Ginger Beer Concentrate

Ginger beer concentrate

First of all, this ginger beer doesn’t have beer in it. My homemade ginger juice and soda version is non-alcoholic… unless you add liquor, of course.

Second, have I mentioned lately how much I appreciate you all? Thank you for visiting. Thank you for investing your time and energy (and money) into making my recipes. Your comments and emails brighten my days and make this crazy food blogging thing worthwhile. I’m not sure when this dark cloud over my head will clear, but I know that I have to make the most of this one wild and precious life. I’m working on it.

peeled ginger

Let’s lighten the mood with ginger. I’ve been totally obsessed with ginger lately. On its own, ginger is fiercely spicy and fragrant. Used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine since forever, it’s a powerful anti-inflammatory that boosts circulation and cleanses the body. It can calm nausea and soothe upset stomachs (source: The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia). There’s really not much it can’t do.

Just a hint of fresh ginger lends peppery spice and complexity to savory dishes, and powdered or fresh ginger brightens up baked goods. Ginger has been a predominant flavor in my recipes lately, making its way into ice cream, banana bread, two soups, granola, couscous and pancakes. Ginger beer features the flavor most prominently, which I love. One sip warms me up from the inside.

how to strain ginger beer

Ginger beer has traditionally been brewed with a live culture, which creates carbonation as it ferments. These days, most ginger beers available in stores are non-alcoholic. Ginger beer is like ginger ale, but with a lot more kick. It tends to be more cloudy and less sweet than ginger ale, and the ginger flavor is unapologetically in your face. Most recipes for ginger beer and ginger ale have you cook the ginger in sugar water to mellow the flavor, but this recipe uses raw, pungent ginger. Beware: my ginger beer concentrate is for serious ginger lovers only.

To make this ginger beer, you’ll just need a blender or food processor and a good fine mesh strainer. My rusted hand-me-down strainer let too much ginger pulp through, so an upgrade is in order. You’ll also need a big spoon, lots of raw ginger, lime and club soda (because you won’t want to drink the undiluted concentrate).

limes and ginger beer concentrate

Ginger beer is delicious on its own, but it also happens to make the best cocktails EVER. Mix ginger beer with a healthy splash of any basic liquor, squeeze in some lime, and you have your self a simple and refreshing highball. You could just buy ginger beer at the store, but most (like Reed’s) are too sweet for my taste.

Here’s a basic list of ginger beer cocktails (let me know if you have any to add):

  • Dark ‘n Stormy: ginger beer + Gosling’s spiced rum + lime
  • Moscow Mule: ginger beer + vodka + lime
  • Gin-Gin Mule: ginger beer + gin + lime
  • Pimm’s Cup: ginger beer + Pimm’s No. 1 (add gin for more kick) + lime
  • Horsefeather: ginger beer + whiskey/bourbon

Ginger beer concentrate recipe

4.4 from 11 reviews

Ginger Beer Concentrate
Author: 
 
Mix this fiery ginger beer concentrate with club soda to make homemade ginger beer. Adjust the amounts of sweetener, club soda and lime to suit your tastes. Preserve leftover concentrate by freezing it in ice cube trays.
Ingredients
  • 1¼ pounds fresh ginger, roughly peeled and chopped into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 cups filtered water, divided
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from 4 to 5 limes), plus more as garnish
  • 1¼ to 1½ cups of agave nectar, honey or pure cane sugar (to taste, see note)
  • club soda
Instructions
  1. In a blender or food processor, liquefy the ginger and 1 cup of water for 3 minutes. Strain the juice into a large bowl or pitcher. Transfer the ginger pulp back to to the blender or food processor, add another ½ cup of water, and liquefy again. Strain again, adding the liquid to the first batch. Again transfer the pulp along with another ½ cup water, liquefy again, and add to the liquid. Press on the solids with the back of a big spoon to squeeze out as much of the juice as you can.
  2. Discard the mashed solids and rinse out your blender/food processor. Pour the liquid into the blender/food processor. Pour in the lime juice and 1¼ cups sweetener. Blend for 30 seconds. To taste for sweetness, pour about 2 ounces ginger concentrate into a glass along with about 8 ounces of club soda. If it’s not sweet enough, blend in more sweetener until it reaches your preferred sweetness.
  3. Refrigerate up to 3 weeks. Shake before serving. Add a squeeze of fresh lime to your ginger beer before serving. Fresh mint and/or candied ginger make nice garnishes as well.
Notes
  • Adapted from Lottie and Doof, originally from Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It by Karen Solomon.
  • Yields about 36 ounces ginger beer concentrate. If you are using 2 ounces ginger beer concentrate per ginger beer, that means you can make 18 ginger beers. Feel free to double the recipe if you’re throwing a party.
  • I’ve tried this recipe with agave nectar and honey. I prefer the neutral taste of agave nectar. Pure cane sugar is traditionally used in Jamaican ginger beer recipes and may produce the best flavor of all.
  • If you want a ginger ale syrup recipe, check out Joy the Baker’s recipe.
  • If you’re not sure what to do with all that ginger beer concentrate, freeze it in ice cube trays! The cubes will last for several months in the freezer (store them in an airtight freezer bag). See photo below.

