comparison to ginger ale, ginger beer is more robust in flavour with a spicy quality.
A timeline about the history of ginger beer
As early as 500 BC, ginger was used as a medicine and for flavouring food in Ancient China and India. In the western hemisphere, ginger was used to spice up drinks. During the Victorian era, it was used to brew an alcoholic beverage termed “ginger beer”.
Brewed ginger beer originated in Yorkshire in England in the mid-18th century and became popular throughout Britain, the United States, Ireland, South Africa and Canada, reaching a peak of popularity in the early 20th century.
The two types of ginger beer (alcoholic / non alcoholic)
Modern ginger beer is not fermented, but is instead carbonated, making it a soft drink. This ginger beer typically contains less than 0.5 percent alcohol, and is not classified as an alcoholic beverage. Although we can still find alcoholic ginger beers on the market, like: Crabbies Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer, Not Your Father’s Ginger Ale or Royal Jamaican Alcoholic Ginger Beer. you can find more here.
Ginger beer cocktails variations
There are 2 traditional cocktails that everyone knows.
First is the Traditional Moscow mule. It contains 2 oz vodka, 2 oz fresh lime juice,Ginger beer, lime wedge for garnish and mint for garnish.
Or, the second one Classic dark& stormy with those ingredients: 2 oz apple cider, 2 oz dark rum, 4 oz ginger beer,1 lime.
Of course there are some other recipes out there out there. You can also check the ones that Spicy root came up with.