Shaun Quade, pastry chef at Long Shot in Docklands
So, Christmas for me is not the traditional roast lunch with pudding, which makes no sense being in Australia. Growing up in Queensland, it was always hot, and Christmas was normally spent in a park somewhere.
What to drink…what to drink…. what can I have with ice-cold vodka?
Home made ginger beer of course! It's really quite easy and only takes a little a little love and care to produce something worthy of Bundaberg.
Firstly, you need to make a ginger bug. Sounds nice doesn't it? A ginger bug consists of sugar, organic ginger and filtered water…that's it. This is the ingredient that will get your ginger beer bubbling.
Take a large glass jar big enough to hold 2 litres water easily. Add 2 litres filtered water, 20g finely chopped ginger (skin left on) and 20g sugar. Stir well to combine with a clean metal spoon. Cover the opening of the jar with muslin cloth and leave on the bench at a temperature of around 25-30C. The next day, add 20g ginger and 20g sugar and stir the bug well. Cover and leave again overnight. Repeat this process for 2 more days or until the surface of the liquid starts to foam and bubble. At this point it should have a pleasing floral ginger smell. If all goes according to plan you have successfully created a ginger bug….
GINGER & KAFFIR LIME SODA
Serves – approx 12 (250ml glasses)
2 litres water
510g caster sugar
2g malic acid
Juice of one lime
180g ginger, minced
5 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped
190g ginger bug (see above)
Add all the ingredients together in a large glass jar, cover with muslin cloth and leave in a warm room for 24 hours. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve followed by a muslin cloth or an oil filter….depends on how rustic you want to get.
Bottle the liquid into fliptop glass jars and leave again in a warm room for two days. You should notice little bubbles form in the bottles when they're agitated…. this means they are ready! Refrigerate the soda to slow down the lacto fermentation, and serve over ice with fresh kaffir lime leaves and a wedge of lime.
Now sit back, relax, and enjoy the most refreshing Christmas drink around!
Want more chefs' Christmas recipes? Then head here!
All Image Credits: Ryan Noreiks, The Urban List.