Brewed ginger beer originated in England in the mid-18th century and became popular in Britain, the United States and Canada, reaching a peak of popularity in the early 20th century. The original recipe requires only ginger, sugar, water, lemon juice and a fungal-bacteria symbiote known as a ginger beer plant. Fermentation over a few days turns the mixture into ginger beer. Ginger beer originally had a small amount of alcohol in it but today it is produced as a soft drink and is alcohol free. Ginger beer is very different from ginger ale, it is spicier and dryer; so if your recipe calls for ginger beer substituting the ale will completely change the drink.
Dark and Stormy
This classic highball is a brand-specific mixed drink that is, as some would say, completely wrong if anything other than Gosling’s Black Seal Rum and Barritt’s Ginger Beer is used. And some bartenders will add lime juice to the drink, but the addition of this citrus is, in my opinion, unnecessary and can be overbearing.
2 ounces Gosling’s Black Seal Rum
3 – 4 ounces of Barritt’s Ginger Beer or Fever Tree Premium Ginger Beer
Build in a highball glass and garnish with a lime wedge.
This classic Bermuda favorite is a sparkling refresher known to combat the heat as well as soothe the stomach. Add some fresh ginger, ginger syrup or ginger liqueur to really spice it up.
Dark & Stormy Evo
½ ounce John D. Taylor’s Velvet Falernum
½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
1 lime wheel
4 ounces Barritt’s or Fever Tree Premium Ginger Beer
2 ounces Goslings Black Seal Rum
Pour the Falernum and juice into a Collins glass. Add large ice cubes and the lime wheel. Cover the glass with a small shaker and shake briefly. Fill with the ginger beer to 1 inch below the rim. Slowly layer of the rum on top.
2 ounces Laird’s Applejack 80° or 100°
½ ounce Stirrings Grenadine
½ ounce fresh lime juice
3 slices cucumber
6 sprigs mint
2 ounces Barritt’s Ginger Beer or Fever Tree Premium Ginger Beer
Muddle the cucumber, mint and lime juice. Add the Applejack and Grenadine and shake with ice. Strain over fresh ice cubes in a Mason jar or Collins glass and top with ginger beer. Garnish with a lime and/or cucumber wheel.
These cocktails will be featured in Ricks’ology: Concocting Cool Cocktails, a FREE class on Thursday, September 20, 2012. Register now!