Ginger bug, a slurry of fermented ginger and sugar, forms the basis for homemade, traditionally fermented sodas including root beer, ginger beer, herbal tonics and fruit sodas. These soft drinks and light beers are naturally bubbly and effervescent and very rich in probiotics.
Course: Drink, Ferment
Keyword: ginger, jaggery
Servings: 8servings (1 pint)
Author: Jenny McGruther
To Start the Bug
To Feed the Bug
2 ½ouncesfresh gingerdiced
To Use the Bug
8cupsfruit juice or sweetened herbal tea
Preparing the Bug
Warm the water in a saucepan over medium heat, and stir in the sugar until it dissolves fully. Cool the sugar water to room temperature.
Drop the ginger into a pint-sized jar, and then cover it with the sugar water. Seal the jar, and let it culture at room temperature for one day.
Feeding the Bug
The next day, and each day for 5 days, stir 1 teaspoon sugar and ½ ounce ginger into the jar, and then close the jar tightly. Between 3 and 5 days, you should start to see bubbles forming, and your bug should smell yeasty and gingery. When you see bubbles, your bug is ready to use.
Using the Bug
To use the bug, strain ½ cup of the liquid and mix it with 7 ½ cups liquid such as fruit juice or sweetened herbal tea, bottle and ferment up to 3 days.