The Twelve Days of a Green Christmas…Sixth Day

ginger-beer

…on the sixth day of Christmas my green friend gave to me…six craft beers,  five mutual shares, four smart bulbs, three bags of taters, two quarts of milk and a potted cypress tree!

I always look forward to the Sixth Day of a Green Christmas because my Green Friend has gifted me six craft beers for the past several years and they are always delicious! This year was a surprise with the six craft beers being homemade Ginger Beer!

ginger-beer
Ginger Beer
Credit: Brent Hofacker/Thrillist

Many, including myself, have wondered if Ginger Beer is really beer and does it contain alcohol. Well the short answer is yes and yes although the alcohol may be minimal (.05%). The .05% brews are labeled non-alcoholic while others may contain up to 11% alcohol.

I believe the Brits were the original Ginger Beer brewers. It is made with water, ginger, sugar and any optional ingredients which, left to ferment for a few days, turns the sugar into alcohol rather than the traditional hops or grains used to brew beer. Some even consider Ginger Beer more of a hard cider than a beer.

ginger
Ginger
Credit: Dani Vincek/Shutterstock

As a ginger lover who has grown ginger root for a couple years I find the medicinal qualities an even more enticing reason to drink a spicy ginger beer! Ginger is actually a root or rhizome that contains a natural oil called gingerol. It is a member of the Zingiberaceae family and is closely related to another favorite of mine, turmeric as well as cardamom. Ginger has a long history of being used in traditional and alternative medical practices.

While drinking ginger beer is not going to provide the same concentration of ginger as other ways of ingestion, it does help to know there might be some minor benefit! I remember my mother giving me Ginger Ale (non-alcoholic) when I had a bad stomach ache or felt nauseous which always seemed to do the trick. In addition to aiding with many forms of nausea ginger is also a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory helping to relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis and muscle pain. Ginger has also been shown to lower blood sugar levels and improve various heart disease risk factors in patients with type 2 diabetes. There are various other benefits of ginger but as I mentioned earlier, probably very minor but I still like knowing I am drinking something that might provide some benefit rather than something else that is not as good for me.

moscow-mule
Moscow Mule
Credit: Mike Roemer for the New York Times

Should you enjoy drinking Ginger Beer and want to use it in cocktail recipes for a party there are the ever popular Moscow Mule, Kentucky Mule, Dark n’ Stormy, Ginger Beer Margarita and many other concoctions for your next friendly get-together. I’m looking forward to chilling the homemade Ginger Beer my Green Friend gave me so I can try it this evening!

Thank you for joining me on this Sixth Day of a Green Christmas! If you’re curious about the history of the Twelve Days of Christmas you can find that here. Join me tomorrow and see what my Green Friend gifts me…I’m sure it will be fun, educational, useful or possibly edible!

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