Corfu Ginger Beer
Introduced to Corfu way back in the 19th century by the British, traditional ginger beer in Greece, is to our knowledge, brewed exclusively in Corfu. The Xeimarios family began producing in 1920 and the current family member has been in control since 1975.
So what exactly is ginger beer? First of all do not be misled by the word ‘beer’ It is a non alcoholic drink. Deliciously refreshing, it has a unique cloudy appearance and is produced from pure ingredients with no additives. The sole ingredients are fresh ginger, fresh lemon juice, sugar and water. It is ready for consumption after two stages. Firstly the correct amounts of each ingredient are mixed together in the large cauldron and depending on room temperature and hardness of the water used, left for anything between 8 hours and one whole day. The next stage is after being bottled, it needs to stand for five days. Then it is ready for us to enjoy!
Not only is ginger beer a most enjoyable soft drink, but containing fresh ginger it has therapeutic qualities too! It is good to help qualm feelings of sickness and assists with blood circulation.
Now widely available in supermarkets all over the island it is best enjoyed served chilled and should be stored in the refrigerator. However, to enjoy it to the full, why not take a seat at one of the many cafeterias at the Liston in front of the cricket pitch in Corfu town, overlooked by the imposing Old Fortress just as our ancestors did all those years ago.
Do be careful though as it is very frothy so you might like to add a little at a time to your glass and don’t shake the bottle before opening!