Ginger is such a wonderful spice, and one of my favorites. It’s a great healer, and its heat is just so enjoyable! I’ve never been able to find a ginger beer strong enough for me at the store, so it must fall to me to make my own.
Ginger Wine: One Gallon Recipe
- Fresh ginger root (I used a whole palm, about 10 inches worth, but I like my ginger drinks hot. If you want it milder, use 5 inches.)
- 3-4 cups of sugar (brown sugar is best)
- Sliced orange
- small handful organic raisins
- non-chlorinated water
The first step to brewing ginger wine is to make an infusion (a fancy word for ginger tea).
Grab a soup pot and bring a quart of water to a boil.
Chop the ginger and add it to the water. The smaller your ginger pieces, the more gingery your flavor will be. I only ever bother peeling the ginger if the skin is particularly hard and woody.
Add the sliced orange to the pot, peel and all. Add the raisins, and give it all a good stir.
Turn down the temperature and allow the delicious mix to simmer for about an hour to draw out all of the ginger flavors. Add more water if needed. The steam from this pot will smell lovely, and the ginger will turn the water a nice brown.
Strain the ginger infusion and return it to the pot. Compost the solids.
Stir in the brown sugar until it is dissolved. Cover the pot and let it cool a bit while you sanitize your gallon jug, funnel, strainer, and your airlock and bung. (Don’t know what those are? Click here.)
Once the pot is cool enough to handle and the liquid safe to pour, pour the ginger tea into the carboy and top it off with water until the liquid reaches the neck of the jug. Add the bung and airlock.
When the carboy is cool (a few hours later), sprinkle in the packet of yeast and carefully give the whole jug a good shake. Within a day or two, the jug should be bubbling happily. It should be happy to sit and bubble for a month or so.
When the bubbles stop and the liquid is clear, it is time to taste, backsweeten, or bottle! (Learn more about those processes on my Brewing page)
This recipe results in a very gingery, dry wine. I bottled much of it in beer bottles and the rest in swing-top bottles. Even with the alcohol content, these are very effective tummy relievers if you are feeling nauseous. It is delightful mulled with apple juice and a stick of cinnamon!
I’ve made this recipe a few times, and here are some tasty variations:
- Skipped the orange, added a handful of oats and dried hops during the boil. This gave a slightly thicker, more bitter, slightly beer-like quality to the brew.
- Added a few chopped apples to the boil instead of raisins, and a light drizzle of molasses.