Ginger Beer is a Favorite Beverage in the Caribbean

NEW YORK, NY - As you may or may not know, the use of strong spices is the hall mark of Caribbean cooking.

For example, Caribbean cuisine will include the such spices as nutmeg , cinnamon, cloves, curry, thyme, oregano, scotch bonnet pepper, country pepper, bird pepper , black pepper, cilantro, garlic, onions , pimento  and ginger .

Some of these spices are used not only in savory dishes but also in sweet dishes and beverages. For example, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pimento and ginger are the spices that are often used in both savory and sweet dishes and various beverages.

These spices add unique flavorings to the dishes as well as aide in food digestion and enhance blood circulation. While I love using all of these spices at various times when I am cooking, one of my favorite spice in Caribbean cuisine is ginger.gingerbe

I love ginger because it bringers a unique flavor to all the dishes and beverages that it is added to (pork , chicken , fish stews, homemade candy, Sorrell drink , puddings, cakes, cookie)  and it can also be used to make a beverage itself .

Ginger beer is a favorite beverage in the Caribbean and making it at home is a favorite past time. Some people also make ginger wine, which is an interesting and delicious wine. Ginger beer and ginger wine are also sold in stores in many Caribbean communities. Ginger beer is served all year round as a chilled beverage, especially at Christmas time with Caribbean dark fruit cake.

Today I will share  my recipe for homemade ginger beer.

Home Made Ginger Beer


6 quarts boiling water

4 cups dark sugar,

2-1/2 pounds ginger root with skin, (grated)

1 cup honey

1/2 cup lime juice

1/4 cup fresh brewers’ yeast


Combine ginger, boiling water, 3 cups sugar, honey and lime juice in a large plastic container.

Mix 1/2 cup lukewarm water, 1 cup sugar and yeast together in a separate bowl.

Let yeast softens and form a creamy paste and stir into ginger mixture.

Cover container and let sit for 2-4 days.

Skim foam from top, strain liquid and pour ginger beer into clean storage containers.

Chill and then serve.

Bon Appetite!

Minna LaFortune is a trained Caribbean caterer and also president, Society for the Advancement of the Caribbean Diaspora (SACD).