Ginger beer is a popular Christmas in many Caribbean households. Ginger beer is similar to ginger ale which is not an ale-- and just as root beer is not beer, so ginger beer is not a beer. Ginger beer can range from a mild drink to a hot and spicy brew - depending on taste and who makes it. Sometimes the ginger is allowed to "set"-- the longer it does, the hotter the drink. Elders from the Caribbean say this drink is good for the bladder and helps settle the stomach. Perhaps that is why it is a staple during the holiday, when families indulge in feasting and drinking.
1/4 lb ginger root
3 cups water
1 cup lemon juice
2- 3 drops of aromatic bitters
64 oz club soda
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
8- 16 oz flip top glass beer bottles
Peel the ginger root, and chop into chunks. Place in food processor with 1 cup of the water. Puree for 1 minute. Pour the puree into a fine sieve or cheesecloth and squeeze as much of the liquid as you can. Reserve liquid in a large bowl. Return remaining pulp to the food processor.
Add 1 cup of water. Repeat the above process two more times (you will have used the food processor to puree the ginger and water three times total).
In a saucepan, bring the sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil, then reducde to a simmer. Simmer about 20 mins or until it becomes a thin syrup. Set aside to cool (needs to be about room temperature). Do not allow to set so long it solidifies.
Add simple syrup, lemon juice and aromatic bitters to the ginger juice in the bowl. Mix until throughly combined.
Use a funnel to carefully pour 4 oz of liquid into each bottle, add 12 oz of club soda to each. Cap each bottle and refigerate. Chill and enjoy, or keep in refrigerator up to four weeks.