Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management was published in 1861. It was an instant success, selling 2 million copies in 1868.
Her ginger beer is a classic summer recipe to quench the thirst. You may recall seeing workers at Downton taking a break with a cool drink.
Mrs. Beeton's Classic Lemonade
- 3 ounces fresh ginger sliced
- 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
- 2 large lemons, sliced
- 1 cup caster sugar or sugar substitute
- 1/2 tsp. dry yeast
About Ginger Beer
- This is a great drink to make but it must be left to brew for 3 days before serving. The addition of yeast makes the beer fizzy so it must be stored in bottles able to withstand high pressure. You can find them from home brew stores. If you have a sweet tooth, serve as Mrs. Beeton suggests by adding more sugar, or you can drink it straight up for a dry refreshing draught.
Sterilize your Bottles
- Preheat your oven to 250F. Select larger bottles if you wish to serve a larger crowd, or smaller bottles for individual servings. Remove the rubber seals, then place washed bottles on a baking sheet lined with newspaper. Place the baking sheet on the heated oven for 30 minutes. Turn off the oven, and leave the bottles in the oven to cool.
- Place the rubber seals in a small pan of boiling water and simmer for 5 minutes, then allow them to air dry on a tray covered on a clean cloth. Once the bottles have cooled, replace the seals, and seal the bottles until you are ready to use.
Make the Beer
- Place the ginger, sugar, cream of tartar and 1 cup of cold water in a blender. Blend until smooth, then pour into a large bowl. Add 9 cups of boiling water and the lemon, then cool luntil just warm to the touch, or your temperature probe reaads 100 degrees F.
- Place the yeast in a small bowl, stir ina tablespoon of the liquid and mix to blend. Add this mixture to the remainder of the cooled liquhttps://downtonabbeycooks.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=14469&action=edit#id and leave overnight.
- Strain the mixure through a fine sieve into a large jug to make it easier to pour into the bottles. Once filled and sealed, wrap each bottle in a few layers of newspaper and stand them in a bucket, then cover the bottles with a towel. This is a preventative measure in case a bottle explodes. Store at room temperature.
- After 3 days, place the bucket in a sink, lift off the towel and unwrap and open as many bottles as you need.
- To serve: chill and drink straight from the bottle or place 1/2 tsp. caster sugar (or sugar substitute) in the botom of each glass, and add a few ice cubes and top with the beer. The beer can be kept for up to a month in a cool, dark place.