Love of the West African ginger drink
I am certain the story of the ginger drink including the West African ginger drink did not start with dear old grand mum! Infact the story of ginger dates back 5000 years. Confucius the Chinese philosopher obsessed about the healing powers of ginger thousands of years ago before ginger found its way to the farmlands of East Africa, West Africa and the Caribbean, most notably Usain Bolt’s Jamaica!
My intention here is to celebrate the spicy, sharp and flavourful West African ginger drink but it will be incomplete to do so without highlighting some of its health benefits which apparently includes relieving morning sickness, lowering cholesterol, easing sea sickness and generally helping heal colds and supporting the immune system. Curiously, ginger also has a reputation as an aphrodisiac.
The ubiquitous home-made West African ginger drink can be found in most West African cities and towns in creative recycled vegetable-oil bottles. The strength of these West African ginger drinks is not to be sniffed at. They pack a punch and can be served chilled or with ice. That is due perhaps entirely to the type of ginger found in these areas and the degree with which they are allowed to mature before harvest.
The recipe below is the authentic West African ginger drink. However, as “true happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new”, the recipe below comes with a zesty twist!
Added to the ingredients as optionals are cloves, cinnamon and Grains of Paradise. These spices lend yet more flavour and heat to this recipe. A generous helping of ground cinnamon, an assertive helping of ground grains of paradise and a sprinkling of cloves takes this drink to a different, complex level.