DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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13 October 2014

Ginger cordial recipe




I usually start preparing my fermented ginger beer around this time of the year. I like having it on hand to offer to family and friends when they visit. It's a simple process but it takes over a week to get the finished drink into a bottle and sometimes, as it's a natural fermented drink, it doens't go according to plan and I end up with a ginger concoction I have to throw away.  This way of living is an ever-evolving process, I'm always hoping to improve what I do, so I decided to look for a healthy drink that I could make up overnight, or in one day, and still be happy to offer it to guests.

Enter ginger cordial.  I wanted to stay with a ginger drink because I can grow ginger here and I think the ginger family - ginger, turmeric, cardamom and galangal - contains many health giving properties. 

The easiest way to peel ginger is by scraping a teaspoon over the skin. When the skin is off, just cut the hard bits off with a sharp knife.

  GINGER CORDIAL  
  • piece fresh ginger about three inches/8cm
  • 1½ litres/quarts tap water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • rind one lemon
Peel and grate the ginger. Grating is better than slicing because the greater surface area you have, the better the flavour. Place the grated ginger, water, sugar and lemon rind in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Stir to make sure all the sugar dissolves. Turn off the heat, put the lid on the saucepan and leave on the stove top over night. The next morning, strain the ginger liquid through a muslin cloth over a strainer, sitting in a jug. Pour the ginger cordial into clean bottles and store it in the fridge.

To make up a drink, pour a small amount (40mls/2oz) of ginger cordial into a glass and fill the glass with cold natural mineral water or soda water. We're using the Aldi mineral water which is 79 cents per 1.25 litre bottle. Add ice and a lemon slice. You can also drink it using cold tap water or as an addition to your hot black tea.


I didn't use the muslin with this batch and ended up with sediment in the bottles. Next time I'll remove that by using a muslin cloth to strain the liquid.


This is a really delicious drink, and I think it's as good (or better) as the well known ginger beer brands, including Bundaberg. This is the ingredients list for Bundaberg ginger beer: Carbonated water, cane sugar, ginger root, natural flavours, acid (citric acid), yeast, preservatives (202, 211), antioxidant (asccorbic acid). 

I encourage you to try it. It's easier to make than the fermented drink and you can cook up a batch in a short amount of time instead of waiting over a week for it to ferment. Having said that, I'll still be making the fermented drink as well when I have more time. This is an addition to my homemade drinks repertoire, not an instead-of.


23 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for this recipe, Rhonda! How long do you think it will keep in the refrigerator?

    (I'm thinking it would be very soothing for a sore throat if dissolved in boiling water...)

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    1. You'd have no trouble keeping it in the fridge for two or three months, Danielle, although I can't imagine ours lasting that long. If you want to keep it longer, just sterilise the bottles and add a teaspoon of citric acid to the mix. It would last six months then, possibly longer.

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  2. I absolutely love ginger drinks, so will be trying this out tomorrow. Thankyou so much for the recipe.
    Briony
    x

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  3. I will give that a try, Rhonda and will make some for my grandchildren when I am visiting them soon. I was disappointed with our ginger growing this year so will have to buy some. Thanks for the recipe.

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  4. I find ginger drinks so refreshing! Will have to give this a go (I'd like to make the fermented ginger beer too but I just don't really have the time at the moment!).

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  5. Thank you for sharing. I love ginger beer but a nasty experience or two as a child have made me cautious. One batch became alcoholic and as a little person the experience stuck. Plus we had many middle of the night explosions.

    I will definitely look into this.

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  6. Hubby & I have just visited Nundle & popped into the Odgers & McClelland Exchange Store, what a lovely place to wander, we got some great brushes & 'bits & bots'. I must have a go @ the ginger cordial too, it sounds very refreshing

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed your visit to Megan and Duncan's store, Deb. I hope you introduced yourselves. Tricia and I are planning on visiting in mid-November. I can't wait.

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    2. I told them we were from Tamborine Mtn, & had found them on your blog, they were impressed (& thought we were a bit mad traveling all that way, so I assured them we were on family visits along the way). Both you & Tricia will love it, I just wanted to linger & touch things

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  7. Rhonda, I do enjoy when you post recipes or home activities that are simple and quick. The ginger cordial is something I can make before work or after dinner. Now the days are getting hotter I have been enjoying a glass of elder flower cordial after work. I like the gentle flavour of the elder flower so thankyou very much for introducing me to elder flowers.

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    1. Hi Miirih, thank you. This is just the right project for late in the day when you're cooking dinner or tidying up the kitchen. You can boil it up in a few minutes while you're working on other things, then leave it overnight with the lid on.

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  8. I have fresh ginger from the markets yesterday so this has gone on this week;s to-do list. I do like your new photo!

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  9. Very timely post and also your 'Making Ginger Beer from Scratch' post. Have been playing around with a fermented ginger drink this past weekend. Unfortunately the instructions gave me no idea what to do with the left over/sieved ginger. Your recipes are far more simpler, I'll just adapt over to your ginger beer recipe, and will also make some cordial. Thank you!

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  10. Lovely recipe and great peeling tip! Thank you. I usually keep a piece of peeled ginger in the freezer and if a recipe calls for a small amount, just grate what I need (still frozen) before popping the rest back in the freezer.

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  11. Hi Rhonda,
    In our islands ginger beer is a Christmas tradition. It is also fermented here.
    I have my own version. I slice the skinned ginger and put it into a blender with some water (just enough so that it provides enough liquid to blend). I then strain this into a bowl, add water and sweeten it with cane sugar. It is then bottled. This I serve with ice.
    The bits that were left in the strainer are then boiled with sugar and made into a delicious jam. It can also be added to steamed veggies to give them a nice perky taste (especially carrots).
    This means that the whole ginger root is eaten, apart from the skin that is added to the compost.

    Vicki
    Trinidad & Tobago

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    1. Vicki, love your idea for the leftovers! I'll be trying this next!

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  12. I don't use refined sugar, would this recipe work with honey do you think? If so, would I put a cup in, or perhaps less? Thanks.

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    1. I don't know, you'll have to try it and see what happens.

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    2. Hi, tried it with clear honey and it worked a treat! I used extra ginger as I thought the honey taste might take over, and it's great! New favourite cordial! Used the same volume as the sugar, so I'm a happy paleo lady! Thanks for the recipe!

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  13. Hi Rhonda, have made your ginger cordial a couple of times and it's great. I have many of the swing top lidded bottles as you have used too. But not sure how to clean then or to be sure they are really clean. Bottle brushes don't fit down the neck. Any suggestions?

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    Replies
    1. Hi mosaikmum. I was going to do a post about cleaning with brushes, I'll get on to it this week, so stay tuned.

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  14. Hi Rhonda, does the mixture need to boil for any length of time or just turned off once it is boiling? I have my first batch cooling at the moment, ready for bottling tomorrow, I turned the heat off when it came to the boil, gave it one last stir and covered it. Thanks

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    1. The sugar must be dissolved. If it is, it's ready.

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