frozen ginger beer concentrate

P.s. If you’re looking for a simple savory dish to put together this week, I highly recommend this Greek quinoa with avocado, arugula and cherry tomatoes. Find my version of BHG’s recipe at the Delish Dish blog.

Comments

  1. says

    Finally, a beer I can drink :) Kathryne, you may have just saved my drink dilemma-filled life. Water at night, every night, just doesn’t compete with a glass of wine. Hoping the clouds part for you soon my friend. Much love!

    • Virginia says

      Opened your recipe because I really love ginger and then I read your message and fund myself with tears in my eyes! Going through a really bad day and I felt it was me! I hope to see some blue skies soon! Wish you the best and will try your beer soon! Love, from brazil!

    • says

      So glad you’re enjoying the ginger beer, friend! If you want to switch things up, I love just about any type of fruit juice mixed with club soda and lemon/lime.

  2. says

    The Dark ‘n Stormy is one of my favorite cocktails, and I can just imagine how intense it would be with this homemade ‘brew’. Thanks!

  3. says

    I love ginger beer so much, but I really love a good ginger beer cocktail. I can’t wait until it’s warm out and I can sip Moscow Mules on the porch. Your ginger beer looks so gorg!

  4. Jenna says

    Kathryne – As a fellow 20-something, I so enjoy your words of wisdom wrapped up in a recipe. It’s amazing how tumultuous one’s 20s can be, but it’s nice to hear from others who go through hard times and can still see the light. Thanks for doing what you do!

    • says

      Thank you, Jenna. Glad to hear that you find hints of wisdom in my writing. I’ve just been feeling really lost lately. Our twenties can be rough, huh?

  5. Stephanie C. says

    Wow, this sounds amazing! I love ginger and I’m SO excited to try this recipe! What a great choice to lighten up the mood. Ginger has such a clean, refreshing, purifying taste… perfect for the spring cleaning I’ve been doing (both physically and emotionally). I’m so glad I got to talk to you last week. Let’s make a habit of it! I’m looking forward to seeing you soon!

  6. Grace says

    Girl, you are just my fav. It seems like we enjoy all of the same foods. For real. I made gin-gin mule variations last night. Crazy! I agree that Reefs is too sweet so I’m going to make this ginger beer ASAP. Thank you for all of your recipes and inspiration! I (often) gladly make impulse trips to the store because of you.

    • says

      Grace, I love love love hearing that you have made my recipes. We’re totally on the same wavelength! Wish you lived closer so we could eat together in real life.

  7. says

    Very cool recipe! As a kid, I remember my mum absolutely adored ginger beer. Not knowing any better, thinking ginger wasn’t anything special and detesting beer (which I still haven’t acquired a taste for), I never felt compelled to try it. Having said that, I now absolutely LOVE ginger so I have a feeling I’d love this drink too! Thanks so much for sharing all the recipe combos!

  8. says

    You DO have readers who are about you and appreciate all the hard work that goes into your posts/recipes/photography. Thanks for continuing to post despite the fact you’re going through a challenging time… I know it must be tough to find the energy & motivation….And, bee-tee-dubs, these ginger drinks look delish :)

  9. says

    I want a tall glass of this right now! Sounds so good and I love the idea of making my own drink and I love that there is no beer in it (19 and not a drinker)!

  10. Tracy Burns says

    Wow…thanks! I have been thinking about trying to make my own for a while now and tonight, after a very long, week and a long day and things are just generally not going so well, here is your recipe! Take care, and thanks, again! xo

  11. says

    Love this post. I’ve been on a ginger kick for a couple of years now, myself. It’s incredible how much zing and goodness it can add to so many dishes. Ginger is inherently refreshing and it’s fitting that your post shows how it it’s not just for food recipes but drinks as well. Thanks for another great piece!

