Ginger Beer Recipe from Trinidad and Tobago

by Jeneba Ghatt

Ginger beer is a delicious alternative to egg nog during the holiday.

While Americans usually feature Egg Nog as a holiday drink, in Trinidad and Tobago there are several beverages that are consumed during the Christmas season. Among them is sorrel, puncha cream and ginger beer. My favorite is ginger beer because I love ginger — it aids in digestion. It also reminds me of the variation of the drink that I grew up with in Sierra Leone, West Africa. The ginger would steep for at least one day so the output was quite a pungent drink that had quite a punch!

Recipe from the book, Sweet Hands: Island Cooking from Trinidad & Tobago (Hippocrene Books, NY), by Ramin Ganeshram. Available at Amazon.com.

Ingredients

1/2 lb. of fresh ginger, peeled and grated on the large holes of a box grater

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/4 teaspoon ground mace

1 ½ cups of light brown sugar

1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

6 sprigs mint

Instructions

Put ginger, lime juice, mace and 3/4 cup of the sugar into a wide mouthed gallon glass or ceramic jar. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into jar and add the pod. Add 12 cups boiling water to jar and stir until sugar dissolves. Set ginger mixture side to steep and cool to room temperature. Cover jar tightly and refrigerate for 1 week.

Line a large sieve with a double layer of cheesecloth. Strain ginger mixture through sieve into another wide mouthed gallon glass or ceramic jar, firmly pressing on solids with the back of a spoon to extract as much flavor as possible. Discard solids. Add the remaining sugar to ginger beer and stir until it dissolves. Serve in glasses over crushed ice, garnished with mint sprigs.

Sorrel juice: A Caribbean holiday favorite (by Simone Baptiste)

Caribbean drink, sorrel, sorrel juice

With Sorrel juice's rich flavor it is a perfect drink for the holidays

Family, food, and travels are synonymous with the holiday season. As leaves begin to change colors and winter coats make their way out of the back of the closet, visions of pumpkin pies, turkeys, and sorrel fill our dreams. Did I lose you somewhere? If you’re a lover of Caribbean cuisine I didn’t. Sorrel is a drink that is a holiday favorite in the Caribbean and many American homes.

Officially named the Roselle plant, the juice drawn from the red sepals of the plant is what is called sorrel. The flowers are white to pale yellow with a dark red spot at the base of each petal, as the fruit matures a stout fleshly calyx at the base of plant begins to enlarge and becomes bright red. Although Sorrel is an Island favorite it can be found around the world and in specialty grocery stores.

Sorrel Recipe


Ingredients

8 ounces dried sorrel

2 cinnamon sticks (each approximately 3 inches long)

1 piece orange peel (fresh or dried, approximately 3 by 1-inch)

12 whole cloves

10-12 cups water

1 1/2 cups sugar (or more to taste. Granulated will give a better colour.)

Directions

In a non-corrosive pot, bring 10 cups of water to a boil then add the sorrel, sugar, cinnamon stick, whole cloves and orange peel and stir continuously while the mixture boils for one minute.

Cool and cover with foil or plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature to steep for 2 hours or overnight.

Taste for strength and sweetness. If it is too potent, add water or if too tart add more sugar. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve into a jar and refrigerate. (Discard the spices left in the sieve). The sorrel will stain so use a non-reactive glass jar or bowl. Don’t use plastic.

Recipe from: Recipezaar.com

Image from: Photobucket.com