Cocktail & Other Recipes Cocktail Type Nonalcoholic

The Secret Weapon That Is Homemade Ginger Beer

Image: Tim Nusog

At NYC cocktail oasis Pegu Club, proprietor Audrey Saunders Gin-Gin Mule has rightfully earned a place in the modern-day cocktail canon. Saunders has described this gingery cocktail as a cross between a Moscow Mule (another ginger beer-based drink) and a Mojito (usually a rum drink but here made with gin). It’s a perennially popular call at the bar.

While this refreshing cocktail certainly can be made with canned ginger fizz, it gets even better when mixed with house-made ginger beer, which is remarkably easy to make at home.

Gin-Gin Mule. Tim Nusog

“Store-bought stuff has a peppery, more than gingery, profile,” says Saunders, interviewed in newly released book “New York Cocktails” (Cider Mill Press, $19.95) by Amanda Schuster. In addition, many brands can be “insipid,” she says.

While Pegu Club makes ginger beer by the gallon, here’s a smaller-scale version to try at home. It takes a little time—note the one-hour wait for the ingredients to fully integrate—but yields enough for several cocktails, since only an ounce of this intensely gingery elixir is all that’s needed for maximum piquancy. The recipe does not call for carbonation, however. To make it bubbly, add sparkling water, seltzer or club soda to taste. (Note: Some variations on this recipe call for two ounces of ginger beer when canned versions are used.)