  12. Rachel says

    This is BRILLIANT!! You have no idea how ecstatic I am to see this recipe! I’ve been struggling with a very upset stomach all week and have tried three different grocery store ginger ales/beers and none have really tasted quite right to me. (Not to mention buying ginger brews all week adds up!) I will definitely be making this and freezing the concentrate for later. I adore your blog and always get excited when I see you’ve posted a new recipe! Thank you for sharing with us.

    • says

      Thank you, Rachel! Have you tried the ginger beer concentrate? I hope you’re enjoying it. I went through a spell with frequent stomachaches this winter and the homemade ginger beer definitely helped calm my stomach.

  13. says

    Oh wow, I absolutely adore ginger beer (not ginger ale, yuck!) and have always wanted to make mine own. Your version looks so delicious – I’m going to make some for a party we’re having this weekend!

    • says

      That’s a great idea, Maria! I never thought to freeze lemon and lime juice. I’ll do that the next time mine start going bad.

  14. Nicole says

    What a delicious looking drink for summer! From your descriptions of your recent hard times, it sounds like we may be going through a similar kind of heartbreak. My boyfriend and I broke up a week ago, and it’s been one of the hardest and saddest weeks of my life. I just keep telling myself that everything happens for a reason and that I’ll feel better in time. I just wanted to let you know you’re not alone and to remember those two hopefully helpful mantras!

  15. says

    Hi Kate, I feel worried about you just reading about how you’re feeling, and I sincerely hope things improve for you. It sounds like you know you have tons of people to turn to for support. xoxo

  16. says

    I’m pretty enamored with ginger also and we definitely need it right now to add some brightness to these dark days! Ginger beer definitely seems like the way to do it.

  17. Amanda says

    Now that you mention it, Reed’s is too sweet. I love the intense ginger flavor, but I can usually only take a few swigs before I’ve reached my sugar threshold. I cannot wait to try this concentrate; I got so excited when I saw the heading in my reader.

    I’m so glad that you keep doing what you’re doing, even when times are rough. I’ve found cooking and creating to be a panacea for my problems. It always cheers me up, even if only for a short while. I’ve been following your blog for just a little while but I’ve been enjoying it so. Your sincerity and passion comes through clearly. I’m always eager to see what you come up with, as well as to go through your archives and try old recipes I missed.

    It will pass. Have a happy weekend.

    • says

      Thank you so much, Amanda. I’ve been easing back into cooking lately, though I admit I haven’t felt very motivated to do it. I hope you enjoy the ginger beer concentrate.

  18. Molly Steffen says

    “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret…Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him and He will do it.” Psalm 37:7,8, and 5.

    I’ve enjoyed many of your recipes…the text is thought-provoking as well :)

  19. Jill G. says

    Hi there. I’ve been doing research about homemade ginger beer and came across your blog. From what I’ve read, what you’re making here is ginger ale NOT ginger beer. Ginger beer is actually made with fermentation and has a very small quantity of alcohol (~0.5%). Ginger ale is simple ginger juice mixed with carbonated water, sugar, etc. Anyway, I’m glad I found your blog and will keep checking it!

    • says

      Thanks, Jill. I’ve researched the differences between ginger beer and ginger ale as well. I found an article on Serious Eats that says that these days, the difference is really only a matter of taste. This recipe tastes like ginger beer, even if it is not by some definitions.

  20. says

    I made this last night for Moscow mules and it was totally awesome! Since I didn’t have a strainer I ended up squeezing the pulp through a pair of nylons and it worked out perfectly.

  21. G-Fred says

    Hey Kathryne! Thanks for posting this! Alex was very exited to give it a try!! We bought our pound + of ginger yesterday, and got to peeling and pressing today. The result was awesome! I love the idea of customizing the sweetness and spiciness of the ginger beer!
    We’re going to split the batch into different containers and experiment with some infusions: cinnamon, clove, hibiscus, etc. I’ll let you know how they turn out! :) Wishing you well, friend!!

    • says

      Hey friend! I’m so glad you two are enjoying the ginger beer concentrate. I love your infusion ideas! Eager to hear how they turn out. P.s. Let’s set dates for my Minneapolis trip.

  22. Rob U says

    Holy cow that is SPICY! Tastes great at first but it’s just too spicy. Not sure how this could be toned down, but if it were 90% less intense I would love it. Find a way to do that and it’d get 5 stars

  23. Stacey says

    Kate – if your mood is related to your most recent friend, I will just say try and remember you were a whole person before him and you remain a whole person now. Try and focus on where (or who) you want to be 6 months from now and start working towards that! Best to you.

