Homemade Ginger Wine Recipe
Ginger wine is one of the more straight forward homemade wines to make. It might be quick and easy but it doesn't skimp on flavor! We explain the steps below.
Although ginger may not look like a good base for a wine, nothing could be further from the truth.
This unassuming root makes for a distinctive, spicy wine that tastes great on its own or with a mixer.
Not only is it delicious, ginger wine can also have several health benefits. Ginger root is considered to be a natural remedy for indigestion – particularly nausea – as well as the common cold and throat problems.
As far as the process of making ginger wine goes, it’s much easier and quicker than in the case of most other homemade wines.
You need only the most basic brewing equipment (an airlock is as complex as it gets here!), preparation is quick and easy, and the wine only needs about a month to ferment.
For 1 gallon of homemade ginger wine, you’ll need:
- 5 to 10 inches of fresh ginger root – if you prefer a milder wine, use less ginger. A 10-inch root will make for a moderate to strong taste.
- 1 large orange
- 2 lbs sugar – brown sugar is recommended, though white will work just as well
- 1 tsp brewing yeast
- 1 gallon filtered water
- A handful of raisins to provide nutrition for the yeast
This ginger wine recipe is pretty straight-forward, not requiring any specialist equipment.
Since there’s no racking involved in the process of making ginger wine, only one fermentation vessel will suffice. It also means that you don’t need a siphon tube.
All you’ll need are:
- 1 large saucepan – at least ½ gallon. It’ll be used only to boil water with ginger slices, not for primary fermentation, so you don’t need a special cover for it – just a normal lid.
- 1 glass demijohn with a fitted airlock and bung (1 gallon)
- strainer or sieve for separating the liquid from the other ingredients
- glass bottles for storing your ginger wine. Plastic bottles are not advised, given that they will only keep your wine secure for about six months. After that period, the wine will begin to oxidize and lose its flavor. Screw-top glass bottles are fine, though if you’re planning on storing your ginger wine for a long time, consider a swing top or a cork.
How to Make Ginger Wine
You're almost there! Ginger wine is one of the easier wines to make at home. Follow these simple steps and you'll be enjoying the fruits of your labour in no time!
1. Preparing the ginger infusion
In this ginger wine recipe, we won’t be using classic must as a flavor base for the liquor. Instead, a ginger infusion will provide most of the taste.
To make the infusion, start by slicing the ginger into thin slices. In general, the thinner the slices, the stronger the infusion will be.
Naturally, the amount of ginger you use will also influence the strength of the flavor. You can peel the root before slicing if you want, but it’s not necessary.
Place the sliced ginger into a large saucepan with a quarter-gallon of water and simmer for 15 to 60 minutes, depending on how strong you’d like the infusion to be.
By gently boiling the ginger and the water, you’re also sterilizing the mixture, which makes for a safe and predictable fermentation process later on.
Wash the orange, slice it, and add to the saucepan a couple of minutes before turning off the heat. You don’t need to discard the rinds – don’t worry, they won’t make the wine taste bitter.
Once you’ve turned off the heat, add the raisins. They’re a necessary ingredient not so much for their flavor, but for the nutrition they will provide for the yeast. Ginger doesn’t have enough naturally occurring sugar to sustain the yeast, so the raisins are added to make up for this lack.
Strain the mixture and return the liquid to the saucepan, discarding the ginger, orange, and raisins. Make sure that you properly sterilize the strainer before use, to remove any bacteria that could ruin your ginger wine. Bacteria or wild yeasts in the fermentation vessel will most likely mean that mold will grow in your wine, making it undrinkable.
You can use boiling water for sterilization, or a weak bleach solution. If using bleach, ensure you rinse the strainer well afterwards.
Add sugar to the infusion and stir until it dissolves completely. Cover the saucepan and leave to cool.
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Once the ginger infusion has cooled, pour it into a sterilized demijohn and top it up with filtered (or boiled and cooled) water almost all the way to the neck. Add yeast and swirl around gently to stir.
Fit the bung and airlock onto the demijohn and leave to ferment for about one month. During this time, you should see bubbles forming in the airlock and the liquid should naturally get clearer as time goes on. Once the bubbles stop and the wine looks clear, it’s ready!
Although homemade ginger wine is pretty much ready to drink as soon as it has stabilized (i.e. the fermentation process has stopped), it’ll taste better after at least a month in a bottle.
Sterilize your glass bottles before use – otherwise, your ginger wine could end up spoiling over time. Before pouring the wine into bottles, you can sweeten it to taste – with a little bit of dissolved sugar or with syrup.
That’s it! Your homemade ginger wine is good to go. It will taste great on its own or as part of a long drink – add a small amount to your black tea or mix it with apple juice and cinnamon, serving hot or cold.
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Here’s a quick recap of all the steps required for making ginger wine:
- Simmer sliced ginger root in water for 15 to 60 minutes
- Add a sliced orange towards the end
- After turning off the heat, add raisins
- Strain the infusion and return to saucepan
- Stir in the sugar until dissolved
- Once cool, pour into a demijohn
- Add yeast and fit airlock
- Leave to ferment for approximately one month
- Bottle once stable
If you enjoyed this ginger wine recipe, check out our other posts on making wine at home!