Ginger Limeade

We keep this in our fridge on a routine basis and I try to have it on hand weekly.  I first came across a recipe for “ginger beer” in a street food cookbook in the Caribbean section.  I bookmarked the information in my head and came back to it one Christmas Eve for a party when I thought something gingery with citrus sounded tasty and potentially sick-fighting.  I know I gave a family member a glass but at some point my husband tasted it and I think hoarded it in fear I’d never make it again.

I didn’t make it again until that summer in two-fold effort.  One part was to have something fun but non-alcoholic on hand for myself but the second part was the big one.  I made it to take in small pint Mason jars to work for both myself but mainly for my dear husband who was developing a Coke habit (the sugary drink not the powdery nose kind).  This is my fall back homemade drink now and if you’re the kind who likes a cocktail, I suspect this would be good with a slash of rum.

Ginger Limeade
(makes 1 gallon)

6 inches of Ginger Root (more or less to taste)
6 Limes
2/3 c Turbinado Sugar
Water (total 1 gallon – 4 cups, 2/3 cup and then to fill in the rest)

Peel and grate the ginger root.  Place the grated ginger in a heat proof container (I use a ½ gallon Mason jars –which later doubles as a container for ½ the finished product).  Pour about 4 cups boiling water on top of the ginger.  Allow to steep for several hours or overnight.  You can put it in the fridge when it’s cooled down but I like to leave it out; I’m convinced it increases the ginger flavor.

After the ginger has steeped, strain the liquid into a separate bowl or large measuring cup.  I usually press and squeeze the grated ginger to get as much of the flavor out as I can.  Discard the grated ginger pulp.  Put the ginger water in your preferred container; at this step, I usually put half in one ½ gallon Mason jar and half in another.

Juice the limes and add to your ginger juice (again, split evenly if you’re using 2 containers).  I say 6 limes but it can vary.  If they’re not juicy limes or are teeny tiny, you’ll want more.  I estimate that you’re looking for a total of ½ cup lime juice, ¼ cup per ½ gallon.  If you love limes, add more but be sure to adjust your sugar.

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and 2/3 c water.  Heat on medium until you have a nice simple syrup.  Add to your container(s) like the lime juice.  Fill the rest with water and shake.  I recommend filling it with water leaving room for about 1 cup of liquid and test tasting it.  Too little lime or sugar allows you to add more to your preference.

Store in the fridge and enjoy.  You’ll have to shake it before pouring a glass as there is some ginger sediment that settles but that’s where the flavor is so don’t skip it!

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