Land of Milk and Ginger

Lacto-fermented Ginger Ale

Like Lemonade, but With Ginger

Well, I was intending to make three flavours of lacto-fermented lemonade and wittily call this post Lemonade, Three Wheys, but I’m afraid I’ve rather run out of steam and time. So, today you get the latest recipe in my cheesemaking adventures, but it is only one flavour of lemonade – ginger (perhaps confusingly).

If you Google milk and ginger the most common result is a ginger milk pudding, which is a rather soothing-sounding Chinese dish, apparently. Obviously, I did this, and had a look at some of the pictures. It reminded me a bit of junket, which I had to make for some historical food thing for brownies once. I am not a fan of junket. But then again, my junket did not have ginger in it. I am quite fond of ginger, so I may end up giving this a go.

I really wanted to have a go at lacto fermenting ginger beer, but that requires a starter or ginger beer plant, which I didn’t have time for. So, that is the reason that I am going to call this Gingerade. And let me tell you it is no worse for that!

This method is one of two ways to naturally carbonate drinks, without the need for a Soda Stream. The other way is to add yeast. It is also a really healthy drink – the whey has loads of probiotics, which you have to pay a good deal for if you buy those fancy yoghurts. Any bloating that you may, or may not relieve is entirely your own business.

I never really got fed the standard carbonated drinks when I was a child, so I never really developed the taste for them. I’d rather have water, or fruit juice than a fizzy drink (only if wine isn’t an option, obviously!), but I could definitely develop a taste for this. I tried it after three days, so it was lightly sparkling, which I liked a lot. You can get a fiercer bubble if you leave it in the warm for longer. I was happy, so put it in the fridge. It will continue to ferment in the fridge, but at a much lower rate.

I will definitely be trying to lacto-ferment ginger beer, and other lemonades, So I may be able to use my witty post title after all, and of course, I will be blogging the efforts. I’m also going to have a go at alcoholic ginger beers too, and why not – makes a change from Belgian beer for me, for sure!

I tried it today, in the my sunny spring garden, which is the perfect setting for this drink, in my opinion. Well, until I can have it with ice in the summer, of course!

Spice Trail Blog Badge

As well as this appearing as part of the Cheese, Please! Fresh Cheese Challenge (which really has been the gift that keeps on giving for me this month!) roundup, which I will be posting tomorrow, I’m going to have a second bite of the cherry at this month’s Spice Trail hosted by Vanesther of Bangers and Mash. Mostly because I really do love ginger, but also because I covet those beautiful little spice tins that are being offered as a prize this month. I can only hope, but this month there is a lot of stiff competition, with a lot of entries, many of which I have bookmarked for later.

Recipe: Lacto-Fermented Gingerade

30 g ginger
Juice of 2 lemons
150 g runny honey
1 tsp rock salt
4 tbsp fresh whey
2 l water


Sterilise enough bottles to hold 2 l of gingerade. I used the sterilisers from my home-brew, which I find the easiest method for the types of bottles that I used. If you use wider necked bottles, then you can run them through  a hot dishwasher cycle, or wash them and put them in a low oven, as you might for making jam or lacto-fermented vegetables. At the same time, sterilise a funnel that fits into the top of the bottles that you are using.

Finely grate the ginger. I used a microplane, but if you don’t have one, use the finest side of a box grater. Mix the grated ginger with the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl, making sure that the honey and salt are really dissolved in the lemon juice before you add the water and the whey.

Before bottling, stir the gingerade well, so that you can be as sure as you can that there are bits of ginger and lemon pulp in each bottle. Fill each bottle with the gingerade. You will need to leave about 5 cm at the top.

Leave to start to ferment in your living room or kitchen. You may need to get it started by tipping the bottes over once to stir things up once or twice a day. Be careful, because once it starts to ferment, the pressure will build. After three days, test to see if the carbonation is to your liking. If it is, then store in the fridge. Remember that it will continue to ferment in the fridge, but at a much lower rate.

Serve on a sunny day. Maybe at a picnic (serving suggestion).

This recipe makes slightly more than 2 l of liquid. I used up the rest in a rather fantastic raspberry coulis, but you might just as well drink it, or add it to stewed apple or even rhubarb. Very good indeed.





Filed under Fermented

18 responses to “Land of Milk and Ginger

  1. VP

    Ooh I do like the look of that. I love ginger too 🙂

    • Thanks Michelle. I love proper gingery drinks. Many of the commercial ones aren’t gingery enough for me 🙂
      Hope that you are well.

      • VP

        Exactly. I’m also quite miffed that Morrisons have stopped doing Dandelion and Burdock cordial. A childhood taste (as is ginger beer from my nan’s ginger beer plant) without the fizz 🙂

      • Oh nice. I have been intending to try to make some dandilion and burdock cordial – it’s a great way to get rid of what could otherwise be considered weeds! I may try and find some when I next go foraging

  2. The idea of a ginger drink and the idea of a sunny spring garden – none of which is available to me now – are very appealing. I am going to have to try one of these fermentation recipes. Look forward to your follow-ups on the subject.

    • Oh Hilda, I’m sorry, I got excited by the first days of spring, I forgot that others aren’t so lucky right now. It must be on its way though.
      I really like this drink – all the ginger fire, but a bit less sweet than shop bought ginger beers. I’ll be sure to blog the follow ups.

  3. If you track down a ginger beer plant, do please let me know! I love stingingly gingery drinks too – this looks fab.

  4. Looks and sounds wonderful.Is it possible to get hold of fresh whey, do you know, without making your own cheese? A perfect entry too for this month’s Spice Trail ginger challenge. Thanks for taking part! 🙂

  5. Pingback: The Spice Trail: cooking with ginger | Bangers & Mash

  6. That sounds interesting, I haven’t come across using whey in this way! We make tibbi (or rather CT does, I just drink it), which is like a water based kefir which you flavour with lemon. It too produces a lightly sparkling drink which is really refreshing. We sometimes add root ginger too.

    • Thanks, I’m sorry, I just noticed the gobbledigook that was posted in reply to your comment previously. I’ve no idea what happened.
      What I intended to say was that I’d also love to try other forms of fermenting, like tibbi and kombucha, they sound interesting and fun

  7. Ah yes, this is definitely on my list to make, although I’m a bit terrified of ending up with a hole in my ceiling. Lovely and refreshing 🙂

    • That is why we used the swing top bottles, because they will self vent. We learned that lesson the hard way one year when we made a particularly lively elderflower champagne 😮

  8. Pingback: March’s Cheese, Please! Recipe Blog Challenge – Fresh Cheese | Fromage Homage

  9. Pingback: March’s Cheese, Please! Challenge Round-Up – Fresh Cheese | Fromage Homage

  10. Pingback: The Spice Trail: your favourite ginger recipes | Bangers & Mash

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