  24. Stephanie says

    Damn! I forgot to weigh my ginger before I bought it and just bought one giant chunk, assuming it would be enough. Any idea how many cups of roughly chopped ginger you would need? Or how much pulp you should end up with after step 1?

    • says

      Bummer! Check your grocery store receipt if you have it for the weight. If not, I think you can wing it. I used roughly two cups chopped ginger chunks. Just blend up the ginger as described and add some sweetener. Dilute it with club soda, taste it, add more sweetener if needed. See you soon!

  25. says

    I found this post via Pinterest while my hubs and I were on our way to the grocery store. I added all of the ingredients to my list and came straight home and made it. I’ve always wanted to try ginger beer, and I am so very glad I did. This is amazing! I love that it’s not over the top sweet, the bite is just the right intensity for me. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe with us. I sincerely hope that you are feeling better. I’m now going to poke around the rest of your blog.

    • says

      Thank you for commenting, Mindy! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the ginger beer and hope you’ll give some of my other recipes a try, too.

  26. kathryn says

    this brings back sweet memories since I was born and raised in Jamaica and we drank ginger beer all the time. So refreshing. thanks for sharing the recipe

  27. says

    Kathryne,
    I’m so sorry to hear that you have a dark cloud these days. And I hope you know just how much we all appreciate you back! You are sharing deliciousness with us all the time, even when you’re feeling down… that’s grace and kindness at it’s best.
    Your ginger beer looks awesome! I have to tell you… I just met Karen Soloman the other day. She’s super cool.
    I hope spring cheers you up.
    xoxo
    E

  28. Kirsten says

    I’ve been searching Pinterest high and low to find a ginger beer recipe like this: one that doesn’t require sugar in order to ferment yeast and that you could adapt the sweetener to fit your needs. Now we’re talking. Thanks! You read my mind!

  29. says

    Can’t wait to try this Kate! (and to try all the cocktails that go along with it). Your recipes are always so inspiring. Sending good thoughts your way.

  30. says

    Ginger tea was always a must when I needed a little comfort growing up, but I say I like your idea of making this ginger beer concentrate and adding a little oomph with some liquor. Wishing you a extra comfort, Kathryne.

  31. Kirsten says

    I need to make this. Ginger tea has been my go-to during these past 6 months. This could be really great, too. Thanks for the recipe! Hope you are doing well, lady!

  32. Jim says

    I see that nice spoon technique for peeling ginger. I wonder now if it is the way to peel Jerusalem artichokes/sunchokes, which is quite tedious. Thank you!

    • says

      Hey Jim, I’m sorry for my delayed response and I’m sorry I don’t know how to peel Jerusalem artichokes! I’ve been too intimidated by the peeling process to attempt cooking those. The spoon trick just might work, though.

  33. AmyFJ says

    I made this today and I LOVE it. I cut the sweetener because I love the zing! I was wondering about how much ginger “juice” you ended up with. Also, I didn’t work ahead so the ginger had to sit while I juiced the limes and a lot of the tiny bits that did get through the strainer ended up settling nicely to the bottom. Maybe that will get rid of some of your extra bits? So glad I found you, keep up the good work!

    • says

      Yes, I believe so! That would be super easy. Just add water (maybe a little less than instructed here) and sweetener to the ginger juice.

  34. Claire says

    I made this last night, and holy crap! You weren’t kidding- it is INTENSE! I might have over or under done something in the process, or maybe I’m just a ginger wuss. I think I might add another juice to tone it down for my wimpy taste buds. Strawberry? Carrot?

    • says

      Hey Claire, the concentrate is intensely gingery! You are mixing it with club soda, right? The concentrate is way too strong on its own. I bet a splash of strawberry, carrot or orange juice would be good with it, too.

      • Claire says

        yup, mixing! I diluted it way beyond the recommendation and that was a little more up my alley. Even still, it’s still a tad too much for me. I blended it with an apple last night, orange juice the day before. I really like it as a quick ice cube added to other juices with bubbly mineral water. (I even used it when making some curry because I didn’t want to run to the store for more ginger) I hope the health benefits of ginger are preserved with the freezing! I’m going to experiment with strawberry pineapple or pears later! Thanks for the recipe!

  35. Breaking cloths says

    Thanks for the really nice recipe! I really love ginger, and ginger beer and ginger mead. I´ve broken three strainers in two years, so I bought my last one and also some kitchen cloths (those thin, usually blue and white which have tiny holes in. Including that the fact is you can´t find those nice strainers at this corner of the world). I´ve mainly used those cloths though they are usually not reusable because they tend to break, so I recommend to use strainer so the pulp doesn´t fall to the juice if the cloth breaks. But using the cloth gives you more of that lovely liquid you are squeesing. And if the cloth doesn´t break, it´s washable, of course.

