Gemmer (ginger beer)

Gemmer (ginger beer)

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  • Makes 10 litres
  • Easy
  • Dairy free
  • 5 minutes, plus 24 hours’ fermentation time

During the first lockdown, we saw many iterations of pineapple and ginger beer. My research tells me that a few tricks are used to add sweetness, including the use of raisins or pineapple skins. Feel free to experiment. Gemmer is great with charred limes.


  • 38 g ground ginger
  • 1 t dry active yeast
  • 1 t cream of tartar
  • 90 g fresh ginger
  • 8 large lemongrass stalks
  • 1.8 kg smashed sugar
  • 10 litres lukewarm water

Cooking Instructions

1. Place all the ingredients in a large saucepan. Stir well and ensure the sugar has dissolved. Cover and leave at room temperature for 24–30 hours.

2. Strain through a fine cloth. At this point the ginger beer is ready to be bottled and refrigerated. Serve with ice and charred limes.

Find more beverage recipes here. 

Photographs: Toby Murphy
Production: Abigail Donnelly

Vusi Ndlovu Recipe by: Vusi Ndlovu
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Chef and TASTE contributor Vusi Ndlovu is the co-owner of EDGE, a restaurant focusing on indigenous ingredients, reimagined with a fine dining twist and the tradition of cooking over an open fire.

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