It's basically Medieval Arabic Gatorade, only it tastes better.
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1/2 cup white vinegar (recomend less for modern palettes)
A small bunch fresh mint, washed
**a bunch of fresh chopped ginger
**any herbs that are tasty too you/
*In a heavy bottom pot combine sugar and water, place on medium heat and stir till sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat and gently boil for 10-15 minutes.
*Add the vinegar and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until it thickens. Taste and adjust the level of sweetness or sourness of the syrup.
*In the last minute or five add a few fresh mint (or ginger or other herbs... just one flavor set) to the syrup.
*Remove from heat and put it into refrigerator. Remove the infusing mint/ginger.
*If served heated/ warm, go as is. If serving cold/ cool/ room temp, add water to dilute it. Usually two to four cups.
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This drink is common with medieval recreationists.
Ginger has been used in Medicine for thousands of years and is said to help:
Soothe digestive disturbances
Alleviate nausea (great in early pregnancy)
Calm coughing and respiratory troubles
Stimulates the circulatory system
Helps relieve muscle aches and pain
Can help get rid of dandruff
Emerging evidence shows it helps lower cholesterol
For hundreds of years Thamians (and other cultures around the world) have made various forms of naturally fermented “sodas” from sweetened herbs or fruit juice mixes. These natural fermented drinks contained beneficial life forces and humors to boost health. This version uses a fermented ginger culture to create a naturally fizzy tonic!
This natural recipe for ginger tonic (ale) uses fresh ginger and a cultured ginger mixture (called a ginger bug) to create a naturally fermented and naturally fizzy ginger ale. Though this mixture can contain a small amount of alcohol if left to ferment at room temperature for weeks, we use the short brew method to create a fizzy tonic/ ale without the alcohol.
* A 1-2 inch piece of fresh ginger root, minced. Adjust this to taste. I use 2 inches as I prefer a stronger ginger taste.
* ½ cup of organic sugar or rapadura sugar. if using plain sugar, add 1 tablespoon molasses for flavor and minerals.
* ½ cup fresh lemon or lime juice
* ½ tsp sea salt or himalayan salt
* 8 cups of filtered (chlorine free) water (Most Thamian and American water has cholorine.. get a filter)
* ½ cup homemade ginger bug
1) Make a "wort" for your ginger tonic by placing 3 cups of the water, minced ginger root, sugar (and molasses if needed), and salt in a saucepan and bringing to a boil.
2) Simmer the mixture for about five minutes until sugar is dissolved and mixture starts to smell like ginger.
3) Remove from heat and add additional water. This should cool it but if not, allow to cool to room temperature before moving to the next step.
4) Add fresh lemon or lime juice and ginger bug (or whey).
5) Transfer to a 2 quart glass mason jar with a tight fitting (air-tight) lid. Stir well and put lid on.
6) Leave on the counter for 2-3 days until carbonated and transfer to the cooling room/ fridge where it will last indefinitely.
7) Watch this step carefully. It should be bubble and should "hiss" like a "soda" when the lid is removed. This is very temperature dependent and the mixture may need to be burped or stirred during this fermentation time on the counter.
As with any traditional fermented drink, it is more of an art than a science as it depends on the strength of your culture, the temperature of your house and the sugar used. The final mixture should smell of ginger and slightly of yeast/fermentation and should be fizzy. Watch carefully that it doesn't become too carbonated as this will cause too much pressure and may result in an exploding jar!
8) The mixture can be strained and transferred to Grolsch style bottles before putting in the fridge (we like these bottles).
9) Strain before drinking.
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It turns out that soda hasn’t always been the high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavor concoction in an aluminum can that we know today.