Ginger Beer

When I was about 8 or 9, I was a huge Enid Blyton fan, particularly the Famous Five. As anyone who has read these books knows, the five were prone to drinking ‘lashings of ginger beer’. I had never encountered ginger beer at that age, and was incredibly jealous of the children in the series because A) they got to go on adventures and B) they were apparently allowed to consume alcohol while doing so… It was only years later that I encountered ginger beer, and discovered my error. This demonstrates perfectly the idiocy of the new-fangled plan by some halfwit publishers to re-write the books with modern references. I had absolutely no idea what most of the references were in the Famous Five, they certainly weren’t relevant to a child in the early nineties, but it didn’t stop me loving the books.

Anyway, perhaps because of this, I have always had a deep felt love of ginger beer, and so was thrilled when I found this Jamie Oliver recipe. In his preamble, he stated that he couldn’t imagine anything sexier than a cool jug of ginger beer on a hot summer’s day. This makes me quite concerned for Mrs. Oliver, but it is still an excellent recipe.

  • 1 whole fresh ginger root
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 lemons
  • 1 litre of soda water
  • fresh mint (optional)


  • Coarsely grate the ginger, leaving on the skin.
  • Place in a large enough bowl to contain 1 litre of soda water.
  • Add sugar to the ginger.
  • Peel the rind of two of the lemons, and add to the ginger and sugar.
  • Bash all of these with a pestle or something heavy.
  • Add the juice of the three lemons, and the soda water.
  • Leave to sit for about 20 minutes, taste, and adjust the sugar if necessary.
  • Strain into a jug and serve with fresh mint stirred in.

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