What is ginger wine?
Ginger wine is a liqueur wine that’s made from the blend of ground ginger root and grapes and later taking it through the process of fermentation. It was first produced in England. In most cases, its fortified by blending with brandy or cognac.
Ginger wine can be taken with or without ice depending on what you prefer. The most amazing thing about Ginger wine is its versatility. It’s mostly used as an ingredient along with Whiskey, in Whisky Macdonald’s, it can also be served with beverages like ginger, bitter lemon, lemonade, or even diluted with water.
Decades ago, the wine was sold in green glass bottles and the word ‘green’ may be on the label. The wine first appeared in the foundation of the Finsbury Distillery Company in London in 1740. The company after three years built a retail network and Joseph Stone a prominent grocer started selling the wine to his important customers.
Enough of the history, we should dive into how to make this wonderful wine at home in the way East Indians do. We’re using this recipe because it’s very effective and the wine produced is very great. The East Indian method is handed from generation to generation using ceramic jars and a process of stirring and straining over two weeks. The reason it takes longer to produce the wine is due to the fact that a longer period of fermentation will produce a better wine.
How to make Ginger wine at home
Ingredients needed for Ginger wine
- Ginger root
- Lemon Juice
- Flavour: lemon skin, orange zest, or dried chilies (optional)
Step by Step Procedure to make Ginger wine
1. Clean and sterilize the equipment you want to use ( wooden spoons, jars, demijohns, etc). Wash with hot water.
2. Clean the ginger. Smash it with a pestle and put it in the ceramic jar or demijohn. Add lemon juice to it too.
3. Add sugar or raisins to the ginger. You can also use sultanas; sugar, raisins, and sultanas all are very good yeast nutrients and will produce good wine. Please note that using sultanas will give your wine a darkish brown color and raisins will give a sparkling ginger wine.
4. Add 4.5 litres of water to the ceramic jar. Set aside 100ml of water for dissolving yeast.
5. Soak the yeast in 100ml of water in a ceramic jar.
6. Once the yeast is active, add it to the content in the ceramic jar.
7. If you’re sure the yeast is active, you can just add it to the ceramic jar instead of proofing it.
8. Stir the mixture using a stainless steel spoon or wooden spoon. Do this every day for the first week.
9. You can add flavor. Maybe lemon skins for a fruity flavor. Chilies and orange skins can be used.
10. Stir the mixture for every day for seven days and let it sit for 7days.
11. Strain the wine with a muslin cloth
12. Bottle the wine
13. Wait for a day or two before you drink the wine, so the taste can be more perfect and good to drink.
You can get ginger wine in adulterated and non-adulterated forms. You can make both wines in the comfort of your home. Below is a step-by-step guide to making non-alcoholic ginger wine.
How to make non-alcoholic ginger wine
- 10 cloves
- 2 litres of water
- 10 pieces of cloves
- 500 grams of ginger
- 2 red chili
- 4 sticks of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
- 5 green cardamom
- Caramelized sugar- 2 spoons
- 1 lime
- Plums – 100 grams
Step by Step Guide on how to make Non-alcoholic Ginger wine
1. Crush Ginger and Plums: Remove the peels of the ginger and wash the plums well. Crush them in the same bowl. Make a puree in a blender jar
2. Cook the ginger and spices in low heat for 20 minutes (simmering): Simply put a pan over medium flame, add water and the ingredients you want to boil. Let it boil, and add sugar. Boil it again then add the ginger and plums you crushed with cardamom, cinnamon stick, and cloves. Let it boil with these spices for 20 minutes.
3. Strain and add Caramel sugar: After boiling the ingredients for 20 minutes, add red chilies and let it simmer for a minute. Turn off the flame, strain the liquid using a muslin cloth into another clean jar. Let the liquid cool down, add lime juice, caramel sugar, and vanilla essence.
4. Stir well, serve it fresh
5. For a darker shade, you can add more caramel sugar and vanilla essence.
5 tips to making the Ginger Wine
1. For a reddish wine, use sultanas. If you want a clear wine, then raisins are for you.
2. Indian yeast brands like Blue Bird or Crown. Their yeast is a bit light so you might need 25 grams of it if you’re using them. But for stronger yeast brands like Saf Levure or DCL, 15 grams of it is just perfect.
3. For a fruity flavor, lemon or orange skins will achieve that for you. If you want your wine to be a little spicy, add dried Kashmiri chilies.
4. Keep or rerack the wine after sieving it before taking it. You should do that for 2 weeks or a month at most. Doing this will remove dregs. Ginger wine tastes better when you leave it for a long time after making it. So it’s worth the wait.