Lime Ginger Ale
I first served this beverage to Srila Prabhupada in Vrindavan, India, where the well water is distinguished by a slightly salty taste. He commented that his mother had made this summer thirst quencher with effervescent quinine water. It is pleasant with most carbonated mineral waters from the gentle fizz of San Pellegrino to the brisk fizz of Perrier.
Double-boiling the ginger stretches the flavor of fresh ginger root. India’s nimbu is a cross between key limes and lemons, though any type of lime will do. You may or may not want to use peppercorns. I find that a blend of allspice and white, green and Malabar peppercorns lends pleasant spunk to the beverage.
Preparation time (after assembling ingredients): 15-20 minutes
• Peeled fresh Ginger root (about 1 ounce/30 g) – 1 * 2-inch (2.5 * 5 cm) piece
• Still water or 4 cups (! Liter) Still water and 4 cups (1 liter carbonated water) – 8 cups (2 liters)
• Whole peppercorns (optional) – 1 teaspoon (5 ml)
• Sugar or equivalent sweetener – 2 1/3 cups (495 g)
• Limes, juices and strained – 12
1. Grind the ginger to a paste in a food processor or with an Oriental ginger grater or mortar and pestle. Mix with 2 cups (480 ml) of still water and the optional pepper-corns. Bring the water to a boil over moderately high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Strain the mixture through muslin and again place it in the saucepan. Add 2 more cups (480 ml) of water and repeat the process. After straining the liquid again, add the sweetener and stir until dissolved. Finally, mix in the lime juice. Chill well.
2. Before serving, top off with the remaining 4 cups (1 liter) still water or the 4 cups (1 liter) carbonated water. Serve over ice cubes.
By Yamuna Devi Dasi