Go Back
+ servings
two glasses and jug of ginger beer

Jamaican Ginger Beer Recipe

Kiss goodbye to the store bought kind and learn how to make real Jamaican ginger beer using fresh ginger. This is the non fermented version but it's still so tasty and thirst quenching. A great drink during the holidays or anytime of year.
Course Smoothie and drinks
Cuisine Jamaican
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 386kcal
Author Charla


  • 1 lb fresh ginger peeled
  • 10 cups water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 tablespoon brown rice optional (rinsed)
  • juice of a lime
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • maple syrup to taste or use a sweetener of your choice
  • rum or rum essence if using


  • Peel the ginger
  • Either grate the ginger (grating is best as it brings out the flavour) or chop it up and blend with ½ cup of water (add more if required).
  • In a large pot add the ginger, cloves, cinnamon stick, rice (if adding) and water.
  • Simmer on low-medium heat for 5 minutes (this heats it through without destroying it's properties and without cooking it).
  • Remove the pot from the stove and allow to cool (if you are using granulated sugar stir it in now) and add the lime juice.
  • Cover the pot and either store in a cool place or refrigerate for at least several hours or up to a week (the longer you leave it to rest the stronger it will taste).
  • When you are ready to serve, strain off the juice into a cheesecloth or extra fine mesh strainer
  • Stir in your sweetener, vanilla, rum/essence (if using) (add more water if it's too strong or just adjust to taste).


  • I would recommend peeling the skin of the ginger because the peel yields a slight bitterness to it.
  • The brown rice addition is optional, this helps to extend the shelf life and yields no flavour (it won't impact the taste).
  • I prefer to use a liquid syrup like agave or maple instead of granulated sugar
  • For best results, completely chill and serve with ice
  • If you want to ferment your ginger beer you will need to use yeast, I don't have a recipe for this technique as that isn't the way my family do it nor do I care for making it alcoholic.
  • This recipe is child friendly and safe for drivers to drink
  • Make sure when you are heating up the ginger mixture the heat is low-medium to retain its properties.
  • Traditional Jamaican style ginger beer is made using Jamaican chewing stick. Outside of the Caribbean, this is difficult to get so I often omit using it. If you have some then include with the spices.
  • Feel free to add whatever spices you want I keep it basic with cloves and cinnamon sticks
  • If you cannot get whole spices use dried about 1tsp of cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon of cloves.


Calories: 386kcal | Carbohydrates: 85g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 181mg | Potassium: 1882mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 179mg | Iron: 3mg