Whenever I go home to Sierra Leone, the first thing I am handed is a glass of ice cold ginger beer.
Before I even unpack my bags.
So over the UK summer when I am not making lemonade, I am making my other drink ie gingerbeer in good old Sierra Leone style.
Or almost. Because in Sierra Leone the large heap of peeled ginger will be pounded in a huge mortar and two pestles by two people working in synchrony with each other. Pound, pound, pound, pound, pound, pound as the sun rises so that the ginger beer would be as fresh as possible and in time for breakfast. As much as I do love waking up to or contributing to that pounding sound I have a much easier way of doing it. AKA the blender.
So I get the taste of Sierra Leonean ginger beer for a tenth of the work. No contest, right?
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Ginger Beer Sierra Leone Style
- 120 g (4 1/4 oz) fresh root ginger
- 1 L (4 1/4 cups) of boiling water (or sparkling water)
- 2 cloves or more
- 2-4 tbsp sugar to taste
- Juice of half a lime or more to taste
- Peel the ginger and chop into large bits
- Add the ginger to a blender with about 50ml of water and blend into a paste.
- Pour the ginger paste into a large heatproof bowl and top with the boiling water.
- Add in the cloves and let stand for a couple of hours so the ginger flavour develops.
- Slowly strain the ginger beer through a sieve into a new container and throw away the bits left in the sieve.
- Add in the sugar and lime to taste and then let the ginger beer cool in the fridge before you serve it.