  36. Jason says

    Stumbled on your recipe via Google…just finished making the concentrate and it is fabulous. Perfect for our Memorial Day BBQ….Pim’s Cups and Dark & Stormy’s, here we come!

  37. Isaac says

    Tried this recipe after trying a couple different ones that required fermenting to carbonate. I followed the recipe exactly, but it just tastes like slightly flavored spicy water. The ginger flavor isn’t very strong compared to others I’ve tried.

    • says

      Hey Isaac, sorry for the delayed response. Did you try diluting the concentrate with less club soda? Either you didn’t press out enough of the juice or you diluted it too much.

  38. Polly says

    Perfect taste! I used cheese cloth with the strainer and was able to get every last drop. I cut the agave nectar to 2/3 c. (that’s all I had). I dilute my concentrate with a diet ginger ale using your 2oz:8oz ratio and I see a wonderful summer ahead, sitting on my porch and sipping this ginger delight. Thanks for posting it!

  39. Lasse says

    Hi!

    I’ve been browsing for different ginger beer recipes, and yours looks very convenient! I’ve been fermenting a few batches for carbonation, but the yeast precipitate is a bit off putting to me. And filtering it just loses the bubbles. :-/

    Anyhow; your recipe in totalt equals about 325 grammes of ginger pr liter of finished drink. The one I’ve been fermenting equals about 94 grammes of ginger pr liter of finished drink. I find the one I’ve brewed quite spicy — but yours would be about 3½ times as spicy! Is this for real? The ratio of ginger to lime is also way different than other recipes I’ve seen..

    Any input? Thanks. :)

    • says

      Hey Lasse, I’m not sure how my concentrate would compare to your finished ginger beers. Keep in mind that mine is a concentrate, basically just sweetened ginger juice with lime, that you dilute with club soda. If it’s too spicy for you, you could always just dilute it with more club soda to reach your desired level of spice.

  40. rachel says

    Hello
    This looks amazing! Has anyone tried putting the ginger in a juicer and making it that way? Just curious…I’ll give it a try and post results
    thanks!

    • says

      Hey Rachel! I don’t have a juicer, so I haven’t tried, but I believe that other commenters have had good luck with theirs. You might need to adjust the amount of sweetener or club soda to taste.

  41. Kathy says

    Hi Kate,
    I LOVE ginger, and I really want to try your recipe. Unfortunately I have diabetes. Do you think the recipe would work with an artificial sweetener like Splenda?
    Thanks!

    • Shawna says

      I’ve had good luck with adding truvia to each individual drink after the ginger beer is done. I also sweeten mine far less than is called for though.

    • says

      Hi Kathy, I wish I could say with certainty, but I’ve never used Splenda. I heard from another commenter that she sweetens hers with Truvia. As long as the sweetener dissolves in water, I think it will work.

  42. Shawna says

    I just finished my first batch and oh my goodness, it is amazing! My husband and I absolutely adore strong ginger flavors and most ginger beer recipes just don’t have the kick we like and across the board are FAR too sweet. The concentrate let me play with both elements and it turned out fantastic! Lowered the amount of sweetener (about a 1/2 cup), had to lower the lime (4 limes only yielded about a 1/2 cup but I’ll add more next time) and significantly lowered the concentrate to club soda ratio. More about 2 ounces concentrate to 4 ounces club soda…fantastic! Add to all that, I’m a wine drinker and have been looking for something for an after dinner drink for when I can’t have alcohol. This absolutely fits the bill.

  43. Elisabeth Conran says

    I made this today and am delighted with it. I enjoy Old Jamaica ginger beer, but the price has recently gone up a lot and I needed to find a substitute. This is IT! It has real punch and flavour (I needed to increase the sugar content a little) and is a whole lot cheaper and healthier than a canned drink. Thanks so very much for the recipe.

  44. says

    Loved your blog, and I can’t wait to try this recipe!.. But, one question, (sorry if I’m being really stupid) am I supposed wait three weeks before I can serve it or can it just be stored for three weeks?

    Thanks! X

    • says

      Hey Thahera, you can drink it right away. It will keep in the fridge for a few weeks, or you can freeze it in an ice cube tray to preserve it longer.

  45. Marissa says

    I am beyond thrilled having found this recipe! I’m currently living in Chile and they do not have ginger beer here. It’s summer and that means I’ve been craving my fave Dark n’ Stormy. You are a lifesaver!

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