My favourite ways to use fresh ginger

Super-fast ginger beer

This fermented ginger beer is quick yet sensationally spritzy! it only takes three days to make whereas my mums recipe took weeks to develop the ginger bug and all that rigmarole. I used to make it weekly for Liam to drink for nausea abatement when he was undergoing chemotherapy.

It works best with fresh ginger. A word of warning- make it in plastic lemonade type bottles as it ferments rapidly and you are going to have to keep an eye on it. I have had a ginger beer explosion in the green room. It wasn’t nice!

This recipe was originally from

To make 2.25 litres

¼ cup grated ginger

½ teaspoon cream of tartare

¼ cup lemon juice

4 cups water

Add these to a pot and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat.

Once boiled, add-

1 cup sugar, stirring it to dissolve

Then add

4 cups cold water and cool to 23°C

Add 1 teaspoon dried yeast and whisk it into the gingery water. Cover and allow it to sit for about 3 hours in a warm spot.

Before bottling, strain the liquid through a sieve lined with fine muslin to get out the coarse, fibrous bits.

Pour into flexible bottles, leaving a good 5 cm at the top for expansion. Put the screw on lids on firmly and sit 2-3 days. During this time, release the lid when you see the bottle expanding. Let out some of the excess CO2 and reseal the bottle.

Now it’s ready to refrigerate , and once cool it can be served.

It won’t build up with gas so quickly in the fridge, but I still recommend checking it daily.

This ginger beer is best consumed with in about 3-3 weeks of making it.

Dried ginger wafers

These dehydrated ginger slices keep for many months in the pantry. I use them to suck on occasionally, in teas, chai spice mixes and rehydrated in water, they go into recipes in place of fresh ginger. It’s easy!

Scrub fresh, young ginger root to remove all traces of dirt

Run the slices over a V grater to produce slices as thin as possible

Make a syrup of ½ cup white sugar to ½ cup water and bring it to the boil. Take off the heat.

Drop in the ginger slices and leave to one side while the syrup and ginger cools.

Once completely cool, strain out the ginger slices, retaining the syrup. Lay the slices on a dehydrator sheet. Put them into the dehydrator at 42°C for 6-8 hours or until they are leathery and dry.

Cool and store in airtight jars in the pantry.

Don’t toss away the sugar syrup. Use it like this…

The ginger syrup is delightfully ginger flavoured and can be used to add to honey to make a honey ginger mead, or add it to your kombucha


 Ginger cordial

To your leftover syrup from the ginger slices, add-

100ml lemon juice

1 cup water

a pinch of citric acid.

Bring it back to the boil then take off the heat. Cool slightly and pour into sterilised jars. Store in the fridge and you have a lemon ginger cordial, ready to dilute with water or mineral water.

Thanks Radka Křivánková for your ginger cordial picture from creative commons.

Lemon myrtle & ginger tea

Slice 4 slices of fresh ginger root and add to a pot with 6 lemon myrtle leaves. Pour boiled water over lemon myrtle leaves and brew 2 minutes before pouring yourself a cup of this refreshing tea.


Sherried ginger root

A lady who came to the classes told me about this years ago. I am still making it…

Freshly peeled ginger root may also be stored covered in sherry in a small jar. It keeps ages in the pantry and even longer in the fridge. After a while the sherry takes on the ginger flavour. The sherry tastes wonderful too and can be added to desserts, fruit cakes or cocktails.