It turns out, miss Hannah Peterson, will be my guest star appearance throughout the recipe portion of my site. Most likely because talking about food and fermenting is one of our favorite ways of communicating…
I also love and appreciate the recipes that comes through Hannah. And I think you will as well. The inspiration for this ginger bug recipe came from Sandor Ellix Katz, whom apparently was inspired by Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions. It’s quite simple to grow your ginger bug and it’s also comparable to capturing sourdough yeast. The nest thing about fermentation is if you start small and things go right, a live culture wants to grow and will do so under a slow and steady recipe :)
ITS ALIVE: a living ginger tonic
First, grow yourself a ginger bug:
1 cup water
1 Tbsp finely chopped ginger
1 Tbsp raw sugar (or regular sugar, but I think bleach is better to avoid)
1. Stir ingredients together.
2. Leave in the kitchen (at room temperature) covered by a cheesecloth
*The inoculation works similarly to sour dough, wild yeasts floating around on their dust crafts will fall into the mixture.
3. Add 1 tsp ginger and 1 tsp sugar every day
*By feeding it daily you are maintaining an environment that is welcoming for the bugs that will make your tonic bubbly and probiotic
4. In 5-10 days depending on how warm and yeasty your kitchen is you will KNOW when your bug is active because it will be foamy and looking alive (or fermented)
Once this happens you are ready to make your tonic.
Directions on making tonic:
5. Boil at least 16 ounces of water and add green tea, honey, more chopped ginger, and cayenne. Let boil for about 3-5 minutes (until you can start to smell ginger).
6. Let tea cool. Add 1 Tbsp turmeric and 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (until the flavor is to your liking).
7. Strain the bug and add about 4 Tbsp ginger bug per 16 ounces of room temperature tea.
8. Bottle (in old soda bottles if you want to be safe from shattered glass and don’t mind re-using plastic, or else, bottle in beer bottles)
9. Wait 1 week (watch the bottle expand) and sample one.
**Be careful when opening because the bottle might explode!
10. If it’s to your liking put the rest in the fridge to slow down the fermentation, if not, leave it in the kitchen to further ferment.
11. Enjoy your ginger tonic over ice or experiment with adding lemons/citrus on a summer day!