makes 8 servings 1/2 lb ginger root, grated 1/2 gallon boiling water 2 cups brown sugar Juice of 2 lemons 1/2 gallon of cool tap water Additional sugar to taste
In a half gallon crock, jar, or bottle, combine ginger, lemon juice, and 1/2 cup sugar. Pour 1/2 gallon boiling water over this and let stand 12 to 24 hours. Strain into a one gallon glass or ceramic jar, and add another 1/2 gallon of water, and sweeten to taste.
Instead of sugar, 1/2 cup of licorice root, simmered for 20 minutes in 2 cups water, can be added to the ginger, lemon juice, and boiling water. Proceed as above. The licorice adds an anise flavoring and natural, sugar-free, non-caloric sweetness to the spicy ginger flavor. Licorice root for tea is available at natural foods' markets and is packaged under the brand name "Seelect"
Sparkling Beverage: 4 tablespoons yeast (1 tablespoon per quart) dissolved 10 minutes in 1/4 cup lukewarm water (110oF to 115oF). The yeast should be bubbly and increased in volume-- otherwise, discard and use a new batch of yeast. Add the yeast mixture to the ginger mixture. Stir thoroughly. Cover the container with foil or plastic wrap and let it stand for in a warm, draft-free place to ferment one week. Stir every other day. Strain through a sieve and transfer to a glass or ceramic bottle. Cork tightly and let ferment at room temperature for another 3 or 4 days. Serve chilled over ice cubes.
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